Get permission to use multimedia

If you or your organisation produces a creative work that incorporates more than one type of content at any one time, you’ll need to get permission to use all material that is copyright protected and was produced elsewhere. This includes work such as conference presentations or events, where you might be playing music and showing video clips.

Have a plan

When you’re working on a multimedia project, it’s a good idea to have a permissions plan that sets out every item you need to get a licence for, and to include getting permission as part of your project plan. You should try to negotiate the same licence conditions for every element of your work, so that its success isn’t compromised by a failure to get permission to use a single element in the way you want to.

Get permission for every element

It’s also important to remember that if you’re using a multimedia work that has been created by somebody else, you may have to get permission for every different item they’ve used. So if you’re using an animation clip that has a soundtrack, for example, you’ll need to ask whether the soundtrack is owned by somebody other than the animation.

If after carrying out a “diligent search” you still can’t find out who the copyright holder is, the work you want to use may qualify as an orphan work, that is a work protected by copyright but whose copyright owner is unknown or cannot be found. You can find guidance on how orphan works can be used in the UK on