What is third party material?

Third party material is any material for which you do not own copyright.  Examples include quotations, images, charts, graphs, diagrams, maps and photographs. If you only use original work which you have created - and you have not assigned the rights to a publisher - then you should be okay.

Can I use third party material in my poster?

When you need to use third party material – such as a quotation, or images you did not create yourself – you need to make sure you do not infringe copyright.

What does copyright cover?

There is copyright in all third party material. Permission for re-use will be required from the rights holder unless:

  • copyright has expired
  • the material is licensed for re-use
  • you are using an insubstantial amount: short quotes - properly attributed - are usually fine, but use of images, diagrams, maps, and charts will not be an insubstantial amount, therefore permission will be required

What copyright restrictions apply to using images/photographs in my poster?

Images and photographs can be complicated with respect to copyright. Even if  you were the original photographer, you may be taking photographs of materials in which someone else holds rights. It is also important to remember that a photograph on the Internet or a Website is likely to be copyrighted even if it doesn’t explicitly state this fact.

The following general rules apply:

  1. If someone else created the original image or photo, you need to request permission from the photographer or rights holder
  2. If you created the original image or photo, you are the copyright holder - unless you have assigned your rights elsewhere OR you have photographed something where the rights are owned by someone else (e.g., pages in a published book)
  3. If the image is a photograph of people:
    1. You need their formal permission to use the photo in your poster, unless they are incidental to the photo (e.g., a picture of a building with people passing by)
    2. If the people are deceased, it is unlikely you will need to ask anyone else for permission, but please use caution if the photographs are of a sensitive nature or used in a manner which could cause distress to friends and relatives
    3. If the photograph is of minors or of an otherwise sensitive nature you may need to discuss the ethics of its inclusion as well as seeking permission

What if I need further advice?

If you have any doubts about the use of third party material in your poster, please contact the University's Copyright office.