Skip to Main Content
UNH Library home

PHP901: Media Resources, Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright is a complex area of law.

Copying, modifying, displaying or distributing the work of others may require determining if

  • the work is in the public domain,
  • whether your use of it is covered by fair use (or another exemption)
  • whether permission needs to be obtained from the copyright owner

Royalty-free Images

Remember that you must have the right to use the images you are including in your project. 

These sites search for images with open licenses.  Some require you to credit the artist or photographer:

Image Databases at UNH

Google Images

Use Advanced Image Search to refine searches to specific content or file types, color or black-and-white, or usage rights (such as "free to use, share or modify")

Please note: Exercise caution when using material downloaded from websites as the Internet contains a mix of works protected by copyright and works in the public domain.

Viewing an image online doesn't automatically mean that you can reuse or copy it without permission or payment.

What is Creative Commons?

From the CC website:

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

Our 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."

Citing Images in APA Style

Guidelines for citing images found online in APA Style can be found at

The basic formula is as follows: 

Photographer, F.M. (Photographer). (Year, Month Date of Publication). Title of Photograph [digital image]. Retrieved from URL

Also include license information if available.  

eg: “Liver: Herpesvirus Hepatitis” by Ed Uthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Examples of Transformative Uses

Examples of the fair use of copyrighted work to create transformative works for educational, noncommercial purposes.

Required Language in Media Projects

If you are including any text, images, or audio that are not your own creation, your media project should provide

  • a notice of use restrictions on the opening page (see section 6.3, and include text starting with "certain materials are included..." to the end of the sentence)
    • "Certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use."
  • acknowledgement and attribution through a credit section (see section 6.2, first paragraph for what copyright owner information needs to be included in addition to the basic citation)
    • "Crediting the source must adequately identify the source of the work, giving a full bibliographic description where available (including author, title, publisher, and place and date of publication). The copyright ownership information includes the copyright notice (©, year of first publication and name of the copyright holder)."

The above text is from sections 6.2 and 6.3 of the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia, which are part of the Crash Course in Copyright (version 1), a tutorial on copyright created by Georgia Harper, University of Texas System.


Some ways to type the copyright symbol ©:

  • MS Word: AutoCorrect converts (c) to ©
  • Mac: Press Option and g
  • PC: Press Alt and type 0169 on the numeric keypad