Administration of York Websites

There is an important distinction between publicly accessible websites, and York’s Learning Management Systems (LMS).  Our LMS, such as eClass and Canvas, are secure sites, password protected, with access restricted to students enroled in York courses, instructors, and support staff. Public websites are open to anyone who choses to access the site.

Information for instructors on choosing content for course materials can be found on the Copyright@York website.

Using images on York’s public websites

Posting a copyright-protected work on a publicly accessible York website would generally be considered copyright infringement unless it was done with the copyright owner’s consent. However, there are other options available.

Using images from the York U Image Collection

The York U Image Collection is a curated library of premium, high-quality images that reflect the York brand personality. Within it, you will find a wide and varied mix of photographic materials. All of the images are taken by professional photographers and are available in high resolution. York University has obtained the rights to use them in their communications and marketing material.  For ease of use, the content is divided into three categories: Experience York, Student Life and Academic Life and York Photo Mock-ups. The image library continues to grow and evolve. In cases where something more specific is required, or if you require high-resolution images, please contact University Brand & Marketing.

Using images licensed under a Creative Commons Licence or in the Public Domain

Another option is to use images that have been licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons licence, or are in the public domain (i.e. the copyright has expired or been waived by the copyright holder). Resources for images and image attribution styles can be found on the Copyright website, Online Resources for Content and Information and the Image Attribution/Citation Guide. For a list of upcoming information sessions on how to interpret Creative Commons licences, contact the Open Scholarship Department.

Some of the resources for finding these types of licensed images include:

  • Wikimedia Commons: A media file repository database of over 90 million Files are available under licences specified on their description page.
  • Flickr Commons: An extensive collection of public domain images from over 100 cultural institutions in 24 countries including the Library of Congress, NASA, the Getty Research Institute, and others. Flickr Creative Commons Search: From the dropdown ‘Any License’ select the licence you need. The copyright information, identifying any limitation on use of the image, is located just beneath the date or in the image description.

Using images from external websites

Links to ‘Terms of Use’, ‘Terms of Service’, or ‘Contacts’ at the bottom of the webpage should provide details on limitations of use of the site content along with contact information should permission be needed to reuse it. Where these notices are provided, they serve as a content licence and may supersede user rights provisions of the Copyright Act.

If the terms and conditions for the site allow you to reuse that website’s content, then be sure to print and retain a copy of the notice for your records. If there are no terms and conditions on a website, assume that the content is copyrighted. and that permission from the copyright owner will likely be needed before posting it to a public York University website.

Linking or embedding content

Providing a link is not currently considered making a copy of a resource. Before linking or embedding content it is important to ensure that the material has been posted legitimately (i.e. with the copyright owner’s consent). Providing a link to an online resource without making a new copy on your site is a good way to provide access content without infringing copyright.

For more information please email