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Visual Resources Center: Copyright or Copywrong?

The Vanderbilt University Visual Resources Center resides in the History of Art department and is your source for finding and properly using high-quality images resources for your papers, presentations, and projects.

VRC Images

The VRC provides images from ARTstor and MDID for use inside the university. You can use these images for any of your presentations, papers, projects, etc. However, once you publish or use the images for anything outside of class or academic purposes, you have crossed the copyright line. In order to use images for non-educational reasons, you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner or else face lawsuits, large fines, and your work being rejected. Protect yourself. If you are unsure about the proper use of an image, just ask.

Visual Resources Center Policies

Images in the Visual Resources Center collections are copyrighted. Reproduction of digital images in any format is regulated by law and subject to prior agreement with the owner, publisher or vendor of the item. When using these images, it is the user's responsibility to observe the rights of the copyright holders.

Students and faculty may download or copy an image for a class, seminar, or conference presentation. Faculty may make images available to students in Blackboard, since it is protected by a firewall. Users may NOT download or copy an image to put on your (or any other) website and may NOT download or copy an image for any other type of publishing without gaining permission from the copyright holder.

Contents of the collection are drawn from a variety of sources and therefore have different rights issues. Individuals and vendors have contributed images to the Visual Resources Center collections. These contributors maintain copyright and also dictate usage of their images. Images licensed from vendors may have restrictions on use, but generally they may be used for educational purposes as long as access is restricted to the Vanderbilt community. Images obtained through copywork fall under “Fair Use”, and are made available to faculty only for teaching. Images falling under “Fair Use” may be made accessible only to the students in the class for a limited duration. In suits of copyright violation, individuals are named, as well as the institution. Willful infringement can carry penalties up to $150,000 and innocent infringement can have penalties up to $30,000.

Copyright Tools

Copyright Resources