Definition of images
Images (artistic works) as defined in copyright legislation include:
- building plans and blueprints
- maps, charts and graphs
- drawings, paintings and sculptures
- photographs and illustrations
What is allowed?
You may copy an image without seeking permission:
- for your own non-commercial private study or research
- for examination purposes, including assessed essays, dissertations or theses.
However, you may not use them for any other purpose unless they are out of copyright, have obtained explicit permission in writing or e-mail from the copyright owner or clearly state that they are freely available for teaching purposes or are licensed for use in teaching and learning materials. See the section below on images for teaching and learning purposes.
Images included in examination papers are copied under a statutory permission in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and may not be further distributed outside the examination setting or to anyone other than the examinees and examiners. Images must therefore be removed from archived examination papers and may not be distributed to subsequent class groups in past papers.
When is permission required?
The copying of images is more highly restricted than most other types of copyright material to safeguard the rights of creators to profit from their works.
If images are not explicitly covered by a licence or a notice authorising copying, permission is required:
- to give out copies to students in handouts
- to copy images and use them in the VLE, online archives, the intranet or web pages
- to copy images for use in PowerPoint presentations
- to include in a published work
The Arts and Humanities Data Service, Design and Artists Copyright Society and TASI: Technical Advisory Service for Images websites provide some guidance regarding copyright issues and tracing the copyright owners of artistic works.
If you need further advice or guidance in applying for clearance, please contact the Copyright and Digital Resources Officer who will be happy to help.
What images can be used for teaching and learning purposes?
Brunel staff and students have access to images from many print and internet resources and subscription databases which may be used for teaching and learning purposes, subject to individual terms and conditions of use. Details are given below as well as a list of known sources of images.
The Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Trial Photocopying and Scanning Licence may cover the limited use of images for educational purposes. See the web page on scanning for information on the terms of the licence and procedures for obtaining authorisation.
To avoid potential copyright infringement or breach of contractual agreements, all staff and students are required to check terms and conditions of relevant licences or copyright statement thoroughly prior to use in all cases, to ensure that all intended uses of copyright material are covered. Where you are unsure of permitted uses, please e-mail the Copyright and Digital Resources Officer.
- Scanning web page
Using images from print sources
Images contained in books, journals and magazines covered by the University's Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Trial Photocopying and Scanning Licence may be reproduced in print handouts, or may be disembedded from the text for use in the VLE or PowerPoint presentations. Images should be used in the context in which they were published.
Scanning images from CLA licensed material for use in the VLE or in PowerPoint presentations is permitted provided:
- the source is acknowledged
- has been published in the UK
- and is not on the CLA excluded works lists.
All images scanned for electronic use in the VLE or PowerPoint must be recorded and reported to email@example.com and must be accompanied by the CLA copyright notice, which will be attached by the Copyright and Digital Resources Officer.
The CLA's Excluded Works and Categories list should be checked prior to photocopying or scanning and an up to date version is published on the CLA website. There are two lists of excluded works - one which applies to paper to paper copying, and a list of licensed works specifically excluded from paper to digital copying. Works excluded from paper to paper copying are automatically excluded from scanning.
Other terms and conditions apply - see the web pages on scanning for further information.
Any CLA licensed material which is not reported or does not bear the CLA copyright notice would be in breach of the licence contract. If any infringing material is found during an external copyright compliance audit, this may have legal repercussions for the University and for individuals.
- List of works excluded from scanning under the CLA Higher Education Licence
- List of excluded works and categories under the CLA Higher Education Licence
Using images from websites
Google Images is a powerful search engine which many people use to quickly source images for use in teaching and learning. However, this method of sourcing images to use for teaching and learning is not recommended as Google indexes material on the internet, regardless of the copyright status. Therefore, any images found may not necessarily be copyright free and it may be necessary to seek permission, which can be a lengthy process. Additionally, many websites use third party copyright material for which they do not have clearance and are therefore not legally able to authorise any reproduction.
The section on image collections below contains links to sites with collections of images which may be used for some educational purposes, subject to individual terms and conditions.
Image collections for teaching and learning
Digital image collections on the internet
There are many image collections on the internet that allow free use for teaching purposes. Each has its own terms and conditions for use. Collections which may be useful to Brunel staff and students include:
- AHDS Visual Arts: fine art, textiles, design, politics and other areas
- CalPhotos: plants, animals, fossils, people and landscapes
- Department of Energy Digital Photo Archive: thousands of energy related images
- Free Images: a large variety of high quality photographic images covering sport, technology, buildings, the home and workplace
- ImageBank: covers biosciences
- National Archive of Geological Photographs: the British Geological Survey's collection of over 100,000 images
- V&A Image Database: thousands of images of objects from the V and A's collections covering ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and textiles.
Finding images for teaching and learning online
If you wish to develop your image searching skills, TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images), has launched a free online tutorial aimed at staff and students in education.
The tutorial is designed to help you learn techniques for finding copyright cleared images that can be used for teaching and learning quickly and efficiently.
The tutorial is available at: http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/tutorial/imagesearching/
Image collections in subscription databases
The Library subscribes to many electronic databases, which contain collections of images. The subscription terms may include permission to use materials for non-commercial educational purposes in lecture presentations, handouts or the VLE. Please check terms and conditions prior to use.
Some databases which can be used for some, or all of the above, include:
- Academic Search Premier: a US database covering text as well as images in several subject areas including anthropology, politics, sociology and psychology. It can be accessed via the Databases A-Z web page.
We will be adding to this list. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you are aware of any collections of image resources which may be useful.
The University does not have a blanket licence to copy images (such as photographs and diagrams) and then to store them as slides. If you would like to do this, please e-mail email@example.com, and we will consider taking out a Design and Artists Copyright Society Licence or investigate alternatives such as the purchase of copyright cleared images.
The Ordnance Survey website offers considerable information regarding the copying of maps and the use of digital map data. They have a useful Get-a-map service which allows use of maps for teaching and on web sites.