Terms of use

Last updated on 28 May 2014

Welcome to the British Council, the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. 

Thank you for wanting to engage digitally with the British Council. We ask that you take time to read these Terms of Use carefully. 

These Terms of Use apply when you use any British Council Digital Services. 

For an explanation of what we mean by British Council Digital Services, please see our answer to the question ’What are British Council Digital Services?’ (below).

If you do access or use British Council Digital Services, it is understood that you agree to these Terms of Use.

Please be aware that if you do not accept these Terms of Use you must not access or use British Council Digital Services.

1. What do these Terms of Use cover?

What are these Terms of Use about?

These Terms of Use explain a number of things including, for example, the rules covering your use of British Council Digital Services.  

These Terms of Use also provide information about your rights.

Do these Terms of Use apply if I am using a mobile phone, tablet or laptop?

Yes. These Terms of Use apply regardless of the sort of device you are using to access British Council Digital Services. This means they will apply whether you are using a computer, laptop, mobile phone, smart phone, tablet, games console or any other device.

Do these Terms of Use apply when I access British Council Digital Services through social media sites?

Yes. These Terms of Use apply to your use of the British Council’s official pages on social media platforms (such as our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/britishcouncil) and to your use of social media to interact with the British Council.

Each social media website may have its own terms of use (and privacy and cookies policies) that will also apply to your use of those sites.

The British Council’s principal office is at 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN, England.

Do these Terms of Use apply to competitions on British Council Digital Services?

From time to time, we may conduct promotions on or through British Council Digital Services, including, without limitation, auctions, contests and sweepstakes (“Competitions”).  Each Competition may have additional terms and conditions and/or rules which will be posted or otherwise made available to you and, for the purposes of each Competition, these Terms of Use will be deemed incorporated into and form a part of the Competition rules. 

Are there any other terms that will apply to my use of British Council Digital Services?

There may be some British Council Digital Services which are subject to additional and/or different terms of use. Where this is the case, you will be directed to those terms of use.

2. What are British Council Digital Services?

When we refer to ’British Council Digital Services’ we mean any British Council internet services or other British Council-authorised internet services, websites, products, mobile phone apps and/or software applications that enable you to use, access, view, listen to and/or download British Council Content or to interact with the British Council online (or through any other digital means) on any device.

3. Who makes British Council Digital Services available to me?

British Council Digital Services are made available to you by the British Council, which is incorporated by Royal Charter in England and Wales and registered as a charity (under number 209131 in England and Wales and number SC037733 in Scotland), unless the relevant British Council Digital Service makes it clear that is being made available to you by another British Council organisation (such as a subsidiary company).

4. What should I do if I have questions, comments or enquiries?

If you have any questions, comments or enquiries about these Terms of Use or British Council Digital Services, please contact us.

If you think that any particular content should not be appearing on any British Council Digital Service then please contact us.

5. What are my obligations when using British Council Digital Services?

Do I have to be over 18 to use British Council Digital Services?

Some British Council Digital Services can only be accessed by registering for a British Council Digital Services account. You may only register to access British Council Digital Services if you are at least 18 years old.  If you are under 18 years old and would like to access British Council Digital Services, please ask your parent or guardian to register for that British Council Digital Service and confirm that they agree to these Terms of Use, and our applicable Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy.

If there is no requirement to register to access a British Council Digital Service, then the British Council is happy for you to access that British Council Digital Service even if you are under 18.

What must I do when accessing British Council Digital Services?

You must behave in a respectful way to all other users of British Council Digital Services.

You must also treat information you obtain from British Council Digital Services with respect and use it only as permitted under these Terms of Use.

The British Council has developed a number of policies, including policies on Privacy, Cookies, Equal Opportunity and Diversity and Child Protection and those policies listed on our Policies page. You must respect these policies when you are using British Council Digital Services.

What must I NOT do when accessing British Council Digital Services?

You must not:

  • use British Council Digital Services in any way that prevents, disrupts or interferes with any other person’s use of British Council Digital Services;
  • abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate any other users of British Council Digital Services;
  • upload or publicise any materials through British Council Digital Services which are false, offensive, sexually explicit, defamatory, threatening, obscene or unlawful or which infringe intellectual property rights;
  • use British Council Digital Services to break any laws of the country in which you live, or encourage anyone else to break those laws;
  • copy British Council Content unless permitted under these Terms of Use (please see our answer to the question ‘What can I do with British Council Content?’ (below)) or otherwise infringe intellectual property rights belonging to the British Council or any of its licensors.  Intellectual property rights include, amongst other things, trade marks such as the British Council logo, and copyright, which protects the British Council Content;
  • modify, delete, interfere with or misuse data contained on British Council Digital Services; 
  • post or send the same, or similar, messages multiple times through British Council Digital Services;
  • share any information which is confidential to any other person;
  • attempt to hack into British Council Digital Services; or
  • suggest that the British Council endorses or approves any product or service (for instance, a personal website) or any non-British Council entity or content, or any belief or opinion expressed within a product or service, without our prior written agreement.

What else do I agree to if I register to access any British Council Digital Services?

Where you are required to use a password to access any part of British Council Digital Services, you agree to:

  • make sure that all details you provide during the registration process (including any details about your age) are truthful and accurate;
  • let us know promptly if any of the details you have provided stop being accurate;
  • use an appropriate profile name.  You must not pretend to be someone else or try to register a profile name which could be considered offensive or defamatory;
  • be entirely responsible for any activity that occurs under your profile name; 
  • keep secret your login details (including your password) - you must change your password if you believe it is no longer secret;
  • set up no more than one account for each British Council Digital Service; and
  • tell us as soon as you can if you become aware of any unauthorised use of your account.

6. What happens if I do not comply with these Terms of Use?

If we believe that you have not complied with these Terms of Use, we may:

  • refuse your further use of and/or access to British Council Digital Services; and/or 
  • delete your account (if applicable); and/or 
  • remove and/or edit any of Your Content from British Council Digital Services.  

For an explanation of what we mean by Your Content, please see our answer to the question ’Can I contribute my own content to British Council Digital Services?’ (below).

7. What is British Council Content?

When we refer to ’British Council Content’ we mean all text, images, graphics, user interfaces, visual interfaces, audio, trade marks, logos, video media, artwork, designs, pdf documents, articles, lesson plans, teaching resources, forms and other content made available to you by the British Council through the relevant British Council Digital Service.

8. Who owns the content published on British Council Digital Services?

The British Council is the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in British Council Content and in the design, structure, ’look and feel’ and the arrangement of British Council Digital Services.  

British Council Content may sometimes include content which is owned or controlled by another person or organisation but which the British Council has a licence to make available to you through the relevant British Council Digital Service.  Sometimes the relevant licence will have additional terms and conditions which need to be followed, such as the GNU General Public License for digital services provided through Moodle.

9. What should I be aware of when using British Council Content?

Does British Council Content always reflect the view of the British Council?

No.  The British Council encourages freedom of expression, but the views expressed by individuals through British Council Digital Services may not represent the views of the British Council.

Will British Council Content always be accurate?

Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that British Council Content (and all other information on British Council Digital Services) is accurate at the time of publication, it will not always be kept up to date.

The material displayed on British Council Digital Services is provided without any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to its accuracy.

10. What can I do with British Council Content?

We encourage you to access, copy, re-tweet, share, download and print, view and/or listen to British Council Content for your own personal and non-commercial use, provided you credit the British Council and abide by any notice or restrictions in the material that you copy, re-tweet, share, download or print.

You must not use British Council Content or material contained in the British Council Digital Services for any other purpose without our prior written approval, including:

  • commercial purposes except as expressly stated by the British Council in the relevant British Council Digital Service;
  • republish any British Council Content on another website (although this does not prevent you from re-tweeting British Council Content);
  • modify British Council Content in any way;
  • use any illustrations, images, video or audio sequences or any graphics within British Council Content separately from any accompanying text; and
  • remove any trade mark, copyright or other proprietary notices contained in or appearing on British Council Content in whole or in part.

If you wish to make any use of British Council Content that is not authorised by these Terms of Use, please contact us for permission explaining the purpose of use and full details of any British Council Content you wish to use.

British Council Content is protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. 

11. Can I contribute my own content to British Council Digital Services?

Some British Council Digital Services enable you to share Your Content with us and with other users of British Council Digital Services.

When we refer to ‘Your Content’ we mean any content created, developed or in any way added on or to British Council Digital Services by you or through your password-protected account.  For example, Your Content might include comments, articles, photographs, graphics, audios, videos, presentations, images, spreadsheets or details of events you are holding.

Please do not endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or break any laws when creating Your Content or uploading Your Content to British Council Digital Services.

12. What should I be aware of when I contribute my own content to British Council Digital Services?

Will my contribution to British Council Digital Services always be acknowledged?

We normally show your name with your contribution, unless you request otherwise, but for operational reasons this is not always possible.

Will the British Council moderate my contribution to British Council Digital Services?

Some British Council Digital Services are moderated to check that Your Content is consistent with these Terms of Use.  We will always try to publish Your Content as soon as reasonably practicable but we cannot guarantee that content you submit for publication through British Council Digital Services will always be published.

The British Council reserves the right to remove any of Your Content from British Council Digital Services if we believe that it does not comply with these Terms of Use.

Will I continue to own content I contribute to British Council Digital Services?

Provided that Your Content is your original work, you will continue to own Your Content and copyright in Your Content will remain with you.  The rights granted to the British Council to make use of Your Content are not exclusive, so you can continue to use the material in any way, including allowing others to use Your Content.

By uploading or otherwise adding Your Content to any British Council Digital Services, you confirm that all Your Content is your original work, is not defamatory, does not infringe any laws and that you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in Your Content (or the consent of their parent/guardian if they are under 18).

What can the British Council do with my content?

By uploading or otherwise adding Your Content to any British Council Digital Services, you grant to the British Council, free of charge, permission to use Your Content (including modifying and adapting it for operational and editorial reasons) in any media worldwide for the purposes explained in the relevant British Council Digital Service and for encouraging networking and wider conversation about educational opportunities and cultural relations. If you do not want the British Council to make use of Your Content, please do not upload or otherwise add any content to British Council Digital Services. 

You are advised to keep a copy of all Your Content because the British Council cannot guarantee to return a copy of Your Content to you at any time.

13. Will British Council Digital Services always be available?

We use our reasonable endeavours to ensure British Council Digital Services are available to you.

However, owing to the nature of the internet, we cannot guarantee that British Council Digital Services or the websites to which they are linked will be available to you.  You should ensure that you have appropriate protection against viruses and other malware and other security arrangements in place whilst using the internet.

British Council Content is selected, edited, updated and made available to all users by the British Council through British Council Digital Services at our sole discretion.  This means that we can remove British Council Content from a British Council Digital Service at any time.

We have agreements with third parties that own or control parts of British Council Content, and these agreements permit them to make the content available through British Council Digital Services.  As a result of these agreements, the period of time during which the user may access, view and/or listen to British Council Content using British Council Digital Services may vary.

14. What terms apply to links to websites that are operated by other people or organisations?

What links are included from British Council Digital Services? 

British Council Digital Services contain links to other websites on the Internet that are operated by other people or organisations (‘Third Party Sites’). These Third Party Sites may have their own terms of use, so you will need to be aware of these.  

We have no responsibility under these Terms of Use for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality, decency, or any other aspect of the content of any Third Party Sites. 

The fact that we have included a link to a Third Party Site from British Council Digital Services should not be taken as an endorsement of that Third Party Site, or any association with its operators, by the British Council.  

Any purchase of goods or services through a Third Party Site will be subject to the terms and conditions of sale brought to your attention before or at the time of purchase.

Can I post links to British Council Digital Services or British Council Content on my website, or other social networking services?

As a general rule, the British Council will not object if you have a text link from your website, or social media page, to British Council Digital Services that are accessible free of charge. However, you may not copy any part of British Council Digital Services into different websites or products without our prior written permission and you may not publish or otherwise use direct links to British Council Content (without the context of the relevant British Council Digital Service) without our prior written permission. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to prevent you from re-tweeting British Council Content.

You are not allowed to link to British Council Digital Services if you create or post any illegal, obscene or offensive content, or if the link is likely to have a negative impact on the British Council’s reputation.  

The British Council will always have the right to restrict the use of links to British Council Digital Services that require payment to access.

15. How does the British Council protect my personal information?

How will my personal information be protected?

The British Council is the data controller of any personal data collected through British Council Digital Services for the purpose of the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

When you use British Council Digital Services, any personal data (including sensitive personal data) collected from you will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

When we collect information for a specific product or service, we will explain why we need the information and how it will be used.

You can also request a copy of the information the British Council holds about you.

Do any British Council Digital Services use cookies?

Yes. Some British Council Digital Services use cookies to try to enhance your experience using British Council Digital Services. For more information on the cookies we use, and to find out how to block cookies, view the Cookies Policy published for the relevant British Council Digital Service.

16. What happens if anything goes wrong with British Council Digital Services?

British Council Digital Services and any information or other material contained in them are made available strictly on the basis that you accept them on an ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ basis. Where you rely on any information or other material contained in British Council Digital Services, you do so entirely at your own risk and you accept that all warranties, conditions and undertakings, express or implied, whether by common law, statute, trade usage, course of dealings or otherwise in respect of British Council Digital Services are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

British Council Digital Services have been prepared with the aim of providing key information about the British Council and the work we do, and do not constitute advice in relation to any particular situation.

Consequently, the British Council and all subsidiary entities of the British Council, and each of their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, representatives and agents, exclude all liability arising from your use of British Council Digital Services to the fullest extent permitted by law.

17. Which laws apply to my use of British Council Digital Services?

The laws of England and Wales apply. These Terms of Use and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.

The English courts will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising from, or related to, these Terms of Use and/or any British Council Digital Services. This means that all claims relating to these Terms of Use and/or British Council Digital Services can be settled by a judge (or a number of judges) in an English court. However, the British Council retains the right to bring proceedings against you for breach of these Terms of Use in your country of residence or any other relevant country.

18. What terms will apply if I pay for particular British Council Digital Services or British Council Content?

Some British Council Digital Services and British Council Content will only be available if you have paid for access to them. In these circumstances, additional terms and conditions that apply to your purchase of relevant British Council Digital Services and British Council Content will be drawn to your attention before you make your purchase, and you will be asked to confirm your agreement to those additional terms. These Terms of Use will also apply to the contract between you and the British Council for the purchase of any British Council Digital Services and British Council Content (unless, and only to the extent, there is any inconsistency with the additional terms that we draw to your attention at the time of purchase).

19. Will these Terms of Use ever change?

The Terms of Use may change from time to time and, if they do, the up-to-date version will always be available on www.britishcouncil.org (and we will always make the up-to-date version of the Terms of Use available to you through British Council Digital Services). 

We will also indicate at the top of these Terms of Use when they were last updated.

Any revised version of these Terms of Use will be effective immediately when it is displayed on www.britishcouncil.org.