Leeds University Library

Images and the internet

Using images found on the internet

The website where you find your image may allow its material to be freely reused, or used for specific purposes and/or with specific conditions. Look for a statement or link on the site's homepage, often labelled "Copyright" or "Conditions of use". If in doubt, email the site owner and ask for permission to use the image.

Check with the site owner before linking to an image which is on a page other than the homepage. Some site owners may wish all users to see information on their homepage such as restrictions, warnings, etc, or they may wish to record and maximise the amount of traffic on their homepage for advertising purposes. If the site owner does impose any restrictions when you ask to link to an image, please accept them.

Bear in mind that the site owner may not own the copyright to an image they make available and that you may need to make other enquiries in order to use the image, especially if you wish to adapt or change it.

If you are a member of staff wishing to show your students an image you do not have permission to copy, you can still display it by directly linking to the source webpage in the classroom. 

Putting images on the internet

You must first check that permission has been given for them to be published in this way. If you are not the rights owner and you do not know that the artist/photographer has been dead for 70 years, you will need explicit permission to publish.

If the photograph contains images of people (especially children) you must also check under privacy law that they are unidentifiable or that they gave permission for their image to be used.

If you want to use images in your teaching material, it is best to put them on a restricted-access website (such as the VLE) rather than an open-access page visible from anywhere in the world. This is particularly important where you have secured permission to use or adapt images in a particular way to support your teaching.