Guidance on photo and image copyright

Published 13th March 2013 by Messy Church

If you use images or photographs either on a website or in publicity material, you generally need to obtain copyright permission first. If you are using images on your website or publicity materials that you have found on Google (or equivalent) by searching, but where you have not looked for copyright information, you are likely in breach of copyright.

Find out more

  • Churches Together in England have put together some helpful information on their website. It encourages churches to be as copyright aware with photos as they are with use of music and provides some starting points.
  • Creative Commons also has some helpful information and guidance.

Suggested sources of images you can use

Wherever you get images from you should check on an image-by-image basis what you are and are not allowed to do.

  • Creative Commons has a list of services from different websites that hold images under Creative Commons protection. (For each image you will need to check what you are are and are not allowed to do, but this is a helpful starting point).
  • Unsplash is a popular free website which provides images you can use for any purpose
  • Stock.xchng is a royalty free website (owned by Getty) that may prove useful (again, check usage restrictions on an image-by-image basis).
  • Churches Together in England also have a helpful set of free images.