Copyright and Privacy

It is your responsibility to meet all legal requirements for web content. You must comply with the relevant laws eg the Copyright Act 1994 and Privacy Act 2020.

This includes a range of content including images, student photos and information, music, other media and written content.


Everything on the web must comply with the Copyright Act.

This means you must have permission before using an image someone else has taken/made.

You cannot scan, download or otherwise obtain anything you like but don't have permission to use.

Teaching and Copyright

Provide detailed information for lecturers and teachers about teaching and copyright. This covers lectures, hardcopy text, databases, music and staff original work.

Image sources

There are a number of ways you can find images to use:

  • Photographic Services provides the UC community with in-house images for use on the web and in print. Contact Photographic Services for advice.
  • Staff photos for 'People' pages are best taken by Photographic Services.
  • Images can be supplied to you by your department (make sure they meet all legal requirements).
  • Images can be downloaded from the web (check you can legally use them).
  • Images/photos can be scanned (check you can legally use them).
  • Buy images online but you need to know what you can use it for (print or web), how many times it can be used, over what time frame, are you allowed to store the image etc.
  • Creative Commons allows you to share, remix and reuse legally.

Taking photos yourself

When images from a public event are used for news, no consent is required from the people identifiable in the photo. Images used for any purposes other than news are not excluded from the Privacy Act. This means that when using images in any way to promote or represent the University, consent is required from any person recognisable in an image.

Use common sense. If you are taking photos at a public event, it is best to be clear with people about the purpose of the images. It is recommended that the photographer wears clothing/signage to identify themselves as an official photographer. Put up signage at events so that people are aware that photographs are being taken, and if necessary be clear that they may be used in publications.

Getting permission

Where people are recognisable you must have the appropriate permission for use. Use the official UC consent forms. If you need something different or unsure about your needs contact Information and Records Management.


The Privacy Act covers the use of personal data. While it doesn't explicitly mention photos, they are considered to be personal information (in that they reveal features and details about people). You should treat images showing recognisable people as personal information and let this guide your decisions.

Information about students on the web need to have the following:

  • Permission from the students for their information to be used on the web, including photos of them or their work, details of study, phone number, location etc.
  • A timeframe for how long the information will remain on the web. At the end of this period it needs to be removed from both your local and remote website files.

Email permission is sufficient for consent (but you need to keep the email or a printed version). 

For detailed information see Privacy and Official Information and the UC Privacy policy.

More information

Contact Information and Records Management for guidance.