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Permissions: take down policy and licences

Take down policy

It is useful to have a take down policy. This means that if you are not sure of the IPR around an item, you can still share it on your website or social media, on the understanding that if the IPR owner contacts you with objections you are obliged to remove the image as soon as possible.

The take down policy should include a statement that shows you have made every effort to make sure the materials comply with copyright. You should tell people what to do if they want to make a complaint.

The policy should be publicly available on your website.

Creative Commons Licences

Creative Commons (CC) (opens new window) is an organisation that prepares free licences for use by anyone on the internet. These licences are meant to make it easier to give permission to others to use material published online and let them know what they can do with it.

If you wanted to make some of your archive images available for easy use by your researchers and website visitors, making them available by CC licence is a good way to do it. Use this for items your group has created such as photographs you've taken or items where you hold the copyright.

There are various types of Creative Commons Licence. Here are four of the most common types of CC licence in order from least to most restrictive:

  • CC:BY - Attribution - users may copy, distribute, play or perform the work or make derivative works based on it, so long as they acknowledge the author
  • CC:SA - Share-alike - users may make and distribute derivative works, but they must be distributed under the same licence as the original
  • CC:NC - Non-commercial - users may use the work only for non-commercial purposes
  • CC:ND - Non-derivative - users may use the work but may not create a derivative work from it

They can also be combined.

CC Licences are applicable worldwide, but cannot be limited to one type of use, for example educational use.

It's also not possible to prevent them being used in a derogatory manner that might infringe moral rights, and you cannot stop them being used to promote a particular point of view or advertising.

Before you apply a CC Licence, you have to own the copyright to the image being licenced, so you can't do it if the donor still owns the copyright.

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