Copying material from the internet

Can I copy material from the internet for my research or assignments?

Answer ID 2738 | Last updated on 17/01/2023 04.42 PM

Material on the internet may be protected by copyright; the fact that it's on the internet does not mean its 'copyright free'. Before copying material from any online source, check the site for a statement which defines how material on the site may be used (look for words like "Conditions of Use", "Terms of Use", or "Copyright"). Some websites give permission for material to be copied for certain purposes (for example, educational and non-commercial purposes). If the site contains no permitted use statement or only contains a basic copyright statement then the fair dealing reasonable portion copying limits apply.

Even if a site gives you permission to use something on it, it does not necessarily mean that the website creator has the right to give permission. If an uploaded work belongs to someone else, then you cannot use it just because the infringing site says you can. You are not protected if you copy infringing material from a site that does not have permission to share it.

When looking for images to use in presentations or assignments, look for images with a Creative Commons licence as these can be used providing you attribute the creator and follow the terms of the licence. Visit the Creative Commons website for more detailed information about the licences and terms of use.

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