Insurance and Licenses: What Do I Need to Move My Classes Online?

A guide on how insurances and licenses could impact your online classes.

We recently published a blog on 5 ways to take your classes into digital spaces as many physical classes around the globe are suspended temporarily. If you haven’t had a chance to read this post yet, our blog has lots of information on the reasons how and why this may be a consideration for your club during this time of crisis. In this blog post we will be focusing on the finer details of insurances and licences you need to make this move in order to keep your club moving forward and your cash flow moving. 

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Insurance: It’s important you know your stuff

Last time we suggested that you get in touch with your insurance provider to assess whether your policy covered you for teaching lessons online. Different insurance companies will provide different policies with varying levels of cover but don’t let that put you off trying to get online classes up and running. The simplest way of finding out whether you are covered is by getting in touch with your provider to discuss your policy to see what you are covered for and then you will know which direction you can move in. 

Many insurance companies are risk averse so your policy may not cover you from live streaming or pre-recording content. However, we did mention previously that if you’re not covered, an option to consider is getting parents to sign a waiver on the content of the videos that you’ll be producing. You may also consider creating a disclaimer which can be issued to parents via email which requires signing or confirmation that they understand the risks associated with online classes. For good practice, it is also a good idea to include this disclaimer at the start of any content you post online. Your disclaimer will need to cover important aspects such as who will take responsibility for checking candidates are eligible to participate in online classes; it should state that participants take on the onus of risk; and that you/your staff/club are not liable or responsible for any harm during the participation of activities. You should also consider whether there is anything else you need to include that is specific to your club and activities you carry out. 

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Music Licensing: There’s lots to know

It is important to make sure that you have the right music licences if you are pre-recording or live streaming as without these, it could potentially be detrimental to your club as you may infringe copyright laws. Whilst this may create a slight workload for you at the start, if you want to share your work and keep your club moving forward, research at the beginning of this process is key. To help you get started, we’ve done some research to see what types of licenses you may require and best places to research if you want to learn more about how copyright music may impact your lessons. 

If you are going to be hosting the content of your lessons in a ‘parent only’ area on your website which includes music - and content is not issued via livestream - then you’ll likely need a music license. The license type you will need will depend on what you want to do with your content, how customers will be able to access it and what the annual turnover of your club is. You can find out more about music licensing, license types and general information about using music online in the UK, head over to the PSR website.

With YouTube and Facebook, the music licensing body PSR makes it clear that their licenses will not cover your club for using content on third party websites or social media platforms including YouTube and Facebook. Using any copyright music in your content on either site will result in your content being taken down or muted which means your classes won't get off to the great start you had envisaged. However, YouTube does have a free music library which can be used and is available for you to download to use on a music project. Before you begin using these to create videos for your club, it is worth looking at YouTube’s ‘Usage restrictions on claimed music page’ to keep yourself informed. There are however some other ways that you could consider to get music into your content to keep customers entertained. 

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Royalty Free Music: But remember it’s not free

The first thing you could consider is royalty free music. Now to get this clear from the start, royalty free music doesn’t necessarily mean it comes free of cost as often you will pay a fee for something once and be able to use this multiple times. However it is important that you inform yourself and understand what this could mean for your club and how it could be of benefit to you. Shutterstock is a large ‘leading global provider of high-quality licensed images, videos, and music’ where creators of music, images and videos submit their work and users can buy at a cost. You may only be looking to buy one or two tracks to keep you going in this time and choose to focus on updating the content of your activity type as a workaround as you open your digital doors. 

Friends and Family: They’re there to help

Look to your work team or friends to find out if they have secret musical talents to see if they can help you compose music for your content. As long as you have their permission to use it and agree to your terms, this could be something very exciting for your club. 

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Home Music Choices:

You may simply record the content you want your customers to be able to learn and continue doing what they love. If you focus on the content and get that part right, you can ask them to choose their own songs or set up a recommended list to play at home. By doing it this way, you are not live streaming or pre-recording with music and infringing any copyright issues.  

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To conclude, it is important that you have a clear direction on how your club will proceed during this time of uncertainty. If you are thinking of offering online classes, then knowing exactly what you are covered for will be key in whether or not you can actually provide this service. Insurance is a tricky topic but you will need to speak with your provider to know exactly what they’ll cover you for. Equally important are music licenses. You will need to firstly decide how you would like to post your content and determine whether copyrighted music will pose implications for your content. It is important at this stage not to panic - as difficult as that may be - and make the time to carefully plan and understand this process to get it right. We’re covering lots of ideas on how clubs can effectively manage this process, so head to our blog homepage for more inspiration.

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