Tools for managing and sharing information: Copyright-free images

Copyright basics

Copyright is an intellectual property right giving legal protection given to original intellectual and creative work by authors, artists, musicians, photographers and others. It exists to prevent the unauthorised reproduction of work (including photocopying, scanning, recording, publishing), and safeguards the rights of creators and owners to profit from their intellectual property. Only the copyright owner is entitled to authorise copying from an original work. Original works are automatically protected by copyright law in the UK, whether or not the © symbol is used, and include:

  • Written work such as books or articles
  • Typographical arrangements of written work
  • Artistic works such as paintings, drawings and photographs
  • Moving images such as film, video and DVD
  • Work in electronic form such as web pages, software and databases
  • Music in written, recorded and electronic form

What is copyright and why is it important?

The University's Copyright Officer provides the following services to staff and students:

  • advice on the use of copyright material under copyright legislation and licensing;
  • training on copyright issues;
  • advice on how to obtain clearance for your needs.

What is Creative Commons?

With a tagline 'Share, Remix, Reuse - Legally' Creative Commons was created as a way of bridging a gap between very restrictive copyright law and the desire for a free internet. So as a creator it provides you with a way of protecting your work (whether it be a photograph, a blog, website or set of slides) at a level you choose, and as a consumer to allow you to use the work of others without fear of legal reprisal.