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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 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 allows 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 copyright owners.

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 - always check how the images have been licensed for re-use.

  • ClipSafari  - a free clipart gallery
  • Creative Commons website has a facility to search across multiple sources for material labelled for re-use under a CC licence
  • 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
  • FreeImages.co.uk – free to use images for both commercial and personal use under an attribution license sites including Flickr’s Creative Commons images
  • Iconmonstr - discover nearly 4,000 free simple icons in 267 collections
  • MorgueFile – high-resolution images are free to use without attribution
  • Noun Project - over a million curated icons, created by a global community
  • OpenPhoto – creative Commons-licensed images
  • Pexels - all photos and videos on Pexels can be downloaded and used for free under the terms of the Pexels licence
  • Pixabay -all photos, videos and music on Pixabay can be downloaded and used for free under the terms of the Pixabay license
  • ​​​​​​​PublicDomainPictures.net is a repository for free public domain images, though some terms of use still apply so be sure to check
  • TinEye Labs search for Creative Commons images by colour
  • Unsplash.com  - Unsplash has over a million free high-resolution photos. Explore these popular photo categories on Unsplash. All photos here are free to download and use under the Unsplash License
  • 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
  • Wikimedia Commons images is a large collection of ‘free-to-use’ images
 
 
 
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