You can use images in your research under copyright law as long as
You can't usually rely on fair dealing for making multiple copies, or making images available to the general public (publishing). These activities would require permission from the copyright owners (usually the photographer, the artist, the publisher or an Image library such as Getty Images). All images should be properly attributed. See Moral Rights.
This information only applies if the images you are using are still in copyright. Images are only in the public domain if copyright protection has expired. In Australia, photos taken before 1955 are out of copyright and if an artist died before 1 January 1955 their work is also out of copyright. All other photos are protected for the life of the photographer plus 70 years. Protection for paintings, etchings and other types of image also lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years. See duration of copyright for more information.
Creative commons is a type of licensing that often allows use in research or teaching. But not all creative commons licenses are the same. There are six main licence types with quite different terms and conditions. These terms must be followed, just like any other licensed material that you use.
All Creative Commons licences require attribution. Best practice attribution is:
Non-commercial use may restrict use of the image on social media where personal postings may be moneterised (by selling advertising or information)
No derivatives means you are not permitted to alter the image e.g. may restrict ability to crop or change the colour tone
Share alike means you can only use or made the new work available under the same conditions as the creative commons material you want to use e.g. if you copy a short film that has a creative commons license non-commercial share-alike, that means your dissemination of anything including that film must also be non-commercial and licensed under creative commons as share-alike.
NOTE: Anyone can take an image and put a creative commons license on it. Consider whether it is likely that the webmaster or supposed copyright owner actually can make the image available e.g. ask whether an ordinary user would have the rights to popular film or TV images or cartoons
Other useful licensed databases for education resources are at Copyright free and Creative Commons resources
Consult the Copyright Adviser for further advice
You can use images in your teaching under copyright law as long as
NOTE: Some images are online without permission of the copyright owner. If there are no citation details (especially name of photographer) this may show that the image is unauthorised. Any licence terms attached would not necessarily apply. Permission has to come from the legitimate copyright owner.
All images should be properly attributed. See Moral Rights.
We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand. Information for Indigenous Australians