History of Medicine in Motion

Copyright & Resources Information


Copyright and use of images, movies and sound for iMovies

Copyright protects your own creations and also those of other artists, writers, composers, inventors, etc.

A straightforward guide to UK copyright, issued by the Intellectual Property Office is at: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm

Creative Commons provides free resources, with the proviso that the resources are acknowledged. This is a legal requirement. On videos this will mean putting a caption at the end, listing all sources.

The caption not only acknowledges other people’s property but it also gives the provenance of the material so that others may find it, and also ensures that the movie itself becomes an historical creation.

More about Creative Commons can be found at: http://creativecommons.org/

Any original material that you film or photograph for your iMovie becomes your own copyright as does your iMovie even though it might contain material from other sources. It is your creation. However, you should be aware that copying other people’s material from books, etc. for inclusion in your iMovie will be a breach of copyright if the material is still in copyright. The same goes for music and sound effects.

Resources that you can use under the Creative Commons license are becoming increasingly available. They include:

Wellcome Images: http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/

There are about 200,000 thousand images on this site covering global health, medicine, culture, war, life, science and the natural world. The historical images are mainly from the Wellcome Library’s vast archive of iconographic and other illustrative material. However, the collection also includes modern images by artists and photographers who use Wellcome Images as an agent for their work. They allow their work to be used under the Creative Commons license providing it is duly acknowledged. Look for the credit line when you view these images.  The historical images are more straightforward and the credit line usually just reads: ‘Wellcome Library, London’.

Many Flickr contributors have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons licence: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

The Wellcome Library is also a major contributor to Film and Sound Online: http://www.filmandsound.ac.uk

This is a JISC-funded resource to which many universities are subscribed. You can access material with an Athens password. There are hundreds of historical clips on this database, from the very earliest use of film in the late 19th century. The clips are available to stream / download either as .wmv or .mov files. User license agreement is outlined as you click through.

Prelinger Archives, a US-based service, has over 2000 public domain films free to download and re-use: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger . You can browse by subject/keywords – it’s a very comprehensive collection – everything from automobiles to youth culture.

NASA Images offers public access to images, videos and audio collections: http://www.nasaimages.org/

This collection contains material on the universe, solar system, earth, aeronautics and astronauts but you can search by keyword and come up with amazing stuff. Images from the Hubble telescope, for example.

Free Images is a website showcasing royalty free (or nearly free!) pictures, music, fonts and graphics: http://www.freeimages.com/

A word of warning – if you google ‘free music’ you’ll find a number of sites offering free downloads but this doesn’t mean free re-use.

Top tip – create your own sound effects (called ‘footsteps’ in the industry). It’s easy to do with everyday objects – coconut shells for horses’ hooves! Used in every pre-war cowboy movie. In iMovie you can slow down or speed up sound to create unique effects including voices.

Important – we will not upload iMovies to YouTube or any other site unless material has been properly credited.

If you upload directly onto YouTube, the onus is on you to declare that you either entirely own the copyright of your movie or that you have permission to upload it. In the same way, we will endeavour to protect your own copyright by monitoring YouTube theft, and we advise you to be equally vigilant.

Author: Dr Carole Reeves