Copyright advice

This page includes some general guidelines around the important issue of copyright and are provided by the Copyright Licensing Agency, one of the key sponsors of the Shine School Media Awards.

A general rule of thumb is that you should always credit the creator of the content you want to use in your magazine.

The CLA Schools Licence covers you to re-use text and images from books, magazines and journals (check the CLA’s website for excluded works); for text and images found online, the Licence covers material that has been specifically opted-in (check the CLA’s website to see which digital publishers participate).


  • Most of the work in your magazine, newspaper or website will be your own, and therefore you own the copyright to that article, photograph or illustration and no one else can legally use it without first seeking permission from you.
  • Additionally, you have control over where, when, why and how it is used and whether or not you want to be paid for it to be used again.
  • In copyright law, this is called protecting the moral and economic rights of the creator.

If you use any content that is not your own original work – whether it’s text, an image, a clip or a link – you must make sure that the terms of copyright allows you to do so and you must always cite your source.

  • The creator of the work should have already laid out what you can and can’t do; if not, you have to contact them and ask permission.
  • In printed works, the copyright notice is usually on the inside before the title page or on the footer of the back cover
  • Online, you may find a link called ’copyright’, ‘copyright notice’, ‘terms and conditions’, ‘legal’, ‘terms of use’ etc
  • Many websites do not authorise re-use of their content and/or have age restrictions – you must check. Just because free-to-view’ does not mean it is necessarily ‘free-to-use’ – a website may be free to access, but this does mean you can re-use content, without asking for permission first

Some guidance on image usage

  • You may find an image you want on photo sharing sites, such as Flickr,  but these images are subject to the terms of the individual owners, many of them choose ‘all rights reserved’ and a number apply Creative Commons licences.
  • Remember that search engines such as Google Images are not websites as such. They do not represent the rights owners, and images found via these sites are subject to the terms and conditions of the individual sites concerned.
  • If the publisher of an image is one of the CLA’s ‘Participating Digital Publishers’, you may use the image in accordance with the terms of the CLA Schools Licence.