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Copyright Toolkit

Copyright Information for Images, Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Do I need permission to use an image, chart, graph, or table?      

Using the flowchart below, determine if your use of an image(s) requires obtaining permission from the creator or purchasing a license.

Scenario #1: Use of Images

Question:  I’m creating a PowerPoint presentation to share with my online class, and I’d like to include some images I found on a website. Am I allowed to do this?
Answer:  Many images are available via our Rasmussen databases (like ImageQuest), and you are free to use them since Rasmussen paid for the content. In addition, there are plenty of open access image sites (consult the Open Access Resources tab on this page). If you took the image from a basic Google search (without using the Usage tab for filtering) it is less likely that this will fall under fair use due to factors 1, 2 and 4, unless you clear it with the creator of the image. If you are using the image in the classroom, factor 4 would be slightly more in your favor since you are sharing it with a smaller audience over a very limited time. Lastly, always remember to provide attribution!‚Äč 
Tip: Watch the video demonstration (in the Open Access tab on this page) of how to filter images to view copyright compliant images in Google Images.

Scenario #2: Use of Diagrams, Charts, or Tables

Question:  I found a diagram/chart/table that I would like to include in my course.  Am I allowed to use this image?
Answer:  If the diagram or chart was created by someone other than yourself, it is copyright protected and permission will likely have to be obtained from the copyright holder before it can be used in a course. Bear in mind that in some circumstances, the image could be considered just a portion of the work rather than the "heart of the work," and if it is used for educational purposes and attribution is given, there may be argument that it can be used without obtaining permission.  Consult the Fair Use Guidelines in this Guide.  Another exception would be images that are covered by a Creative Commons license.  Consult the Open Access Resources tab on this page to locate images, charts, or graphs that are free of copyright restrictions.

Open Access Resources  

Some sites provide content (images, video, music, etc.) that are freely available for use.  This type of material is often called "open access."  Please note that though the resources may be readily available, they often have requirements for attribution and use -- check carefully!  In addition, when using all of the websites provided below, please review their Terms of Use. 

Purchasing a License for Images

There are many online sources for images and photos.  Please note that unless an image is in the public domain or is covered by a Creative Commons license, it is likely copyright protected.  Below are links to licensing information from major image providers.

NOTE: Faculty are advised to work with their academic dean to gain necessary approvals prior to purchasing a license.

Permission Request Form
You've determined that you need to obtain permission to use material.  This form should be completed by faculty, SMEs, instructional designers, curriculum developers, or anyone working on behalf of Rasmussen University who wishes to incorporate copyright-protected information into a Rasmussen University course.
Please follow the steps below to obtain and document permissions granted:
1. Complete the Copyright Permission Request Form provided at the bottom of the page
2. Save the Permission Request Form to your H: Drive or a personal folder
3. Send the completed Copyright Permission Request form to the designated copyright holder
4. Document any permission you obtain from your source (including email) and file with a copy of the completed Permission Request Form in the "Permissions Documentation" Library housed in SharePoint.


Upload permissions granted/received to the Permissions Documentation Library using the following naming convention:

Course number_Course Name_Date (mm/dd/yyyy)
Example:  J100_IntrotoCriminalJustice_10152015
Note:  In situations where a form is not required, please provide the relevant information specified by your source via the method they specify, such as an online request form.  In those cases, please provide a copy of the submitted information as well as any permission you receive. 
For additional information or questions, please submit a request to:
Permission Request Form
Click the link below to access the Permission Request form.