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Copyright explained

Using image, film and sound

Images, films and sound recordings are all subject to copyright. This applies whether they are published or unpublished.

Copyright is usually owned by the creator – a photographer, illustrator, artist – apart from where material was created as part of employment (for example, a camera operator working for a production company) where the employer usually owns copyright.

Using images

You can use images for limited educational purposes as part of the University’s CLA licence (PDF).

If you have found an image and want to share it publically or use it commercially then you need to get permission or fully understand any licence.

Copyright covers images found on social networks, Google Images, image databases such as Wikimedia Commons, websites, as well as those appearing in print.

Taking a photograph of a copyrighted image does not grant you right to use it.

Take care not to infringe anyone’s privacy by using their image. Check whether any people depicted (especially children) are unidentifiable or that they have granted permission for their image to be used.

Images are classed as “artistic works” under copyright law. Therefore, copyright lasts for 70 years after the creator of the work dies.

Using film

Films are copyright of the main creators (director, screenwriter, or composer). The film soundtrack will have different rights owners.

You may be able to copy material from Films or TV broadcasts for limited educational use using the University’s Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence. To understand what you can and can’t do with this license please review the section on How to use your ERA License.

Be cautious of material you find on YouTube, Google Videos and similar sites, especially material posted by someone other than the copyright owner.

Copyright lasts for 70 years after the last principal director, screenwriter, or composer dies.

Using sound recordings

Sound recordings are copyright material, including that included in films and broadcast programmes.

You must not copy them unless:

A single musical, broadcast or film recording may involve multiple rights owners: there will be rights in the music, any lyrics, the performance, and the recording.

Downloading music files from the internet without permission is illegal. Your use of University IT facilities may be withdrawn if you use them to infringe copyright by making, storing or transmitting illegal copies of music or other files.