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Copyright: Images


Copyright of images and diagrams included on websites is owned or licenced to the site owner (unless explicitly stated otherwise) and you should apply to them for permission to reproduce them.

The links and information on this page will help you find image repositories where there may be permission to re-use in particular circumstances. Please note that exact terms should be checked before using any resource.

 As a general rule you should always acknowledge/attribute the creator of any material you reuse as best academic practice.

AECC University College Licenced Resources
The world's most detailed 3D model of human anatomy online. Includes MSK Ultrasound of the Upper and Lower Limb.
Off-campus access: Institutional login required (AECC University College username and password).

Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy
Acland's Anatomy supports the teaching and learning of anatomy with more than 300 narrated videos of real cadaver specimens. Our subscription gives you access via the link above on and off-campus.

Copyright in Images

Photographs, illustrations, maps and other graphical representations such as graphs and charts all qualify for copyright protection as artistic works. However in practice it is usually not helpful to reproduce only portions of an image for educational purposes and it is difficult to determine whether exceptions apply. The copyright extent limits of one chapter/article/10% of a work which come from the CLA licence and are often applied to literary works to determine how much copying is fair cannot be applied to standalone artistic works in the same way. However if you are copying textual material for your own private study or non-commercial research then the law allows you to copy embedded images that are illustrative to the text. The CLA licence also allows such copying for teaching purposes.

It may be possible to reproduce whole images for the purposes of a teaching event under the illustration for instruction exception (S32) but this will be dependent on whether the reproduction is ‘fair’. This test of fairness will depend on the content being used, who the content is made available to and for how long, as well as potentially the resolution of the image.

Use of photographs and illustrative works found on the World Wide Web is an often misunderstood area, driven by the fact that it is so easy to find images and unlicensed use is so commonplace. However this is a highly sensitive issue, particularly within the photographic community. Many creators are extremely protective of their copyright and use tools that enable them to trace where their images are being made available online without permission. Unless you are clear that an exception applies, it is important that you have permission to use any images before you make them available.

If you are looking to reproduce illustrations in published books or journals you should consider that these may not be the creation of the author and may have been reproduced from elsewhere. Contacting the publisher is usually the best place to start if you are looking to get permission although you should be aware that they may not be able to grant permission for further use.

Image Repositories

Finding copyright free images can be a daunting task; online images are the intellectual property of their creators and have copyright implications. To help you we have listed a number of websites where you can find images that you may be able to freely use for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Note: although many images on these sites are free to use, you need to credit the creator in the way specified. Always check the terms and conditions before use.

Has a search page where you can choose which site you want to find 'free-to-use' images from. For more information on Creative Commons see the video on this webpage.

An image search engine allowing access to photos from many sources. Terms vary, check each licence.

Download free and premium stock photos and illustrations for websites, advertising materials, newspapers, magazines, e-books, book covers and pages, music artwork, software applications, etc. Terms vary, check each licence.

Find photographs includes images by amateurs and professionals. Additionally, many archives use this website to host public domain images, for example the British Library. Terms vary, check each licence.

Free Images
Free Images was launched in February 2001 as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The idea was to create a site where creative people could exchange their photos for inspiration or work.

Contains photographs freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects.

Medical-specific images

Bassett Collection of Stereoscopic Images of Human Anatomy
Stanford School of Medicine database, images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

U.S. National Library of Medicine Images from the History of Medicine
"Provides online access to images from the historical collections of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  IHM includes 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."

Wellcome Library Biomedical Images Collection  Biomedical Image Collection
One of the Wellcome Library’s major visual collections. You can search for both historical and contemporary images.

Anatomy Illustrations by Alice Roberts, and illustrations from her book The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: evolution and the making of us.  Alice's illustrations are free to download for private use or for teaching as long as you credit her as the illustrator.

Terms vary on all of the above resources; check each licence before use!