It is vitally important to obtain permission from publishers, copyright owners or artists when using music, photos, videos, images, pieces of art (i.e. sculptures), content and/or software to promote Western.

Purchasing and obtaining use permission for copyrighted works can be expensive, but there are legal alternatives. It is your responsibility to the Western community to use digital and print media in ethically and legally sound ways.

It’s important to get copyrights right. If you have any questions about the legality of using someone else’s work, contact University Communications.

Work by Other Western Departments

When reusing work from a department or office at Western, ask for permission from the department associated with the content.

Western Properties

The guides on this site provide information on the use of university logos, athletic marks and the university seal. Keep in mind that when you incorporate university logos or marks your work becomes a representation of the university and should be vetted accordingly to ensure that it aligns with university goals and values. If you have any questions about logo usage, email


Products that are identified as "shareware licensed," like software so designated, are available for use in compliance with their license, which generally requests a small payment for use. Some audio clips, visual images or image collections qualify as shareware.

Western’s Sculptures

Western owns the sculptures on campus but does not own the copyright for the sculptures or photos/images of the sculptures. Special permission must be obtained for use of images of the sculptures. Learn more about the use of Western’s sculpture images in promotional initiative.

Public Domain Items

Members of the Western community may utilize public domain works without permission. However, it is extremely important to determine whether the full work is public domain or if components carry a copyright. For information on determining public domain status of an item, contact Western Libraries.

Site-Licensed Materials

There may be opportunities for you to utilize works already approved for university use as part of a site-license. If the work you are interested in using is part of a site-licensed collection, make certain that the site-license covers your intended use. 

Unclear Ownership

Copyright ownership can change over time, making ownership of some works unclear. As a part of Western’s community, you have a responsibility to clarify ownership before using materials. Use options for copyrighted works can vary widely–review digital media copyrights carefully before using or redistributing works. The law is rarely clear with regard to intellectual property, so it is very important to exercise due diligence when reviewing copyright and usage restrictions.

Copyright Questions and Assistance

Still unsure about whether you can use a piece of digital media?