Images and film – copyright and consent

When do you need written consent from the person you are photographing or filming? And when are you required to provide the photographer’s name in connection with the image? Here you will find a summary of important things to consider when working with images and film.

GDPR and consent from people who are photographed or filmed

On 25 May 2018, a new law took effect: the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, as it is commonly referred to within the EU. The information below may change as the law is interpreted. You can find current information on the Swedish Data Protection Authority website. The Swedish Data Protection Authority is responsible for ensuring the compliance with the GDPR in Sweden. Read more about the University's guidelines on the Personal Data and Data Protection pages. 


More information about what the GDPR entails:

Legal basis    

Since the General Data Protection Regulation took effect, you are now required to have a legal basis for processing personal data. Photos and videos of employees in teaching or research situations do not require consent – part of their job is to inform others about the University's activities. This applies only to staff. You always need consent from students, even when you write their names. Photos of social interaction or audiences from the University’s own events do not require consent when you are publishing the photos to describe the specific event as a news item with an aim to provide information about the University’s activities. You do not need permission from public figures such as politicians. This legal basis is known as Information of public interest.

In some cases, the written consent of a person appearing on photos and in videos is required. For example, when the person is interchangeable and not the subject of our story, known as genre images. In such cases, the legal basis is known as Consent, requiring us to obtain written approval to be allowed to store or publish the data. If an employee appears in a genre context, consent is also required. Thus, you also need written consent from researchers and teaching staff if you do not state their names. 

Always inform people about photography and filming

You must always inform the potential subjects that you intend to photograph/film at an event, for example, in the invitation and on signs at the entrance to the event. If possible, you should also provide photo- and film-free zones where people who do not want their picture taken can sit. 

Here is a consent form to be used when you are filming or photographing something that requires consent:

Publications made under a publishing license are not affected by the GDPR. 

If you are to publish the images in the Image and Media Bank, you must send the original consent form to Corporate Communication, internal mailing code 22. Remember that you must be able to connect the individual, their consent and the image/s in which they appear. It is recommended that you keep the signed consent forms together with printed copys of the images. If you are not to publish the images in the Image and Media Bank, file the forms locally instead. 


The purpose of the image or film and not the image/film itself should be your starting point. If you intend to use the image or film to provide information about a certain aspect of the University’s activities, and the exact people who are photographed are essential in the context, you do not need their written consent. If the people are interchangeable and the photo/film is used in a genre context, you are required to obtain their written consent.

The University’s procured photographers are aware that the GDPR may affect the assignments they receive from us.
Read more about procured photographers here


Photographs and films are protected by copyright, which means that the author has the right to be mentioned in connection with the work. The right applies in all contexts except for when it is practically or technically impossible and it is non-negotiable.