Copyright and Re-use

IWM is committed to respecting copyright and other intellectual property rights. We make every effort to protect IWM’s copyright and Crown Copyright as well as pay attention to copyright in any third party material, so that we can fully use and promote our assets and safeguard our collections to enrich people’s understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war.

IWM's websites are copyright of Imperial War Museums (© IWM), whilst the copyright in the material which is hosted on IWM’s websites belongs to IWM as well as other third parties.

Non-Commercial Use of our Content

We support and encourage public access to our collections and information on this website. Low resolution images, streamed sound and film recordings and website content identified as copyright of IWM and copyright of third parties including the Crown, may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium under the terms of the IWM Non-Commercial Licence unless otherwise indicated.

View the IWM Non-Commercial Licence, or download a PDF copy.

The IWM Non-Commercial Licence is equivalent to the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence.

Please ensure you acknowledge the copyright status of the material and, for images, include the attribution statement stated in Collections Search.

In circumstances in which we are not able to provide access under the terms of the IWM Non-Commercial Licence, normally of in-copyright items for which we do not have permission, we will indicate this with an “All Rights Reserved” credit line, and in these cases, the content can be reproduced under the exceptions to copyright outlined within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

If you want to use an image for non-commercial purposes not covered by the IWM Non-Commercial Licence, or need a higher-resolution image file, please contact the Image and Film Licensing team

Re-use of Public Information

Crown Copyright Material and Re-use of Public Sector Information

IWM has Delegated Authority to handle Crown Copyright materials in its collections.

In undertaking its collections management, research, public engagement and core support activities, IWM produces quantities of 'Documents', as defined under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, the supply of which falls within its 'Public Task'.

Statement of Public Task IWM’s 'Public Task' under the Re-use of the Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 is based upon its functions under The Imperial War Museum Acts 1920 and 1955, relevant Statutory Instruments, the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, The Public Records Act 1958 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It also includes commitments agreed by IWM with its sponsoring government department in its Management Agreement, the visions and objectives set out in the Corporate Plans agreed by the Board, and the provision of general advice relating to its core expertise to researchers and the general public.

IWM creates, holds and uses its 'Documents' for all the following purposes within its Public Task:

  • Provision of worldwide access to its collections, exhibitions and expertise: in the museum, on loan and through partnerships, in all and any media and formats or through innovative outreach and web-based programmes.
  • Production or commissioning of exhibitions, educational and research-based print and digital material which draws on the unique collections and historical expertise, either directly or through partnerships or through the IWM Trading Company Ltd (IWM’s wholly owned trading subsidiary).
  • Conservation, maintenance, development, safety and security of its assets, including the collections, estate, infrastructure and information.
  • Commissioning or production of books, films or other informative material, replicas, reproductions of objects or souvenirs relating to or relevant to IWM’s collections or theme through IWM, IWM Trading Company Limited, or via third parties commercially or non-commercially.
  • Licensing of information and other material relating to IWM’s collections, theme or souvenirs or other goods, at any time through IWM or through a third party for its commercial or non-commercial use.

IWM’s Public Task is incorporated in its corporate objectives which are to:

  • Increase our financial sustainability
  • prioritise our audiences
  • deliver effective stewardship of our collection
  • build our brand

More information about the categories of documents available for re-use and terms on which they are available can be found in the sections below.

Other work we carry out under contract (eg for research purposes) through organisations paying for the hire of IWM's accumulated staff expertise and information is outside our public task. Information relating to products derived from public task activities for re-sale in the commercial market are outside our public task.

The IWM publication scheme can be found on our Freedom of Information page.

Questions and complaints about IWM’s Public Task statement should be submitted via this contact form.

Use of IWM Material by Third Parties

Commercial Use

Commercial use of website content

The content from these pages and many of the materials from IWM’s image, sound and film collections are available to purchase and license for use in commercial projects and products. Users identifying any material that they wish to reproduce on a commercial basis should contact the relevant Image and Film Licensing team.

Take Down Notice and Enquiry Form for IWM Website

Please contact us in the event that you are the subject of or the owner of the copyright or related rights in any of the material on this website, or in a publication or broadcast to which IWM has provided material from its collections,

  • and you believe that the material may be subject to a third party ownership or another legal claim,
  • or you believe that use of this material infringes your intellectual property or any other rights.

We will acknowledge your complaint within ten working days of receipt. We will then investigate your objection, and withdraw the material if we can verify your complaint

In order to process your enquiry, please use this web form to provide us with information. The information you provide on the form will be used only in connection with this enquiry.

Linking to Our Content

IWM welcomes links to its website from other websites providing the links do not imply endorsement of third party goods or services by IWM, imply affiliation with third parties where none exists, or otherwise mislead users.

Links from our website lead to other sites; IWM does not endorse or sponsor or otherwise approve of any information or images or further links to other sites that appear in those websites.

General Statement

While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and copyright of material on this website, any and all liability which might arise from your use of and reliance on the information contained on the website is excluded.

Public Photography

Unless otherwise indicated in an exhibition, our visitors are encouraged to take photographs and/or films for their own non-commercial personal use. Please respect the privacy of other Museum visitors. For any commercial use, please contact the Media Sales team.

Contacting Us

For any other queries, please fill in our contact form.

Date reviewed: May 2020

Next review: September 2021