Content design: planning, writing and managing content


How to choose images, and copyright standards for GOV.UK.

These copyright standards apply to all images on GOV.UK, including those within a publication.

If possible choose images that are free to use. These will usually be either:

Paying for 3rd party images

If you pay to use 3rd party images you must:

  1. Buy the right type of licence.

  2. Accredit the image properly.

Buying the right licence

Content on all government websites will be permanently available on the UK Government Web Archive. If you’re using an image which is not covered by crown copyright you must:

  • get worldwide rights
  • get the rights to use the image forever (in perpetuity)
  • get the rights to use the image on anything
  • agree the fee

Image licences must not:

  • be for a limited time period
  • be based on page impressions

Do not use embedded images that remain under the control of the supplier.

Image credits

Credit 3rd party images, including creative commons images, in the metadata, below the image or at the bottom of the page where the image appears. State if the image can’t be reused for free.

Using images of people

Check with the copyright holder if the people in the image are happy for you to use it.

Get written consent from people if you’re arranging the photography yourself.