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Is it okay to use images or other material from the Internet for educational purposes?

It depends on what you want to do. Materials on the Internet are treated the same under copyright law as any other copyright protected materials, so if you want to use them, they have to either fall within one of the Act’s exceptions (such as fair dealing or the educational exception relating to materials from the Internet), or be open access or in the public domain.

Under the educational exception, you are permitted to copy, distribute, communicate or perform works found on the Internet to your students, provided that:

  1. The work is properly cited (e.g., source, author, performer, maker and/or broadcaster),
  2. The work is publicly available (i.e. access is not restricted by a technological protection measure),
  3. There is no clearly visible notice prohibiting the intended use (note that the © copyright symbol alone does not prohibit use), and
  4. It is apparent that the work was not copied or made available online in violation of the copyright owner's rights.

If what you want to use isn’t from an open access or public domain source and does not fall into one of the Act’s exceptions you will have to obtain permission from the copyright owner. You should check the website’s ‘Terms of Use’ or ‘Legal Notices’ section to confirm what conditions apply to use of the website’s material, including whether educational use is explicitly prohibited. Some websites will allow non-commercial educational use of their materials.