[Corpora-List] Spoken corpora - permission issues

Cameron Smart cjsmart at hkeaa.edu.hk
Thu May 12 08:39:00 CEST 2005

Dear All

I have recently been in touch with several people in charge of spoken
corpora to ask about the issue of participants' permission. I am thinking
here of those corpora based on recorded conversations where the other
participants aren't necessarily aware of the recording taking place. Several
people struck a very cautionary note, one even saying that, in the UK at
least, these types of corpora might be a thing of the past unless I went and
got explicit permission not only from the volunteer but every other person
who was recorded as well.

The standard BNC request at
http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/what/permletters.html#spoken1 , however, does
not seem to cover the other participants. The same seems to be true from the
example of the permission form used in the COLT corpus, on p222 of 'Trends
in Teenage Talk' by Stenstrom, Andersen and Hasund, where they simply
guarantee anonymity for all participants.

Can anybody shed some light on this issue? For my own practical reasons, my
focus is on the UK, but of course would be very interested in what the
situation is in other parts of the world.

Sorry if this has been covered before. I found threads in the archives on
issues of permission related to copyright and written texts as well as
permission and websites but nothing specifically related to this issue.

I will post a summary in due course


Cameron Smart
Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
Hong Kong

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