Copying Images and the Law
Copyright law limits the range of images you are permitted to copy – and the ways in which you can copy them. Images may include:
- Still images: photographs, charts, diagrams, maps, models, plans, tables, drawings, buildings, lithographs, paintings, sculptures, woodcuts
- Moving images: broadcasts, films, videos
- You need to check for permissions and abide by any restrictions imposed within the relevant publisher/website/blog - note that website owners may not own image copyright - if in doubt ask permission from the copyright holder.
- Where you are permitted to copy an image, you always need to reference both the source (e.g. website) and copyright owner in order to avoid plagiarism and the related potential penalties - also note the guide to referencing images
- Adapting images: most images must not be manipulated; if you are permitted to copy an image and also wish to adapt it, you must gain permission from the copyright holder
- Where copying is permitted, images can only be used for non-commercial purposes i.e. education - this includes images made available under Creative Commons
- Examinations and theses: you may copy whatever you need for educational purposes - if the material is published, or made available on either Ethos or Opus, any copyright material should be removed unless you have permission from the copyright holder
- Privacy laws: if you want to use images that contain people, in particular children, you need to seek their permission
- Copyright is retained by a photographer or artist for 70 years until after their death
- Logos and some cartoons may never be reproduced, even to promote the websites/printed material they come from
- Performing rights: if you wish to perform or film a play/musical/opera, you may need to seek permission to do so
Specific rules for coursework and teaching
- Online images: check the ‘Terms and Conditions’ in the relevant website - links to ‘Terms’ are frequently located at the bottom of homepages - often, students are allowed to make a single copy of an image for coursework
- Printed images: students are allowed to make a single copy of an image for coursework
- Sharing: coursework should not be published or shared on the internet, e.g. Facebook, without asking permission from the copyright owner
- Online images: check the ’Terms and Conditions’ within the relevant website - a link to the ‘Terms’ is often found at the bottom of the homepage. If permission is granted, only one copy of an image may be made. Some sites allow more than one copy of the image to be used for educational purposes.
- Printed images: under the CLA license, multiple print copies of printed material are permitted i.e. one per student enrolled on a course. However, some publishers and works are excluded from this license: CLA License restrictions.
- Publication: images used must not be published without permission, either electronically (e.g. OPUS, Facebook…) or in print
- Moodle: if adding images to a VLE course, you need to also add a link to the homepage of the source website within the VLE
- Public access forums: you should not link courses or coursework to such forums e.g. Facebook
- Disembedded images from scanned material: to use these, refer to Scanning Guidelines