Image Copyright

Crash Course in Copyright (Georgia Harper, University of Texas)

Fair use considerations

  • nonprofit or profit use
  • creative or factual work
  • image changed to new work
  • impact on economic value of work


  • use public domain material
  • get license to use image
  • look for Web creator’s statement of permissable use and for suggested credit line. See examples below.

“The maps, graphics, images, and text found on our website, unless stated otherwise, are within the Public Domain. You may download and use them. Credit back to the USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory is appreciated. If any material is referenced “Image courtesy of …” or “Information courtesy of …”, etc., then please contact that source for permission for use.” – Cascades Volcano Observatory Photo Archives, United States Geophysical Service “There are no known restrictions on these photographs. However…” – American Memory: Photographs, Prints, and Drawings, Library of Congress–Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865– Restrictions on Selected… “Yes, you may link to any of my pages (and thank you), but DO NOT link directly to an image.” – Carol Gerten’s Fine Art–A Virtual Art Museum: FAQ, Scans “Digital images in SPIRO are surrogate representations of real photographs, slides, and drawings. U.S. government images and images published prior to 1921 are most likely in the public domain, and may be available for use without further permission. All other digital images in SPIRO probably represent copyrighted works and should not be downloaded or otherwise used without permission of the copyright holder. Publication of Architecture Slide Library images in any form, such as in dissertations, theses, personal and course web pages is not permitted without the expressed written permission of the copyright holder. Papers written in fulfillment of class assignments are not considered publications. Full source information for images used in class assignments should be acknowledged in footnotes, captions, or bibliographies.” – Spiro, Architecture Slide Library, University of California at Berkeley. “May I put unaltered images or text from the Metropolitan Museum’s website on a file server at my school or museum? Yes, if there is no charge for the user and if electronic distribution is of limited term to your school of museum only. The images must remain unaltered. All of the accompanying caption information must be included without alteration, and the citation should include the URL “” – Metropolitan Museum of Art, Terms and Conditions


Artists Rights Society: Copyright Basics

(more than 40,000 international artists represented)

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts (CAA  (College Art Association) Fair Use and FAQs)



(Boston University)

Copyright and Art Issues

Christine Sundt, University of Oregon (updated April 2011)

Copyright Clearance Center

Commercial site.  “Faculty and staff at more than a thousand institutions license content through CCC for coursepacks, e-reserves, course management systems, interlibrary loan and other classroom and educational uses.”

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

1 January 2012  (Cornell University)  See also Fair Use Checklist.

Creative Commons

(“a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright”)

Getting Permission

(University of Texas)

Intellectual Property and the Arts (College Art Association)

“The list below provides basic information regarding terms and conditions of image use at institutions, with links that lead to the homepage or image resources page of the organization. Descriptions for each entry are provided by the institutions; the tags, such as “Fee for Commercial Use” or “Fee Discount for Academic Publication” are provided by CAA to guide the user in choosing resources appropriate to his or her needs.”

Pubic Domain and Creative Commons: A Guide to Works You Can Use Freely

(Tammy Ravas, Mansfield Library, University of Montana)

WATCH (Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders)

“a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent figures in other creative fields” (Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin) Go To Downloading