When you’re looking for pictures to illustrate or enhance your academic work, how do you search? Do you ‘copy and paste’ from the internet, as a student recently told me? Or simply type your search term in that old reliable, Google?
Unless you’re careful, searching like this can contravene copyright law and potentially get you into legal trouble. Whenever you find an image through a regular Google search, there’s a good chance that it either:
- has a license which forbids you to use it, or
- has no license at all
Assuming that you didn’t ask for prior permission to use the content, it’s illegal to use it if either of these two cases applies.