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The concept of fair usage exists within UK copyright law, commonly referred to as fair dealing. It's a framework designed to allow the lawful use or reproduction of work without having to seek permission from the copyright owner(s) or creator(s) or infringing their interest. In the UK, there are a number of 'fair dealing' exceptions to copyright law.

Images on Art UK can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

If you reuse an image, it is your responsibility to make sure that a copyright exception applies (such as fair dealing criticism and review, quotation, or reporting a current event).

If an image is released under a Creative Commons (CC) licence, other rules may apply and the type of CC licence is normally more permissive. Review 'How you can use this image' section on the individual artwork page to see what is permitted by a rights holder.

Depending on your type of use, you might need to actively obtain further consent from the collection that owns the image. Where the artwork is in copyright (remember, the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years), further permissions will also be needed from the artist(s), their estates or nominated rights-holder(s). The artwork credit lines indicate who manages the rights within the artwork and the image.

 Review our guidance page on what is considered non-commercial use.


Further resources

Copyright User – Intellectual Property Office