This question was originally posted here, without consensus

I often record my flight training without audio and post some of it to YouTube. I would like to add in audio recording of what I hear and say over the radio as well, but my ground school suggested that it was illegal to make radio transmissions public. On the other hand, I see youtube videos all the time that do include ATC voice traffic.

Can someone clarify for me if it is permissible to record and make public radio transmissions recorded during my own flights?

If it makes any difference, my videos are not/will not be monetized and and my flight training takes place in Canada.

The relevant law states:

Radio operators and all persons who become acquainted with radiocommunications are bound to preserve the privacy of those communications. In accordance with subsection 9(2) of the Radiocommunication Act, no person shall divulge the contents, or the existence, of communications transmitted, received or intercepted by a radio station, except as permitted by the addressee of the message or his/her accredited agent, or to authorized officials of the Government of Canada, officers of the court or an operator of a telecommunications system as is necessary to forward or deliver the communication. These restrictions do not apply to a message of distress, urgency, safety or to messages addressed to “ALL STATIONS” (i.e. weather reports, storm warnings, etc.). As outlined in section 9.1 of the Act, any person who violates the privacy of communications is liable, on summary conviction, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a person other than an individual, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01397.html

A few more considerations:

  1. It sounds like I am allowed to disclose communications for which I am the addressee. However, it will certainly occur that my recording will include interactions between ATC and other pilots, for which I am not.

  2. LiveATC has channels that regularly broadcast a subset of ATC radio chatter, so these stations are effectively public already. But I do not know if they have special permission to do this.

  • Wouldn't one consider an ATC broadcast to be a message of safety addressed to all stations? Anyone with a receiver will hear ATC messages, which provide safety to the aircraft operators and passengers. It is quite common for USA based ATC transmissions to be publicly available. – fred_dot_u Mar 9 '20 at 13:56
  • ATC regularly addresses specific aircraft by call sign. It is true that everyone can hear it, but the addressee is usually explicitly stated. According to a comment on the other thread, the US is irregular in regards to their radio privacy laws. – KBriggs Mar 9 '20 at 14:02
  • But it is entirely possible that all ATC broadcasts are considered safety messages as far as that law goes. I would like to know for sure. – KBriggs Mar 9 '20 at 16:19

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