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Images and Copyright


Using media (images, audio, video) in papers and presentations adds a dynamic element to your research.  This guide helps you make decisions so you are using the content both legally and ethically.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions:

1. You should cite images the same way you cite words from an article or book you read.  Each of our style guides contain basic information about citing Images and Media. 

2.  Films and other media have to be cited the same as images or words.  Each of our style guides contain basic information about citing Media.  For more background on how to cite media, visit UC Berkeley's excellent site dedicated to the topic.

3. If you're acquiring images or other media to use in papers or projects, make sure it's legal.  Fair Use can cover use of images within the confines of the classroom, but it's still wise to know the restrictions of the copyright on the image.  For risk-free image usage, try acquiring images with a Creative Commons license.

4. Fair Use has been defined by U.S. courts for the following : criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research and parodies. 

5. If you are showing a film outside of the classroom, even if it is free and on campus, you must obtain Public Performance Rights for the film.  If it is an independent film, you may get permission directly from the filmmaker.  Usually, you must pay a fee to a company in order to show the film.

6.  You should check with your professor or a librarian if you have questions about finding images or media for your research.  This guide is a first step in that process and will guide you to quality sites to explore.