Sell Your Resources - Copyright


How might copyright affect my premium resources?

Copyright protects an author’s ownership right to their work. If you do not own the copyright, you may still be able to sell your resource if, before uploading your resource, you can either get permission from the copyright owner to use their content either directly or because they have licenced it to the public for commercial use for example under a commercial Creative Commons licence.

When can I use others’ written work in my premium resources?

You can use written work (for example, from websites, textbooks, exam materials and novels) that others hold the copyright to if you are able to get permission to do so, or if the law enables you to use their work – or part of their work.

With prior consent

If you have got permission from the copyright holder to use their work in your resource, you can use it.

Without prior consent

You can also use the work of others in your resources without seeking permission beforehand if you use the work of others in certain ways permitted by law.

In general:

Some examples of how you can use work without prior consent are below.


You can quote from works to which you do not own copyright without obtaining permission, but only if the extent of the quotation is not more than is required for your specific purposes and is fair dealing.

This means that you can usually use one or two lines from a poem, or a couple of sentences from a novel, in the resource that you are creating. But you cannot copy the entire poem or the whole (or even a chapter) of the book.

Please note that this exception is unlikely to apply to the use of whole pictures, whole images, graphs and diagrams etc.


You can use extracts from the work of others in order to criticise or review without obtaining the owner’s permission. For example, if you want to criticise or review someone else’s teaching materials, you could copy an extract of the work in question to prove a point that you want to make, but you cannot copy the whole work of the other person. You must still not use more than required and it must be fair dealing.

When can I use others’ images, photographs, audio or video in my premium resources?

The rule of thumb is that the use of a full image or a full photograph will typically not fall under “fair dealing” (See “What is 'fair dealing'?” in our FAQs for more information). So, in practice, this means that you are unlikely to be able to use other people’s images in resources that you create, unless you have obtained permission to use the images from the copyright owner or unless you have bought the right to use the images. If you are planning to put your content up for sale, then you will also need a licence or other permission that allows use for a commercial purpose. So, if you wish to use someone else's material, check that the licence under which the materials are offered allow you to do what you intend to do.

The use of short clips of audio and video is more likely to be permitted under the “fair dealing” exception. Providing links to content on a video-hosting site, such as YouTube, is also typically permitted as this content has been, or at least claims to be, made available to be used in this way by its author.

How can I make sure that I credit people properly when using their images?

The main reason for removing a resource from sale is a lack of attribution for copyrighted images. Attribution is part of copyright; it requires that credit is given to an original author if their work is used elsewhere. Correctly attributing work you use from other authors protects you and helps prevent copyright violation concerns from the public and TES.

When you find an image that you would like to use in a resource, check its licence. Occasionally, for instance, with pictures that you find on Google Images, the image licence is not readily apparent or available. In these cases, it is best to err on the side of caution and not include the image within your resource.

Some useful sources for images

Please be aware that some will fall under commercial use and some fall under non-commercial use. When using images that you intend to include in your resources to sell, they must be for commercial use.

The following digital image and clip-art libraries may also be of interest: