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Image Resources

Copyright and Fair Use

What does copyright mean? This means that unless images are in the public domain, everything that is published online or in print is protected by Copyright Law and copying images without explicit permission may not be permitted.

What does fair use mean? Fair use is an exception to the protection of copyright law. It allows for limited use of images without obtaining permission from the author or owner. This type of copying is considered "fair" and is applicable for teaching, scholarship, or research.

Refer to the links below for further information about copyright and fair use.

Consult the Online  Image Collections section of this Research Guide for a list of Public Domain image sources and the Find Images in Online Databases section to access links to a variety of collections available for fair use.

Remember to always cite where you have obtained images from and also look at the terms of use.

Can you use that picture?

More Information on Copyright and Fair Use

The links below will lead you to additional information about copyright and fair use.

UCLA faculty, staff, and students with specific copyright-related questions may contact UCLA Library staff at:

Obtaining Rights for Use

Here is a list of clearing houses to obtain rights for images.

Open Content

Although material may be copyrighted, more and more institutions are making their image collections freely available online. See:

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

UC Open Access Policy

UC Open Access Policy Learn More