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Copyright at the Fund

How to Use this Guide?

This guide aims to provide you with the information you need when using or creating copyright-protected content in your IMF work. It is not exhaustive nor is it intended to provide legal advice, but practical guidance in the various situations you may encounter. 

You can also download the attached PDF guide.

What You Need to Know

Understanding the points below is essential. Find more on each of these points in the relevant tabs to the left. 

  • Data Licensed by the IMF is subject to specific usage terms and conditions. The IMF Library licenses data content for use in Fund works.
  • Content from the internet, even when free, is generally subject to copyright and terms of use. Do not use without checking if your proposed use is permitted.
  • Photos found online are not always authorized for your use. Always check terms of use. 
  • Do not share Individual subscriptions or personal credentials. Do not store content from individual subscriptions on shared drives. 

In all of the above cases, the key is for you to understand what is permitted or not

Why is Copyright Awareness Important?

Respecting the Copyright of others protects the Fund from:

  • Monetary damages
  • Reputational harm
  • Loss of access to data

Per Copyright Compliance Policy, it is the responsibility of everyone at the Fund to be be aware of their obligations under the policy and to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance.

Every day, in our work at the Fund, we use content created by others such as images, data, publications, websites, etc.

Copyright misconceptions abound - please read on! 

Myths and Misconceptions

Here are a few common misconceptions about copyright. You can find more information in the tabs to the left. 

Misconception #1: If it's freely available on the internet, it is free for me to use as I wish. 

Truth: Most content freely available on the internet is subject to copyright and cannot be used freely unless it explicitly says so. Always check usage rights provided for the content (look for terms of use on the website). 

Misconception #2: Content licensed by the IMF is owned by the IMF and can be used as I wish. 

Truth: Licensed content is subject to use according to the terms of the license. The IMF does not own the content.  Find out what usage terms apply for each license.

Misconception #3: If I attribute the content to the source, this is good publicity and is enough for me to use it in my work. 

Truth: Attribution, whilst important, does not remove the need to have permission to use the content. 

Misconception #4: If I make changes to a work, then it is a derivative work and I can use it as I want.

Truth: Only the copyright owner can give the right to make derivative works. Permission is needed to adapt and publish someone else's work.