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Photography and Fair Use

Fair use of photography and other media is an evolving topic that is of ongoing concern to universities. In general, please do not use images that do not belong to you and that you have not received permission to use. The university could be fined for such use, which does not properly compensate and credit the producers of creative works. The following presentations outline aspects of fair use as they apply to universities.

Copyright and Fair Use: A Tale of Two Interests
Presentation by David Gleason, UMBC General Counsel, March 2014

Will That Photo Get You Fined?
Presentation by Dinah Winnick, Director of Communications, March 2014

Approved UMBC images

Visit UMBC’s official Flickr site here to find a collection of commonly-requested images that are available to use on university sites and publications. Contact mdemond1@umbc.edu for information on crediting the photos you would like to use from that site.

Image licensing

Several websites offer repositories of photographs that are searchable by type of license or usage rights. By searching only for photos with a particular license (such as Creative Commons), you can confirm that you have permission to use the photo in a given circumstance (e.g., non-commercial versus commercial use) and you will be able to determine what is needed for you to use the image, such as including a photo credit. Wikipedia also offers a long list of public domain image sources, including U.S. government sources, but always remember to confirm that the specific source or image that someone suggests is in the public domain is, indeed, in the public domain.

Consent to Photography at Campus Events

Planning to take photos of a campus event to post online? Prior to the event, inform participants that a photographer will be present and photos may appear online and in university publications. Offer them an opportunity to opt out of photos if they choose. Post photography information on your event registration website, promotional materials, and/or event registration table.