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Copyright: Images & 3D

A guide to UK copyright

Help with Copyright


Images on the web

Unless you have permission from the person who produced the image, or it states clearly on the web site that you can re-use, i.e., copy that image, then you should not copy. By copying you are in breach of copyright legislation. Check the copyright statement or any terms of use. Some educational websites will allow you to copy but without clear permission you should not copy and paste material from the web.

There are sites that can help you find copyright cleared images. For example CC Search at allows you to search across a collection of image providers. Note in the search results you should click through to the license to check what the permitted usage is.

Other sites that provide images you can use in teaching  

 Wellcome images   Images from the Wellcome Collection, covering medicine, social history and contemporary healthcare.

 VADS Online resource for visual arts


Courtauld Institute of Art


World Register of Marine Species As well as an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) provides images of marine life. Images are by default open-access under the terms of the CC BY-NC-SA license, unless stated otherwise.

Geograph Britain and Ireland  The Geograph Britain and Ireland project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Great Britain and Ireland under Creative Commons licence.

Anatomy and Physiology Image Bank This collection of images is from The Sourcebook of Medical Illustration (The Parthenon Publishing Group, P. Cull, ed., 1989). The images are “copyright-free as long as they are used for educational purposes.”

 Science Fair Project Images Collection of 74 public domain images.  Please cite the source of the picture

Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons contains over 55 million freely usable media files under a variety of license.  The National Library of Wales has just shared over 600 beautiful oil paintings to Wikimedia Commons on an open license. 

History of Medicine Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) are from the historical collections of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Here you’ll find image files of a wide variety of visual media including fine art, photographs, engravings, and posters that illustrate the social and historical aspects of medicine dating from the 15th to 21st century. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is in the public domain 

Public Health Image Library A catalogue of images from the center for Disease Control.  Images are in the public domain and free of any copyright restriction.  Please credit the image. 

Image Gallery Gateway  Images from the Genomic Science program, the Human Genome Project and Microbial Genomics.  Almost all the images on these pages are original graphics created by the U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program's Biological and Environmental Research Information System (BERIS). You will recognize BERIS images by their credit lines. Permission to use these graphics is not needed, but please credit the U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program and the website All other images were provided by third parties and not created by the U.S. Department of Energy. You must contact the persons listed in the credit lines before using those images.

JR - Free to Use Photos for Journalists and Students 
So, as long as you’re not using the pictures to make money, you’re free to use any of our picture with a credit and URL back to the site.

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Public Domain Designation images 

A CC0 licence means that you can: copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission. There is no legal requirement that you attribute the image, only an expectation that you will voluntarily do so if requested.

The museum requests that you include the following caption with reproductions of the images: Artist. Title, Date. The Art Institute of Chicago. This information is available on the object page for each work.

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art has released 30,000 high quality digital images.  They are also available on CC Search.  Highlights include Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" and Albrecht Durer's "The Four Horsemen from the Apocalypse".  For further information see their FAQ.  They do not require a citation but ask you to consider using the following:

Artist. Title. Date (year). Medium. Dimensions. The Cleveland Museum of Art. Credit Line. Accession Number.  URL from

OA does not require any attribution or credit, but as an educational institution, the Museum hopes that you will include a citation. All the information necessary for proper citation of a CC0 image is available on the Collection page for that object.

A sample object credit line format is as follows: "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," followed by the specific information identified as the "Credit Line" on the Collection page for each work of art. The citation could also include the URL

Paris Musées is a public entity that oversees the 14 municipal museums of Paris, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais and the Catacombs.

They are offering more than 100,000 Open Access images as via its Collections Portal. You can download a file that contains a high definition (300 DPI) image, a document with details about the selected work and a guide of best practices for using and citing the sources of the image. 

  • Pixabay A collection of over 1.6 million royalty free stock photos and videos all published under a CC0 licence.

Most images are in the public domain and free to use. Note some images are copyright protected, so check directly beneath the image to see the fair use statement. Permission is not required to use the public domain images but they ask that you credit the original institution and contributor, when known, whenever the image is used in any publicly distributed media (see:

Free licensing sites

  • Pikiwizard is a free stock photo site with thousands of  free images, many are exclusive to the site.  Attribution is not required but they do ask for credit where possible.  Under free licensing the photographer has given the right for the images to be available for free but still retains the copyright (whereas in CC0 licensing the copyright has been waived).

3D models