Is TfL helping Boris paint a re-election picture?

Browsing Boris Johnson’s 2012 re-election campaign site I was struck by the familiarity of a couple of the images illustrating blog posts on it – both seem identical (cropping aside) to images contained in the online gallery which Transport for London makes available to the media.

Two comparisons beneath show the images in the TfL image library and the images as used on

TfL’s website claims copyright on all images contained within the online gallery and requires that any use be accompanied with the credit “(c) Transport for London 2005”.

It also stipulates that:

“Images held in the TfL News Centre image library may be used by members of the media for press use only”

although anyone wishing to use them for other purposes is invited to contact the TfL press office for permission.

I’ve asked TfL to confirm that they really do own the copyright in the images (as opposed to just licensing them from a 3rd party which may have also sold them to Team Boris) and, if so, provide details of the terms they were made available to Boris’s re-election campaign on.

Depending on the answers, others candidates might want to ask TfL’s press office for help with sprucing up their campaign literature.

Update: A Transport for London spokesman confirmed the images “are wholly owned by TfL” and added that they “should be credited to TfL when used.”

As of this update there is no such credit on Boris’s re-election site.

The spokesman also confirmed the images could be used “by media and other non-commercial websites including all Mayoral candidates” subject to the proper credits being present although TfL has not “proactively contacted any of the campaigns” to advise them of this.


  1. Mabel says

    The response from TfL gives me more questions than answers.

    Does this apply to just Mayoral candidates, or Assembly ones too? What about those standing for council or Parliamentary seats? Does that mean BNP candidates are free to use this taxpayer-funded imagery in their election literature? I’m not comfortable with that idea at all.

  2. says

    Mabel – I asked TfL to confirm to me that the images could be used by the BNP – the answer was:

    “If they are a registered political party.”

    so that seems to be a ‘yes’!