NSW DEC Sites2See

Copyright for teachers

Copyright is the system of legal rights that protects original creative works, including text, images, videos and artworks, from unauthorised copying, distribution, alteration and other uses. Every image, audio file or text extract you use in teaching material is subject to copyright. Link to more information about copyright

Improve classroom practice. Learn about Smart Copying initiatives—practical strategies aimed at promoting cost effective copyright practices in the classroom.Link to Smartcopying website.


Use a version of this resource tailored for students.

See also Sites2See: Cybersecurity, for students.

How can you legally use an image, video footage or text in your teaching materials?


Get creative. Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that offers an alternative to full copyright. It allows creators to invite certain uses of their works, while retaining copyright. Learn more about Creative Commons (link to more information).


Find Creative Commons materials. An increasing number of websites offer media with Creative Commons licences, but always check the licence for the specific item you want to use (link to a series of guides on how to find Creative Commions materials)

Looking for images and video?

Try Wikimedia Commons, Flickr and FreeDigitialPhotos.net. PicFindr school searches the web for free stock photography you can use for educational purposes. The site everystockphoto offers a similar search for free photos online. Download and use videos under a Creative Commons public domain licence at Prelinger Archives.

Looking for sounds and music?

The Freesound project has Creative Commons licensed sounds (not songs) and ccMixter features remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music. Music on jamendo is available under Creative Commons licences; and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has a broad range of works from musicians and composers for download. You can also find Legal Music For Videos on the Creative Commons site.

A Delicious of list of additional copyright sites suggested by teachers

Send us links to other useful sites.