Is the image you are using in your ppt copyrighted?


It is almost mandatory for Faculty now-a-days need to create presentations for their class. Most of the students feel bored if they are fed data, statistics and reports on a daily basis. To make the class interesting faculty use images, as a picture is worth a thousand words. And most of these images are downloaded directly from the Internet. It is assumed that online content and images that are already available on Internet and shared by many on social media can be used. The images that are easy to find, access and download can easily be copied can be used for personal purpose or reposted. What most do not realise is that even though images are online on Internet they are not free to use as they are copyrighted!

So, How can one know if the image is copyrighted or not?

  • See the source of the image. Know terminology and signs displayed by protected image when its copyrighted.
  • Research – Check the visual at  Can I Use that Picture – The Terms, Laws and Ethics for using Copyrighted Images
  • Just ask the person who displayed image if he is the creator and take permission. Sometimes the owner displaying that image may have knowingly/unknowingly be using copyrighted image from some other source/creator without permission. So Ask and clarify and take permission in written.
  • Check if image can be reused under “Fair Use”and does not infringe on the copyright owners rights.
  • Create your own images. It more easier to create and use own images.


Free Tools to help in searching

  1. Google Images
  2. Goto Google Search and search for sites specializing in free, or freely licensed images like Flickr
  3. Goto Google Advanced Search option and check the last option “usage rights” and filter by licence
  4. Please check if its in public domain
  5. Find licensed content using
  6. If its from WikiMedia Commons


Paid Tools to help in searching

  1. Image Libraries like Getty Images

Note: Please connect with Achala at before reposting, translating as this article is copyrighted!


Creative Commons License
Is the image you are using in your ppt copyrighted?by Dr Achala Munigal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Get your own CC license at


One Response to “Is the image you are using in your ppt copyrighted?”

  1. vyasamoorthy Says:

    Your suggestion to create your own image is interesting.

    This video helps you find out if YOUR image has been ‘lifted’ by someone else. Again have you seen my message in Lis-forum sent recently that helps teachers like you to check plagiarised content?

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