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Can I put that photo on a University website?

Image sourced from: https://pixabay.com/

Image sourced from: https://pixabay.com/

When including photos on University websites, social media pages or publications, be mindful of privacy and copyright implications.

Privacy

If a person is reasonably identifiable in a photo, this would constitute ‘personal information’. Personal information must be handled in accordance with the University’s Privacy Policy and Privacy Management Plan.

Under the Privacy Policy, the University may publish photos of students or University personnel taken in the course of a University activity for information, marketing and promotional purposes. However, if publishing photos of other persons (e.g. visitors, school students), you should ensure you have their consent:

  • Implied consent can be obtained by letting people know that photos are being taken and may be published, and providing them an opportunity to opt out of being photographed.
  • Express written consent should be obtained if more is at stake with your intended use (e.g. use in a formal marketing campaign vs uploading general event photos on your Faculty website). A template Photo Release Form is available on the Legal & Risk Standard Form Contracts webpage.

Particular care is required when publishing photos of children. Consent may not be valid if the person consenting does not have the maturity to understand the consequences of providing their consent. Therefore if the child is under 16, it is advisable to obtain consent from the parent/guardian.

Copyright

Photographs constitute artistic works and are capable of being protected by copyright. Copyright belongs to the photographer (or their employer), not the subject of the photo. Privacy and copyright consents are two different things.

If the photo was taken by a University staff member in their work time, copyright would be owned by the University and it can be used freely for University purposes and publications.

If the photo was taken by a commissioned photographer, check that the engagement agreement provides the University with rights over the photo.  If you want to use a photo taken by a student or member of the public, you would need to obtain their permission and credit them in the publication.

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