In the UK, Copyright Law protects images and photographs which are considered to be artistic works. It also protects films, broadcasts and sound recordings. In general, you will need permission to copy such works for educational purposes unless:

  • the items are out of copyright, you are the copyright holder; you have explicit permission to use the image from the copyright owner; you have implicit permission to use the image under licence / terms and conditions.
  • You are using small amounts of the work under the exception that allows material to be copied for the purposes of instruction. Please remember this exception is subject to fair dealing and covers single copies, rather than multiple copies for classroom use.

If a colleague has produced materials which you want to include in your web site it is only courteous to discuss this with them. Remember, permission is also required to adapt material produced by someone else.

For films, copyright expires seventy years after the last to die of:

  • the principal director; the author of the screenplay; the author of the dialogue; the composer of the music created for and used in the film.

For sound recordings, broadcasts, cable programmes and computer-generated works, copyright lasts until fifty years after the end of the year in which they were first made, released, broadcast or included in a cable programme service. Please note that off-air recordings of broadcast TV and radio can be made under the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence that is held by the School (see below). We have access to a vast library of broadcast TV and radio content via the Box of Broadcasts service.

Images, including photographs, are protected for 70 years after the year of a known author’s death. For works of unknown authorship, copyright expires 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made or made available to the public.

Copyright free collections
There are several image and multimedia collections available which include copyright-free or openly licensed images which you can use in your teaching. The images can be incorporated into your PowerPoint presentations and handouts or your online course.

We recommend wherever possible you use image and video licensed under Creative Commons.

You can find creative commons images on:

Make sure cite your sources and attribute the image properly.

Recorded Lectures
LTI provide copyright advice and guidance for staff using the lecture recording system.

ERA Licence
It is possible to include TV / radio excerpts which have been recorded under the ERA (Educational Recording Agency Licence). An excerpt may be shown, but not edited to incorporate other material. The Box of Broadcasts service is the best source of content of this nature.

Any excerpt must be clearly identified with the programme title, date of recording and channel, together with a statement saying it was recorded under the terms of the ERA Licence. However, this material cannot be distributed to students outside the UK.

Further Help
LTI on:
Tel: 020 7849 4697

Training and workshops:
Training is available on a one-to one basis and in small groups. See the Digital Literacy programme to access courses for academic staff, VLE course designers and PhD Students.

Other resources:
Powerpoint slides and additional resources are also available in Moodle on Copyright, the internet and teaching online (Log in required).

Film reels by Holger Ellgaard on Wikimedia commons

Film reels by Holger Ellgaard on Wikimedia commons

External links:
British Universities Video & Film Council

JISC Guide to Using Digital Media in new learning models

The Education Recording Agency Ltd