Copyright guide: Finding images, audio and video

Increasingly, educational resources are being provided through open licences (such as Creative Commons) to facilitate their use in learning and teaching. A guide to the principal Creative Commons licences, explaining what you can and cannot do with a file, is available from the Quick Links box on the right. Even if a file is copyright-free or available through an open licence it is essential that appropriate attribution is given. See the Quick Links box on the right for an example of good practice in attribution.

The following are a few sources of open educational material and resources for which the Library has paid a subscription. Terms of use vary so check each resource:

Science Photo Library (images, video)
A paid-for service from the University Library. An extensive library of images and video clips covering a wide variety of subjects from the environment, space, and technology to healthcare, flora and fauna. University of Sheffield staff and students may use the images and video clips only for non-commercial educational purposes within the University. They can be reproduced an unlimited number of times and in any media within the University, however, images or video clips must not be used for promotional activities, for example on merchandise or in prospectuses or exhibitions.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) (video)
A paid-for service from the University Library. University of Sheffield students and staff can record programmes from over 65 free-to-air channels, and search an extensive archive, as well as creating clips, and compiling playlists. Please note you can only access or use BoB in the United Kingdom. If you are in another country the licence does not apply, even if you are an authorised user in the UK. BoB allows you to incorporate videos (only by way of the BoB link/embed codes), in printed and electronic coursework or study packs hosted on a secure network / virtual learning environment for educational purposes only. Each item must carry acknowledgement of the source and title.
Full licence terms and conditions

Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) (video)
A paid-for service from the University Library. A peer-reviewed journal featuring online videos demonstrating a range of lab techniques relating to biological, medical, chemical and physical research. University of Sheffield students and staff have access to many subject collections and links to videos may be embedded in documents and presentations.

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) (images)
A free resource comprising over 100,000 images that are copyright-cleared for use in learning, teaching and research.

The Audiovisual Citation Guidelines give more information on how to references all types of audiovisual resources, from films and television programmes to trailers and adverts, podcasts and games.

Images, videos and audio from the following sites are available without charge and free of copyright restrictions under CC0 (Creative Commons 0) or are in the Public Domain:

Flickr - The Commons (images, video)
Microsoft Office Clipart (images)
Openclipart (images)
Pixabay (images, video)
The Public Domain Review (audio, images, video)
Vimeo - Creative Commons & Public Domain (video)
Wikimedia Commons (audio, images, video)

In summary:

  • For lecture capture, follow the guidance from JISC in the ‘3rd party rights’ and ‘Exceptions’ section of ‘Rights in a recording
  • When using a file always attribute the creator, except where it explicitly states no attribution is required
  • Be aware that the person who uploaded the file may not always have the rights to do so. If you’re in doubt, contact the creator / uploader
  • Terms of use for each source listed above vary so check everything you use.