Your responsibilities

When you use image resources from the Internet you have certain responsibilities:

  • It is up to you, the user, to find out if and how you may use the resource without violating copyright law
  • The owner(s) of a resource have rights over how it is used, and you are legally obliged to respect these rights
  • The issues of ownership and copyright mean you may have to pay to use the resource, or obtain permission to use it, or credit it in a particular way
  • There may also be constraints on how you can use the material, for example in what context you may use it, how many times you may use it, how you manipulate the image and whether you can embed or link to it

Copyright for image resources

The issue of copyright surrounding image resources can be complicated. However, there are excellent free resources available to help you check or develop your understanding.

Have a look at some of the following:

Jisc Legal: Intellectual Property Rights

Jisc Digital Media

Licences and Licensing

We're going to look at the Creative Commons licensing scheme in detail to see how this scheme can be applied to image resources.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organisation that has defined and introduced a system of licensing written in plain, non-technical language.

Prior to Creative Commons a gulf existed between:

  • full copyright protection (where almost no use is allowed without permission)
  • public domain (where permission is not required at all)

Creative Commons defines and clarifies the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright (all rights reserved) and the public domain (no rights reserved).

Creative Commons licences can enable people to copy, distribute, use and alter works according to the particular strength of licence associated with them without having to contact copyright owners. Creators/owners choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work:

  • Attribution.
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work - and derivative works based upon it - but only if they give credit the way you request.
  • Noncommercial.
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work - and derivative works based upon it - but for noncommercial purposes only.
  • No Derivative Works.
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
  • Share Alike.
    You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

To view the more information on these licences visit Creative Commons: Licence Your Work (


When using any media provided under a Creative Commons licence be careful to evaluate the work you find. It is not uncommon for people to upload content that is not their own work which they do not have permission to use.

Sum Up

In this section you have exploree:

  • Your responsibilities when using video resources found on the Internet
  • Issues surrounding copyright
  • The Creative Commons licensing scheme
Last modified: Monday, 17 March 2014, 12:09 PM