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Explaining aspects of copyright to be aware of when studying, lecturing or undertaking research. Please note that information on these pages is for guidance only: it does not constitute formal legal advice.


We have two ways of digitally copying images from books or journals for instructional use available to us, for example to include in a Powerpoint presentation, and to put this on Moodle:

  • under the CLA Licence
  • using what is known as a copyright exception, which allows us to copy a certain amount for educational purposes.

These are explained below.

Always remember though that there may be sources of relevant images that you can freely re-use without any risk of copyright infringement - see the 'Images' section of this guide for examples.


Finding images for use in lectures and presentations (video)

Watch this video for a lighthearted look at how to find images to use in lectures.

Under the CLA Licence

The CLA Licence allows us to copy images from books and journals that are covered by the Licence, for educational purposes (e.g., in presentations), subject to certain conditions. Further details are available in the CLA User Guidelines (PDF, 3.2 MB).

Any images that are reproduced electronically (e.g., in a Powerpoint presentation) should be acknowledged and accompanied by the text: ‘Copied under the CLA Licence – please refer to the full copyright notice’. The full copyright notice can be found below - it can be linked to as part of an acknowledgement, rather than reproducing the complete text (the link is

CLA Copyright Notice

Staff and students of City, University of London are reminded that copyright subsists in this extract and the work from which it was taken. This Digital Copy has been made under the terms of a CLA licence which allows you to:

  • access and download a copy;
  • print out a copy;

This Digital Copy and any digital or printed copy supplied to or made by you under the terms of this Licence are for use in connection with this Course of Study. You may retain such copies after the end of the course, but strictly for your own personal use.

All copies (including electronic copies) shall include this Copyright Notice and shall be destroyed and/or deleted if and when required by City, University of London.

Except as provided for by copyright law, no further copying, storage or distribution (including by email) is permitted without the consent of the copyright holder.

The author (which term includes artists and other visual creators) has moral rights in the work and neither staff nor students may cause, or permit, the distortion, mutilation or other modification of the work, or any other derogatory treatment of it, which would be prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author.

Another way of copying legally for educational purposes

If a publication is not covered by the CLA Licence, you can still copy from it. The law allows a certain amount of copyrighted material to illustrate a point for educational purposes even if the publication is not covered by the CLA Licence.

You must not reproduce more material than you need, and in any event you must not use such a large proportion of the material such that you ‘adversely affect the rightsholder’s ability to exploit their work’ – in other words cause them to potentially lose sales, and therefore income.

There is no legal guidance on this – you have to use your judgement on how much to copy (see the section in this guide on Fair Dealing). As a rough rule of thumb 5-10% is usually the proportion recommended, though the significance to the publication of the extract you use is as important as the quantity you use when considering how much to reproduce. The Copyright Librarian can provide guidance.

Standalone images

Standalone images (i.e., that are not part of another publication) will need permission to use, unless they are licensed with a Creative Commons licence - such images may be sourced from Flickr, Google, and other websites (see the Images section of this guide for examples).