Copyright is an incredibly important part of the law and can also be one of the most frustrating for students, particularly when it comes to finding images to accompany articles.
The main source of copyright law is the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988. This states that except for any work created while employed, copyright is owned by the person who created the work. In the UK this copyright is automatic and does not have to be applied for.
Copying all, or ‘any substantial part’, of a piece of work covered by copyright without permission is grounds to sue.
Photographs are covered by copyright law and is owned by the photographer/employer. The Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 also states if a picture has been commissioned for private and domestic use only (eg. Wedding photos), the commissioner holds ‘moral rights’ to the photos and they cannot be used without their permission.
You can find copyright free images on Google. On Google Images, from the results screen, select “Search tools” – found just under the search bar. Then click on “Usage rights” and select “Labelled for re-use” from the drop-down menu.
You can also fin copyright free images on flickr. Select “Advanced search” on the top right-hand corner of the results screen, scroll to the bottom and click the box next to “Only search within Creative Commons licensed content.”
It is worth noting that there is no copyright protection of journalism. Facts, news, ideas or information are free to be used.