Embedding diagrams, illustrations, graphs, maps, tables etc., in your papers, thesis or lecture slides is often a useful and straightforward way of making points clearer to your readers or your audience.  Embedding video and audio files in lecture slides also helps to enliven and give variety to lectures.

However, embedding material in this way can lead to copyright infringement.  This is because you will be copying the material and also possibly performing, showing or playing the work in public or uploading a recording of the lecture slides onto Learn and thus communicating the work to the public which are all restricted acts.

The good news is that there are legal exceptions and licences that you can use to embed other people’s material in your documents.  For information about including material in textual documents, like papers, articles, reports, dissertations etc. For information about including material in lecture slides.

Note that a diagram (or similar) counts as a whole artistic work in itself – even if it was originally published as part of, say, a journal article.

If you want to embed a work in a way which is not covered by legal exceptions or by the licences that the University holds, you can always get in touch with the copyright owner of the work and ask for permission directly.

For more information please contact the University Copyright Advisor:


01509 222351.

Updated by Alison Ashmore 5 May 2015

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