Images and copyright

Where to find images that you can reproduce without having to seek specific copyright permission.

Someone will own the copyright in any photograph or other image that you find on the Web.  Finding out who owns the copyright - and getting their permission to reproduce the image for your teaching or other work may not be easy.

However, there are some sources of images which you can re-use without needing to seek additional permission.

Always check through the usage restrictions on each image you wish to use as these may vary, even amongst images you have found from the same source.

The University Image Library (Asset Bank)

The University of Leicester's Image Library contains around 2,000 images of University buildings, events and academic life.  You need to register to view and download the full collection. Terms and conditions on the use of images are available at the point of download.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides licences to enable people to share their work with others using clear copyright terms.  The search provided on the Creative Commons website allows you to search content from other organisations that they have made available for use under certain conditions.

Pexels and Unsplash

Images found on Pexels and Unsplash are licensed under a Creative Commons Zero licence, which means they can be freely reused for any legal purpose. 

Flickr

Flickr, the photo sharing website, provides an option on the Advanced Search option to search only Creative Commons content.

The British Library also have a collection on Flickr which have no known copyright restrictions.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a database of images, sounds and videos.  Most content can be freely reused, but you will need to check content for individual restrictions.

morgueFile

morgueFile provides access to some free reference images.  morgueFile also allows you to search Dreamstime, which provides images which must be purchased.

Jisc Internet for Image Searching tutorial

This tutorial will help you use the internet to find copyright cleared images

Digital Inspiration

Their Can I Use This Image On My Website? flowchart is a quick way to establish whether you might be able to use an image

EU Screen

EUscreen offers free online access to videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives. Explore selected content from early 1900s until today.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

These collections contain many prints, photographs, maps and manuscripts which are free to use without restriction.  Click on the search box and the option to choose only Public Domain materials appears.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum have digitised many images from their collections which are available for certain reuses.  Check their terms and conditions to ensure your proposed use is covered.  

Moving Image Gateway

Provided by the BUFVC, Moving Image Gateway includes nearly 2000 websites of moving image and sound material, subdivided into over 40 subject areas. 

Find DVD

Provided by the BUFVC, the Find DVD database details 30,000 DVD titles either currently or once in distribution and can be searched by title, participant, distributor, producer or keyword.

Snappy Goat

Over 14 million Public Domain/CCO stock images, clip-art, historical photos and more, all in one searchable database.

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