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See the guidelines on the University Legal Compliance web site. This page lists the exemptions to copyright that may be relevant to teaching and research.


If you have taken the photo yourself, then you are usually the owner of the copyright. However, in UK law, if you take a photo of a copyrighted artwork, then the copyright belongs to the artist, unless the artwork is on public (FREE) display.

A photographer's copyright usually expires 70 years after his/her death. It is then free. If there is no identifiable photographer, copyright expires 70 years after the photo was taken.

BE CAREFUL IF TAKING PHOTOS IN GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS. The gallery or museum is able to apply special contractual conditions that restrict your rights to do this.

Audio-visual critiques

An audio-visual critique is a video or audio presentation that gives a critical argument about a video or audio source (such as a movie), or reviews that source. Under UK copyright law, an 'insubstantial part' of a copyrighted source may be reproduced for this purpose.

In judging whether your use of copyrighted material in such an audio-visual critique is legal, you may find it useful to consider the questions below.

  1. Does the audio-visual critique use no more than an insubstantial part of the source movie?
  2. Is all of the copied material necessary to support the critical argument or review?
  3. Does the audio-visual critique contain scenes from the source movie explicitly for the pupose of 'criticism or review'?
  4. Are we directed to identify elements of the scene that support the argument put forward in the 'criticism or review'?
  5. Have you acknowledged in the reproduction of the source what the source is and who originally produced it?
  6. Has the source movie already been made available to the public?

If you need any further help answering these questions, please contact Robert O'Toole, the e-learning advisor who specialises in copyright issues, or Helen Wollerton, who is the university's Administrative Officer for Compliance. Helen's email address is

and her extension number is x50949.