Last Updated: 29 Sep, 2023     Views: 12

When working with a third party, the Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use can provide extra legal complications above and beyond copyright that can impact on both your use of third party material, and the third party's use of your material.

For example:

  • The Terms of Use for a visual design application may allow you to use the in-built images, but only if it is not for commercial purposes
  • The Terms and Conditions for a video editing program may offer a free version of the program, but only if you do not remove the company's watermark from the video
  • The Terms of Use for a social media platform may state that you grant them a perpetual, nonexclusive, sublicensable copyright licence for all of the material you upload to the platform, meaning that a) they can use your images for their own purposes whenever they want, and b) you must have permission to share the images in that way.

As the Terms and Conditions are part of a legal contract you make with these companies when you use their services, they are binding even if your use would otherwise be allowable under copyright exceptions or statutory licences.

For educators and teaching staff, this is particularly relevant for showing multimedia in the classroom. While the education statutory licence allows the showing of broadcast material in a class, the Terms and Conditions of the platform (e.g., Netflix, Stan) may prohibit this use. Contact the Library to find an alternative for accessing this content.

It is advisable to read the Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use for a service to be aware of your restrictions and obligations, and to know what you might be giving away.