Project #8: Understanding Copyright, Giving Credit where Credit is Due

You are going to learn how to use Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a legal system to protect your work, and the work of others. It uses this basic symbol, along with many others…

Some of the other symbols look like what you see below…
bylarge.pngAttribution: You can use it, but give me credit when you do

nclarge.png(don’t charge money US)
ndlarge.pngyou can make derivative works (play around, change it)
pdlarge.png public domain - you can do whatever you want with it

So a finished CC mark might look like this:

cc.png nd.pngnclarge.png (translation: I use a Creative Commons license. You can use my work and mix it and mess around with it, but I don’t give you permission to make money off it.)

Here is a link to a file that has all the Creative Commons logos. Download it and keep it handy on your machine. (Hint: You should use the .png files. They will work best as a layer in Pixelmator, or as an image in Pages.)

For Project #8:

  • Take a lyric from a song or a poem, and illustrate it with a free picture, a picture where you can document the usage rights.
  • Give credit at the lower right to the artists, the artist who wrote the words and the artist who created the image.
  • Don’t just use Google. Use the Advanced Search in Google, or use a different source.
  • Post it to Voicethread.
  • In a comment to the Voicethread, tell me where you got the picture. Give me the URL.

There are billions of images available on the internet—how do you tell what you can use and what you can’t use?

You have to understand a little about copyright. It’s a long story, but here are some of the basics that apply to you.

1) If you use other people’s stuff, give them credit, even if you change it.

2) For educational purposes, you have “fair use” rights, which means you’re allowed to experiment and play with other’s images, but give them credit, and don’t try to resell anything.

3) Your own work is also protected by copyright, and you don’t need to file any papers. It’s protected as soon as you create it. It’s yours, and only you can give away or assign rights to others.

4) Learn about the Creative Commons license. It allows you to retain some rights but also share your work with others.

5) Learn about alternatives to Google Images when searching for images, and learn how to use the Advanced Search abilities inside Google Images. Here’s a really good collection of 15 solid sources for images that are available without paying money.

Still want to use Google? That’s OK, but use the Advanced Image Search.
Here’s how to get there.

  1. Go to Google Search
  2. Click on the Images. You’re just searching Images.
  3. Look at the bottom right and click on Settings, the Advanced Search.
  4. There is a big list of ways to restrict your search. You want to use the restriction near the bottom of the page labeled “usage rights.” Look for something like this: You want to change it to “free to use or share.” Then type in some terms and begin your search. You should get files that you are allowed to use in your own work.


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