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Images & Copyright: Home

Use this guide to find images and information about intellectual property rights.

Free Images

jscreationzs. “Copyright Symbol.” 2011. JPEG.

Copyright is a federal law of the United States that protects original works of authorship. A work of authorship includes literary, written, dramatic, artistic, musical and certain other types of works.

Complete version of U.S. copyright law

Copyright attaches as soon as the original work is created, and applies to both published and unpublished works. 

Copyright is an automatic right and does not require the author to file special paperwork, as is the case for trademark and patent. 

Before you use any image found on the Web, you must check its copyright, and that is not always easy to do. Often you must contact the creator of the image and ask permission. Sometimes you must pay the creator, sometimes they are free, and sometimes the creator only asks to be identified.

Using images in an educational setting may come under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Law, so check under the Fair Use tab of this libGuide to see if your use qualifies.

This libGuide pulls together some of the many ways to locate images online that you do not have to pay for. Not every image in the search engines in this guide is free to use so it's important that you always confirm the image's copyright status before using it.