Copyright and online images

Copyright and images

I’ve had a few questions about copyright, particularly regarding the use and/or republishing of online images (NB. my comments are for guidance and are not formal legal advice).

The first question to ask yourself is: am I publishing this for the world to see; or is this for my own private use or published within a defined educational context? If it is latter, there is a lot of latitude in what you can use. If it is former, then you need to be much more careful: just because it’s available online doesn’t mean you are able to republish it. Below are some clear and helpful guides about UK copyright law:

Creative Commons is a search facility allows searches of a variety of databases including Google Images and finds images available under a variety of different licenses including ones to change/modify content and some to use commercially (with proper attribution, of course):

Whatever you are doing with an image, it is always good scholarly practice (and good ethics!) to cite your source and acknowledge attribution. Think of an image like you would a book: someone has created it and someone has published it, and you need to provide a reference so that you acknowledge this creative work and so that others can see where you’ve got it from. Of course, some images are of, or from, books but the same applies: cite the full publication details of the book, then where it is / who has published the image. For a guide to referencing in English coursework at BSU, see the ‘Numeric Guide to Referencing’:




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