project home page
background & more information
finding the images you need
on-line galleries
making your own
taking your own
digital image sizes
digital image sizes
file size
adding images to documents
paper size
image file types
jpg or gif
screen prints and clip art
screen prints
clip art
the problems with text
line length
text boxes
text images
free tools
image editing
web page design


The common law position is that all creative works are granted unlimited protection from copying. Copyright legislation was introduced to limit this protection rather than expand it.

Original work that you may find published on a web page or in a document or book is protected. That means that the copyright owner will usually need to give permission for an item to be used by you somewhere else.

Limited use of works may be possible for non-commercial research and private study, criticism or review, and teaching in schools. But if you are copying large amounts of material and/or making multiple copies then you may still need permission. Also it is generally necessary to include an acknowledgement of the name of the copyright work and its author.

The on-line image galleries referred to in this project have clear statements on their sites which outline the extent to which they may be used without seeking permission. They also describe how to include an acknowledgment of the source. Licence terms will describe how you are entitled to use images included in software. Searching through Google images, however, produces images which belong to other people’s or organisations’ web sites and it is there that you would need to check before using them. Whilst it may be easy to find what you want that way, it may still be against the law to use it!

Regardless of where the work originated, if you intend to copy it in the UK it is UK legislation that prevails.

Those working in the education sector may find that their institution has some exemptions which should make it easier for you to copy things and use them there and a chat with your Librarian may be a good idea. This area is complex.

In practice, you will find that you get a wide variation in responses to asking for permission and many organisations are, indeed, happy to see their logos and products promoted in a responsible fashion. Without condoning the use of others’ images without their specific consent, therefore, it may be the case that including items in innocuous handouts or notes of limited circulation and life is unlikely to result in your being sued. You should, however, always include a note of whose it is and where it came from as matter of good manners if nothing else.

At this link is an example of the benefits of good practice

Detailed information is available on the Copyright Directorate’s web site and a nice summary and discussion are can be found at Wikipedia’s site

Special considerations apply to photos you take of people who should give permission for use of their image (in exchange for free prints if you're lucky). A signed Model Release Form would document this but may make full classroom pics a pain! Here's a sample form.

^  top
page updated by Andrew Hill, Dunstable College 23 July, 2006