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Copyright and images

For copyright purposes images are deemed to be artistic works and include the following categories: blueprints, building plans, cartoons, charts, decorative graphics, diagrams, drawings, engravings, graphs, illustrations, logos, maps, moving images, paintings, photographs, sculptures and sketches.

Unless the copyright has expired or the University of Bradford has signed up for a license covering the image(s) you intend to use in coursepacks, in Canvas or in any presentation, you must have permission from the copyright holder prior to reusing them. Copyright in artistic works lasts until 70 from the death of the creator. Other legal protection might also apply to images you wish to use. Some images (e.g. cartoons) might be trademarks; or films and broadcasts may carry associated performance rights.

Students sat in a lecture theatre.

Fair dealing and images

The fair dealing principle in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988), and as amended by subsequent legislation, permits the making of a single copy of a 'reasonable proportion' of an image as outlined above for non-commercial research and private study; criticism, review and news reporting as long as the original work has been made available to the public. Fair dealing also permits the copying for the purposes of illustration for instruction. However, the CLA license agreement over-rides the fair dealing justification for copying material for Canvas coursepacks.

Using illustrative material from journal articles

For the purposes of discussion and comparison with other data, publishers accept that scholarly articles often require direct reproduction of illustrative material like graphs, charts, figures and structures. This is considered normal practice in scholarship and enables any new work to be placed in scholarly context. Alternatively, it also allows comments on the quoted work and/or its impact. In such cases it is deemed unlikely that there will be negative impact on the demand for the original work.

In print and electronic coursepacks aimed at students the use of maximum of two figures (including tables) from a single journal article; or up to five figures from a complete journal issue is acceptable.

NB! Some complex illustrations like anatomical drawings, cartoons, maps, poetry, works of art, or photographs will require you to seek permission for reuse. The journal article author is unlikely to hold the copyright for these images.

All reuse of illustrative material must be accompanied by the appropriate acknowledgements and such material must never be modified.

The University of Bradford operates under the CLA License agreement and it is recommended that the inclusion of journal article material in Canvas is processed via the Library. More information about staff files and Canvas is available on the Library's staff file pages.

Using photographs

In general copyright in published photographs lasts the life of the creator plus 70 years. Unpublished photographs or where the photographer and date of photo are not known tend to remain within copyright until 31 Dec 2039.

The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) have written a helpful information sheet about copyright in photographs available on their website.

Images and video on the web


Consider the following online resources for images cleared for learning and teaching use:


The following online resources offer video content for learning and teaching purposes. Always check what the reuse terms are when choosing your videos.

  • Creative Commons Search
  • globalEDGE - Information, insights and learning resources on global business activities. Content may be used in the classroom environment as well as placed in Canvas. Read more on terms and conditions on the globalEDGE policies page.
  • Khan Academy - Includes curated tutorials across subjects with videos, exercises and simulations. 
  • National Science Digital Library - NSDL provides online educational resource for STEM disciplines. Content on their site is licensed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA license unless otherwise stated.
  • Prelinger Archives - Founded in 1983, the archive consists of some 5,000 digitised and videotape titles and a large collection of home movies, amateur and industrial films acquired since 2002. 
  • TED Talks - The Technology, Entertainment and Design Talks cover almost all topics from Science to Business to global issues. Terms of use are available to view on the TED Talks Usage Policy page.
  • YouTube - Search for video content and filter by 'Creative Commons'.

Contact the Library if you have any questions regarding image reuse.