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Photo, Video & Audio Use Guidelines

In general, imagery, video, and audio (multimedia) materials produced for and by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are considered public domain and not copyrighted within the United States and are available for use.  For international use, please contact the Office of Public Affairs to request permission.

You may use DHS multimedia for education or informational purposes, including photo collections, public exhibits and internet web pages.  Books (including textbooks) require a release for the use of DHS materials – please contact the Office of Public Affairs to begin the process.

Some materials may contain a Copyright Notice.  It is your responsibility to identify the copyright owner and to obtain permission before making use of this material.

Please acknowledge the Department of Homeland Security as the source of used material.  Our preference for the credit line is: “U.S. Department of Homeland Security / <creator’s name>”.  Without the creator’s name, please simply use “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.

DHS materials may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by DHS or by any DHS employee of a commercial product, service or activity, or used in any other manner that might mislead the public.

Photography / Imagery

DHS photographs / imagery made available on DHS.gov are considered public domain and are not protected by copyright unless noted.  If copyrighted, permission should be obtained from the copyright owner prior to use. If not copyrighted, photographs / imagery may be downloaded, reproduced and distributed without further permission from DHS and may be used for educational and informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and Internet web pages.

Audio Recordings

Audio recordings made available on DHS.gov are considered public domain and are not protected by copyright unless noted. An audio recording may be downloaded, excerpted or reproduced and distributed, without further permission from DHS. However, use of a portion or segment of an audiotape, such as talent, narration or music, may infringe a right of publicity or copyright and permission should be obtained from the source.

Video and Motion Picture Recordings

Videotape, video files and motion picture recordings made available on DHS.gov are considered public domain and are not protected by copyright unless noted. A recording may be reproduced and distributed without further permission from DHS. Copyrighted music or footage, which is incorporated in a production, may not be used unless permission is obtained from the copyright owner. While in most instances using non-copyrighted segments is permitted, use for commercial purposes of a portion or segment containing talent or a recognizable person may infringe a right of publicity and permission should be obtained from the talent or recognizable person. These guidelines also apply to any and all DHS "live television" satellite broadcasts.

Last Published Date: September 20, 2021

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