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Copyright Corner: Our new infographic for using images at work

by Roxanne MacMillan on 2021-12-20T08:30:00-04:00 in Copyright | Comments

In today’s digital world, finding and using images for presentations, education, and publication is easy…

Or is it?

People often assume that online images are free to use, perhaps because they are so easily available: Right click and save, then copy and paste into your work.

In reality, using online images is complicated because some images:

  • are free to use
  • can be used with permission, or under specific terms or licences
  • must be purchased
  • cannot be reproduced under any condition

All images are protected by copyright, and it is always your responsibility to find out if and how you are permitted to reproduce them legally and ethically.

We’ve created an infographic to help you with reusing and/or adapting images in your work.

Key considerations

  • Fair dealing

What uses are considered ‘fair’ under Canadian copyright law? Can you use any image in any educational presentation if you cite the source?

  • Creative Commons licences

A Creative Commons licence does not mean that content can be used without restrictions. There are six different licences, each with their own terms of use.

  • Public domain

What does it mean when something is in the ‘public domain’?

  • Getting permission

The permissions process can seem overwhelming, but it must be followed. What are the best practices for requesting permission? What do you do if you can’t find a copyright owner? What do you do if the owner says “no”?

Look for future blog posts, where we will explore each section of the infographic in more detail.

Visit our Copyright subject guide for more information about finding and legally using images, or book a consultation with a library team member (choose “Copyright” from the list of options). If you find you still have questions about using images, email us at AskLibrary@nshealth.ca.

Roxanne MacMillan

Librarian Educator
Library Services, Central Zone


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