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Online Image Resources

Online Image Resources

Using Images Properly: Copyright & Fair Use

Copyrighted Images & Fair Use

Images, like all sources of intellectual property, are subject to the laws of copyright. If an image is copyrighted, you must determine if your use of the image falls under the Fair Use guidelines (see below). Fair use allows use of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. If your use of the image is not considered Fair Use, you will either need to pay for use of the image, or find a different image that is copyright-free.

To help determine whether use of an image is fair use, consider the following four factors of Fair Use:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.


Remember, if you're ever unsure, a librarian is always here to help!