News story

New service to understand online copyright laws

Guidance to help people better understand copyright law and their legal rights when posting photos online published today (3 March 2014).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

With Flickr, Facebook and Instagram all becoming such a big part of everyday lives, people can often forget their legal responsibilities they have when using images and photos online. Situations such as taking a photo on your smartphone and uploading it to a website or copying one of your friend’s photos on Facebook can all lead to copyright infringements if people are not careful.

In order to ensure consumers have a better understanding of copyright law and the confidence to use these online services, the government has launched a ‘copyright notices service’. It is an innovative, new tool aimed at helping consumers clarify and simplify the complexities of copyright law.

The information published today, provides guidance about things to be aware of when uploading and using images on the internet. This includes advice for situations where you want to use photos taken by a professional photographer or what you need to consider before uploading them to social media sites.

Minister for Intellectual Property Lord Younger said:

“We want to make it easier for everyone to understand copyright law. Every day, people of all ages use photographs and images online through social media such as Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. But all too often people don’t know how copyright law affects them. They might be breaking the law without even knowing it.

“That’s why the new copyright notices service is an innovative tool which will help simplify the complexities around copyright law, and help people use images on the internet with greater confidence.”

Today’s new copyright notice is the first in a planned series of announcements that will unlock the difficulties of copyright law and how it affects consumers and businesses in their everyday lives and activities. The Intellectual Property Office will continue to produce new notices in response to specific problems faced by users and rights holders.

Notes to editors

  1. Today’s copyright notice can be found on the IPO website along with more information about the service
Published 3 March 2014