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Copyright: Audio-Visual Material

This guide provides information on copyright infromation, and the reuse of third party materials.

Audio-Visual Material

This section provides advice specifically related to the sourcing and reuse of audio-visual materials in your work. 

Using Images or Film

You may be asked to include images or film in your assignments or projects.

It is important to understand that, unless explicitly stated, any image or film you find or can access on the internet should be considered protected under copyright law.

What images can you use?

If you want to use images or film and plan on sharing your work outside of your course, you must be able to demonstrate that they are not protected under copyright law, are accessible through Creative Commons, or owned by you.

For work only submitted as part of your course- NOT shared with outside partied, you can use images / film found on the internet through fair dealing.  However, you MUST provide an accurate attribution of the work as well as a reference. 

All students are expected to comply with copyright legislation, and could be sued for distributing third-party copyrighted materials.  Clear explanation of the requirements of copyright law, and good academic practice, including plagiarism, is covered in our Assignment Toolkit, as well as this guide under Changes to Copyright law.

Royalty-free image and film resources

Using Recorded and Printed Music

There are slightly different laws that apply to recorded music in comparison to printed music.

Regardless of the format of music you intend to use, it is important to remember that, much like images and film, all content you encounter should be considered protected under copyright law unless explicitly stated otherwise. 

What music can you use?

Recorded music, including film, TV programmes and radio is copyrighted material. You should also make note that a single recording can involve multiple rights owners, due to the inclusion of music, lyrics, performance and recording production.

Under the recent (June 2014) changes to the copyright law, all types of copyright works can be copied for the sole purpose of illustration for instruction - so lecturers will be able to use extracts from films, sound recordings and broadcasts as well as text, music and artistic works to illustrate a teaching point.  

Students may include music (both recorded and printed) in their work through fair dealing, but are limited to what is required for the purpose- which must not have an impact on the rightsholder.


As with images, any resources used in this way must not made available to, or seen by, an audience of people not connected with the University, and sources must be properly acknowledged and referenced.


All images included in this guide are available from Flickr through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0