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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 Authority for Privacy Protection website. The Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection 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 researchers and teachers do not require consent – part of their job is to inform others about the University's activities. This applies only to staff. Photos of people who are socially interacting or are in the audience at 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. This also applies to images of employees if the images are used in a genre context.

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. 

Consent form 

To be used when you are filming or photographing something that requires consent:

Written consent form in English (PDF, 184 kB, new window)

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

If you are to upload 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 upload 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.

Procured photographers


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.

Copyright law governs your rights to use a work. The agreements with our procured photographers regulate our right to use the images we purchase. All the images we have purchased as of 1 January 2020 are free to use as much as we want within the University, and we are also free to make them available to third parties wishing to provide information about Lund University. The Image and Media Bank makes clear what rights you have to use each individual image.

Creative Commons licences

Many images online are marked with Creative Commons licences. There are different types of CC licences that individuals can use to tag their images for sharing their images with others.

In total, there are six different CC licences, each granting different permissions. The licences specify things like whether you are free to distribute the image and whether you are allowed to remix, adapt, or build on it. In simple terms, CC licences allow creators to give up parts of their copyright in various ways. In addition to the different licenses, there are also two different labels, known as Public Domain labels, which are used when the work is not covered by copyright and can therefore be used freely.

Please note that CC-labeled works do not necessarily imply consent from individuals in the images under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

About CC licences and how to use them on


Corporate Communications

grafiskprofil [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se

Nina Ransmyr
Communications officer
nina [dot] ransmyr [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 03 20

Maria Wendel
Communications officer
maria [dot] wendel [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 70 07

Petra Francke
Communications officer
petra [dot] francke [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se (petra[dot]francke[at]kommunikation[dot]lu[dot]se) 
+46 46 222 03 16

Anna Johnsson
Communications officer
anna_v [dot] johnsson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 70 21

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