Digital and printed content must meet legal and contractual standards for the pieces of content we package together and share in our name. If you didn’t create something from scratch, you don’t own it. If you don’t own it and you don’t have written permission, you can’t share it.
Using images from Google without obtaining proper permissions or licensing is a copyright violation and Texas A&M AgriLife could be liable for copyright infringement.
Content Creation Tools
DO NOT USE PHOTOS OR GRAPHICS THAT ARE NOT CREATED BY YOU OR OWNED BY TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
All photos within the Texas A&M AgriLife PhotoShelter are available for use by anyone in AgriLife.
Photo and Graphics
All photos and graphics must be originally taken/created by AgriLife, purchased through a photo/graphic service, in the public domain, available with a Creative Commons or open access license (with attribution as required), or used with permission. Citing the photographer/designer does not absolve staff from copyright infringement.
- Staff must be able to document where a photo was obtained, include permissions received, if we need to defend an accusation of copyright infringement. Photographers or organizations should sign the Photography Use License Form outlining the use of specific photos taken by non-staff. Educators and communicators should keep these forms on file and be able to document use when requested.
- Staff may not use or reproduce trademarked images, characterizations, storylines, videos, or graphics, including, but not limited to popular TV shows, movie characters, book characters, video games, actors, musicians, slogans, cartoon, and phrases.
- Here are some places to find approved photos for projects:
- Texas A&M AgriLife’s Photoshelter: AgriLife’s photo repository is constantly growing and is the best source for authentic, high quality photos.
- Unsplash: Unsplash offers professional marketing-quality photo at no cost. Its license allows for free download for personal or commercial uses without further permissions.
- Storyblocks: Storyblocks offers high quality images, videos, and music for download and use without further permissions.
- Canva: There are strict licensing requirements for using photos available in Canva. Canva is licensing you the right to use a design you create. You do not own the components that are within it. These are our restrictions
- Cannot use a Canva stock image as a part of a trademark or logo design.
- Cannot use a paid image in more than one design. Can tweak a design for use on multiple platforms.
- Cannot reproduce the image more than 2,000 times (one-time use) or 250,000 times (royalty-free).
- Cannot save photos to a network for use by others.
- Cannot use Canva stock images in templates made available for sharing or for sale.
- Cannot download Canva stock photos to use in designs created outside of Canva.
- Cannot use images in items available for sale.
- Cannot use Canva as a photo editing program for Canva photos without adding some type of creative treatment, such as text or graphic elements.
- Microsoft Applications: Microsoft products, such as PowerPoint and Word, offer photo searches. Go to the “insert” ribbon | select “online pictures” | enter a search term | check the box that says “Creative Commons.” Microsoft does not fully guarantee all photos are creative commons, so use with caution only if a photo is not available through other free sources.
- Google Image Search: When you search for images, click the “Tool” tab | go to “Usage Rights” | choose “Creative Commons Licenses” in the pulldown. Google does not fully guarantee all photos are creative commons, so use with caution only if a photo is not available through other free sources.
- Staff should not plagiarize content of any kind from other authors, including Extension staff in other states. Include citations of referenced works. If saying “research says,” the source of the research should be cited.
- When citing sources, use the Chicago Manual of Style format (preferred, though other styles may be used if used accurately and consistently).
- No graphic or text can imply endorsement of a company’s product or services. A disclaimer should be included if it is unclear.
- No permission is needed if a work was created before 1928 (as of 2023). Each January, that year advances by 1 year
- Copyright protection exists from the moment of creation to a fixed source. The copyright symbol is not required for the copyright to exist, and the works does not need to be registered to be copyrighted.
- Federal government documents exist in the Public Domain and may be used without additional permission.
Music and Video
- All Rights Reserved: This is the default copyright license that applies to most creative works. It means that the copyright owner has exclusive rights to use and distribute the work, and others must obtain permission to use it.
- Creative Commons Licenses: These licenses provide a standardized way for creators to grant others permission to use their work under certain conditions. There are several types of Creative Commons licenses, ranging from the most restrictive (requiring attribution and non-commercial use only) to the least restrictive (allowing for commercial use and modification).
- Public Domain: Works that are in the public domain are not protected by copyright law and can be used freely by anyone.
- Open-Source Licenses: These licenses apply to software and allow others to use, modify, and distribute the software under certain conditions. Some open-source licenses require that any modifications or derivative works also be released under the same license.
- Fair Use: Fair use is an exception to copyright law that allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.
Do follow the AgriLife Brand Guide for style and design.
Do use an Approved Vendor.
Do email us at email@example.com about any possible violations of these policies to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, and products are of the highest quality. If possible, please provide a photo and brief description of the issue (including the manufacturer, if known).
Do get more information from the following resources, if needed.
Don’t use any Texas A&M marks or symbols in association with any political candidates, office holders, campaigns, or activities; doing so is a violation of university rules.
- Any AgriLife Employee for job-related purposes
- Any TAMUS member for job-related purposes
- Any state of Texas employee for job-related purposes
- Any federal government employee for job-related purposes
- Educational use
Use of AgriLife Images by Others
Any use of images that are the property of Texas A&M AgriLife should include (at minimum) an attribution to the image creator and/or Texas A&M AgriLife.