Copyright Guidance FAQ

Submitting paid-for resources: FAQs

This advance project seeks non-branded, quality content for teachers to sell on TES. We are gathering units of work and resources that stand over and above existing free materials and that are clearly structured with supporting information; content that a teacher can use in the classroom with no further effort on their part after they have bought it.

This page aims to answer the most common questions about submitting paid-for resources, including some guidance around copyright issues. If your question isn't answered here, please email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Submitting paid-for resources

I already share on the website. Can I send in my free resources to be put up for sale?

No. At the moment, we are only accepting content that is original and not previously shared on the site.

How do my paid-for resources need to be different to ones I already share for free?

Teachers are familiar with getting free resources they may need to edit, but the consensus, based on feedback from our users, is that if a teacher is to pay for a resource, they should not need to do additional work in order to use it. We've included some tips below on how you can achieve this level of quality.

  • A resource should contain all the elements a teacher would need to use it (eg, the PowerPoint referenced in a lesson plan, the lesson plans referenced in a scheme of work, etc). There will be a preview function on the improved website, so these elements will be even more important.
  • The content and theme of these resources is essentially up to you – but the content must be original, not previously shared on the site and you must have the right to sell it.
  • In order to sell a resource, copyright (including images) must be observed, eg, it is acceptable to create materials to support curriculum texts, but when quoting or using extracts, the correct accreditations and references must be included.
  • The content must take the form of downloadable files – links out to external sites selling resources will not be eligible.
  • A suggested format for structuring lesson plans can be downloaded from this TES resource page.

What file types can I submit?

Resources must be files and not links to external sites (though you can include links to external sites within resources if appropriate). Beyond that, the files can be whatever you are most comfortable with, but Word, PDF and PowerPoint files are always successful and accessible for all teachers.

What information do I need to include when submitting resources?

Resources must have a title, description, clear learning objectives and be mapped to the curriculum, with age ranges, as appropriate.

How do I submit paid-for resources?

Once you have content that you'd like to be considered for this project, you can send files over as attachments via email or via a file-hosting service such as Dropbox, whichever is most convenient for you.

Will my resources be moderated?

Yes, in this first phase, all resources will be moderated before being put up for sale on the website.

When will my resources be included for sale on the website?

If accepted, your resources will be made available at the launch of the new website, which is scheduled to take place towards the end of the year.

Will my resources be uploaded for sale on TES Australia/TES India/Share My Lesson?

No. This will only be an option for those uploading to the TES Connect website. At present, there are no plans to introduce paid-for options to our other sites.

How much will I be able to charge for resources?

We are yet to finalise a pricing structure for paid-for resources. This is because we want to get feedback from our members about what works and what is reasonable. If you'd like to be a part of this, you can apply to join the discussion in a TES forum. Email for more details.

Will I need to pay to have resources included for sale?

No. The TES promise is that users will be able to join the site and upload resources for free, forever.

Will I receive all the proceeds from the sale of my resources?

We are in the early stages of working out the model that will be applied when the new site goes live. We are aiming to ensure that the majority share from the sale of resources goes to our uploaders, with the remainder covering VAT, transaction charges and potential administration costs.

Copyright guidance

What is copyright?

Copyright is the right a creator has over work they produce. It allows the creator of an original work to control its use and distribution, including have the right to sell access to the work.

What does copyright mean for my resources?

It means that any resources that you upload must be your own original work, or that you have permission from the copyright holder. It also means that you have the right to decide how work you produce is shared or sold.

Are there any exceptions to this?

Yes. There are exceptions, known as “Fair Dealing” in the UK and “Fair Use” in the US.

What is Fair Dealing?

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) provides the following rule of thumb: “How would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?”

The UKIPO also offers two factors that have been identified as relevant in determining Fair Dealing. The first is whether the use of the work causes the owner to lose revenue – if it does, it is unlikely to be fair. The second is whether the amount of work taken was “reasonable and appropriate”.

Using others’ work in a paid-for resource is unlikely to be considered Fair Dealing. However, there is one type of Fair Dealing that often occurs in paid-for content, which is the criticism or review of other works.

How do I ensure I am dealing fairly when I criticise or review others’ work?

If your resource includes criticism or review of work that is not in the public domain, you can use short quotes to illustrate it. However, you must ensure that your resource does not breach the guidance provided above, for example, by containing enough of the original work that someone would not need to buy the original. You must also, where possible, provide acknowledgment of the original author. This can normally be done by referencing them as you would in an academic essay.

Can I use images, audio or video under the Fair Dealing rule?

This is extremely unlikely, as they are almost certainly subject to copyright. However, providing links to content on a video-hosting site, such as YouTube, should be fine as this content has, or at least claims to be, made available to be used in this way by its author.

Does this mean I can't use other people's images, audio or video?

Not necessarily. If you wish to use someone else's material, check the licence that the materials are offered under. Some licences do not prohibit commercial repurposing, while others specifically prohibit it. You will need to have permission from the copyright holder to include their work within your resources before putting your content up for sale if the licence that the work is made available under does not allow for this already.

How can I find images or other content which is safe to use?

There are images available online which can be used when creating resources for sale, though you must verify the licences on these. Some useful sources for images are: (recommended)

Another site which may be useful is:

See the Creative Commons section below for more detail.

Does copyright last forever?

No. A good rule of thumb is that most copyright expires 70 years after the author's death. This means that most things published before the 20th century should be in the public domain and therefore free to use. However, it is always best to check this before using anything that doesn't belong to you.

Creative Commons and intellectual property

Don't schools have rights over resources created by their teachers?

You may need to check your employment contract for clarification over this. Some teachers may have clauses in their contract whereby the school retains the right to resources created in school time. If you are unclear about what this means for your resources on the website, the best thing to do is to bring it to the attention of your line manager.

What are Creative Commons licences?

Creative Commons licences are public copyright licences that allow authors to share their copyrighted work while retaining ownership and the right to determine how that work is used elsewhere. For more information, see the Creative Commons website.

How do I use Creative Commons content when creating resources? (images, text, etc.)

All Creative Commons licences require attribution. The easiest way to do this properly is by using a browser plug-in which is available here:

Other restrictions include “non-derivative” which means you may only use the content as it appears and in full (you cannot partially use it, or change it); or “non-commercial” which means you cannot use the content for commercial purposes (any content with this licence cannot be used for paid-for resources); “share-alike” content may only be included when the resource it appears in is licenced under the same licence as the content being used.

For further guidance on how to attribute material correctly visit

Are the Creative Commons licences the only options for me?

No. There is also a specific licence available for teachers who want to sell their resources, but don't wish them to be reshared in any way. This licence copyrights the work, but allows it to be used and adapted by the teacher that has purchased it for use in their classroom.