As the Big Picture is purely for internal education purposes, any images and excerpts of text used are done so under Fair Use, which is defined in US law as:
“Fair Use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. Fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, TEACHING, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work.” The UK does not have a dedicated interpretation of Fair Use, but like most countries applies an exemption to usual copyright rules regarding the use of materials used for education.
This means that the Big Picture cannot be used commercially or outside of the context of teaching, nor can it be used by anyone intending to use it for any and all differing purposes. Hartlepool College therefore is happy for other establishments to adopt or adapt the model and form of the Big Picture, but not any specific subject sheets except for use as examples of what we do and how we use it.
Therefore, as the Big Picture is not used outside of the organisation and has a purely educational remit permission to use images is not sought nor needed to be. In fact, to do so would be impractical for a number of reasons. Firstly, as web-searching is a vital part of image acquisition we have found it is quite common to come across the same image on numerous sites, sometimes with contradictory authorship information. In cases where copyright ownership is stated, for us to seek permission may delay the process significantly (in fact, most major news organisations we have contacted have failed to reply), and thus to do so may remove the timely aspect of some Big Picture subjects.
In addition some topics do not have a wide selection of images available at the resolution required, and therefore choice is limited (some subjects simply do not have any copyright free images attached to them, and therefore we would have to ignore certain subjects, which undermines the very concept of the Big Picture). Some images used have been granted Creative Commons licences, while others are outside of copyright due to age, but these are in the minority.