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Whether you can copy an image depends upon how you will use the image.

Non-commercial research or private study: provided your use does not harm the economic interests of the copyright holder and the amount copied is reasonable you can make one copy. You must include an attribution statement (reference) and must not share the copy with others.

Examination or Formal Assessment: use is permitted. You must include an attribution statement (reference).

Criticism, Review or Quotation and Parody, Caricature and Pastiche: for both forms of use provided your use does not harm the economic interests of the copyright holder and the amount copied is reasonable you can include a copy in your work. You must include an attribution statement (reference).

Reporting Current Events: use of a photograph without the copyright holder's permission is not allowed.

Illustration for Learning: you can include an image in a presentation for teaching provided your use does not harm the economic interests of the copyright holder and the amount copied is reasonable. You must include an attribution statement (reference).

How to find Images for re-use

Images found on the web are more than likely not copyright free. Google Images advanced search option does allow users to tailor searches to limit the ‘types' of images that are returned including ‘labelled for reuse’. However, it is possible that people who have assigned a filter option to a particular image or set of images are not necessarily the owners of copyright.

A large number of images are also made available online using Creative Commons licences which allows the owner of a copyrighted image to specify how others might use their image.

Below is a list of sites (in alphabetical order) where you can find images that you can freely use for educational purposes. Although many images on these sites are free to use, normally you need to credit the creator in the way they specify.

  • Everystockphoto – searches across several ‘free-to-use’ image libraries
  • Flickr – The Commons – a large number ‘free-to-use’ images submitted to Flickr by institutions around the world.
  • 85 free stock photo resources and how to use them
  • FreeImages.co.uk – Free to use images for both commercial and personal use under an attribution license sites including Flickr’s Creative Commons images
  • MorgueFile – high-resolution images are free to use without attribution
  • OpenClipArt  - a free clipart gallery
  • OpenPhoto – Creative Commons-licensed images
  • PicFindr – searches across various ‘free-to-use’ image sites simultaneously
  • VADS – a selection of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK
  • Xpert  -it contains metadata and resources for almost 120,000 learning objects including images from over 8000 providers.
  • Wikimedia Commons images is a large collection of ‘free-to-use’ images.