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Copyright & Permissions (non-classroom use)

This guide is provided for information to promote compliance with copyright laws and practices for non-classroom use. It is not intended as legal advice.

Using Multimedia for Nonā€Educational or Commercial Purposes

Educators must seek individual permissions (licenses) before using copyrighted works in educational multimedia projects for commercial reproduction and/or public distribution beyond educational limitations. Additionally, you must obtain permission to publish images found in licensed Library databases or digital collections (i.e. The Library of Congress, College Digital Collections, Artstor, LexisNexis).  In many cases, you will need to write to the institution that owns the physical image and request permission to publish it. There is often a fee associated with acquiring permission.

Citing Multimedia for Copyright

When citing an image or multimedia resource, include as much information as available.

  • Artist or creator's Name (First and Last)
  • Title and Date (if known)
  • Museum Name and Location, Image Collection Name or the institution and city where the work is housed.
  • The medium (photograph, mixed media, watercolor, oil and canvas, digital, etc.)
  • Museum or Image Collection Number, if possible
  • Dimensions
  • Name of the Website or online source
  • The date viewed or accessed.
  • If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.



Piet Mondrian, Dutch, 1872-1944, Apple Tree in Bloom, 1912, Oil on canvas, 78.1 x 107 cm. Gemeentemuseum, the Hague, Netherlands photo copyright: Lisa Van Duzer (gift)


Steichen, Edward. Enlisted Men of the USS Lexington.  1943.  Art, Architecture & Engineering Library Collection.  University of Michigan.  March 21, 2009.


Three Relationship Studies: Shadow-Play, Imitations, and Manipulations.  Vito Acconci.  1970.  Media and Performance Art.  Museum of Modern Art.  March 21, 2009.

Motion Picture

Producer, P. P. (Producer), & Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

Lloyd, P., Craymer, J., Goetzman, G., Johnson, C. Universal Studios Home Entertainment (Firm). (2008). Mamma mia!. Universal City, CA: Universal Studios Home Entertainment. November 26, 2013.

Special Presentation:

William Kentridge.  Multimedia Interactive Feature.  San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009.  Explore Modern Artn.  March 2009. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  March 21, 2009.

Audio Podcast

For all podcasts, provide as much information as possible; not all of the following information will be available. Possible addition identifiers may include Producer, Director, etc.

Bell, T. & Phillips, T. (2008, May 6). A solar flare. Science @ NASA Podcast. Podcast retrieved from

Video Podcasts

For all podcasts, provide as much information as possible; not all of the following information will be available. Possible addition identifiers may include Producer, Director, etc.

Scott, D. (Producer). (2007, January 5). The community college classroom [Episode 7]. Adventures in Education. Podcast retrieved from

Music Recording

Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

Taupin, B. (1975). Someone saved my life tonight [Recorded by Elton John]. On Captain fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy [CD]. London, England: Big Pig Music Limited.

Digital Files (PDFs, MP3s, JPEGs)

Give the author’s name, the name of the work, the date of creation, and the medium of publication. End the entry with the name of the digital format (e.g. PDF, JPEG file, Microsoft Word file, MP3). Use Digital file when the medium cannot be determined.

Using Images

Goggle Images

If I find an image on “Google Images” can I use it in a book published by a non-profit organization?

Answer: Google images answers this with the following: “The images identified by the Google Image Search service may be protected by copyrights. Although you can locate and access the images through our service, we cannot grant you any rights to use them for any purpose other than viewing them on the web. Accordingly, if you would like to use any images you have found through our service, we advise you to contact the site owner to obtain the requisite permissions.” (2009-4)