You require text and image materials for media relations and public relations work and the depiction of your working area in print products and on the Internet. In doing so, you need to comply with various legal aspects.
This section contains answers to the most frequently asked questions that may arise with regard to these issues in your day-to-day work.
Every person has a right to his or her own image. Likenesses cannot be shown or disseminated except with the consent of the person depicted.
Before taking the photograph(s), have the subject sign a broadly worded declaration of consent or ask the relevant person about further use at a later date. Otherwise, the subject of the picture can prohibit the publication of his or her picture in a brochure.
For general information on the subject, please contact the Office of News and Public Affairs. For specific legal advice, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.
If you take your own pictures, you need to observe the subjects’ personal rights.
If you do not have their consent, the persons depicted must be rendered unrecognizable (e.g., by blurring, etc.).
Make an entry in the file information for archival purposes so that the author, image subject, and date of the photograph can also be viewed later.
Please obtain the consent of the persons depicted. Clarify in advance whether these photos can also be used for advertising purposes (brochures), online, or on social networks such as Facebook.
Even if you are using your own photographs, the photographer must be cited when they are published online or in print publications (even if you are using photographs from a private collection, the photographer’s consent and an attribution are required).
Always enter into photo agreements in writing. The contract should contain clear provisions on your rights and obligations as the buyer of the photos.
All rights of use (if possible, exclusive ones) should rest with Freie Universität Berlin without any limitations in terms of time or physical area. In general, it is a good idea to secure the right to use the materials in connection with reporting on Freie Universität (print and online) as well. This allows you to provide the photos to third parties (media) even years later – citing the appropriate source, of course.
Those who acquire exclusive rights of use generally pay a little more, but save time, money, and effort in the long run. In the case of a non-exclusive right of use, you may have to pay again for an image that you had made for a certain brochure, or you may be barred from using it online and have to have new pictures taken.
Arrange in advance with the photographer the desired credit line (copyright) and the rights of use (factual rights and those related to time and territory).
If there are no pictures available and you do not want to hire a photographer, you can search online databases of picture agencies for suitable images. There are various providers across different price segments. Upon request the Office of News and Public Affairs can provide you with information.
Copyright-protected works may not be used without the consent of the copyright holder. The copyright holders can demand compensation, usually equal to the sum that a license would have cost, and possibly legal fees in addition. Copyright infringement can be costly! Anyone who uses a third-party photo is obligated to cite the author.
The following are not permitted: a team photo taken in front of a painting or art print; reproductions of well-known advertising posters posted on the homepage of an institute; the screenshop of a map under "How to find us" on a conference website. Instead, we recommend integrating a map service such as GoogleMaps using the CMS template Einbindung externer Dienste.
Works by other persons and entities cannot be edited arbitrarily or at will. If a photo is modified in such a way that the original statement of the image is also changed, this represents a violation of the copyrights of the photographer and of the personal rights of the persons depicted. As a basic principle, any desired changes to an image should be coordinated with the photographer and, where applicable, the persons depicted.
Clarify rights of use including the desired attribution, in writing if possible, before you use third-party works. If possible, clarify whether the photos used for advertising purposes or usage rights may be transferred to third parties (for example, cooperation partners, media, social media).
The photographer must be cited, even if you use your own photographs – photos you took yourself or photos from your own private collection.
Even with photos and illustrations that were published under a Creative Commons license, as a rule at least the name of the photographer or author must be given in the credit line. Digital images are often provided with an invisible watermark and therefore searchable. Cases where due credit has not been given can be very costly for the university.
Creative Commons currently offers six different standard license agreements that can be used to distribute creative content. The mandatory information is usually the name of the author, the title of the work, the link to the work or the authors, as well as a reference to the license.
For information about loading illustrations and photos in CMS, please refer to the CMS Online Manual.
For information about importing images and photos in the content management system, please refer to the CMS Online Handbook published here.
Copyright-protected works may not be used without the consent of the author (or the beneficial owner). Otherwise, these parties may demand damages – typically in the amount that a license to use the work would have cost. They may also be able to demand attorneys’ fees. Copyright infringement can be costly!
Texts that are considered generally accessible common property are not protected, for example, official works (laws, regulations, announcements) or information and events (also including scientific and scholarly findings and discoveries such as formulas, but these items could, under certain circumstances, be protected by patents).
Copyright protects personal intellectual creations. It arises and shall apply from the creation of a particular work. Texts and speeches, photos and movies, paintings, prints and drawings, as well as (city) maps or tables are all protected.