Alice Keeler put it perfectly in her blog post – “That Image is Not Yours. Do Not Touch” (see the link below). Copying someone’s words OR images is plagiarizing. Period. Using copyright material also leaves you open to copyright infringement.
So what does this mean?
You need to:
- Learn what images you are and aren’t allowed to use, and why.
- Learn how to attribute images you are allowed to use.
- Educate your students that you can’t just use any images off the Internet on their blogs
- Show them how to source and attribute images they are allowed to use.
Understanding digital copyright is an essential skill we need to understand.
“So what am I to do?” you ask…”I have no artistic talent and my website or blog will be hideous with no image content!”
The safest way to source images for your blog is to either:
- Use Creative Commons images.
- Use free public domain images.
- Use your own photos or use images you’ve created.
INTRO TO CREATIVE COMMONS
Creative Commons, founded in 2001, is an organization which provides free content license known as a creative commons license that people can apply to their work.
When you license your work with creative commons, you are giving people the permission to use it without having to ask permission, provided they use it in the manner stated in your creative commons license.
The reason people use creative commons licenses is to make it easier for everyone to share and adapt creative work without the concern of copyright infringement.
Watch this video on Creative Commons.
Watch this video for a summary of the different creative commons’ licences.
Creative commons licenses are used for books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings.
If an image, or website, doesn’t include a Creative Commons license, or isn’t public domain work, or indicates that the content is free to use than it automatically implies all content is copyright and you shouldn’t use!
There are a websites that provide public domain images that are free to use, or have their own free to use licensing, but you need to make sure sure you follow their terms and conditions of use.
For those wondering, unless a blogger includes a Creative Commons license, all content on that blog is automatically the copyright of the blogger.
FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS IMAGES
One of the most common sources of Creative Commons images used by bloggers is Flickr (an online photo sharing website).
Unfortunately many assume Flickr images are licensed under creative commons and allowed to be used. This isn’t the case.
Images marked as “All Rights Reserved” are copyrighted and require permission from the person who uploaded it to Flickr. Images with “Some rights reserved” means the Flickr user has applied a Creative Commons license to their photo and you can use the image in the manner specified by the license.
If you look at images directly on Flickr always check to see which license applies to ensure you only use the image in the manner specified by the license.
The license is listed below the image.
For those you might be allowed to use click on “Some rights reserved”.
This takes you to the Creative commons licence where you can read how you are allowed to use the image.
FINDING CREATIVE COMMONS IMAGES
The best option for finding Flickr Creative commons images is to use one of the great Flickr Search Engines.
Compfight is one of the most popular Flickr Search engines. It provides a range of search options including search by tags only vs. all the text, licenses, the option to show or hide originals and turn on/off the safe content filter.
All images above the line returned by your Compfight search are professional stock photos — they aren’t free to use. Those below the line are Flickr Photos.
Photos for Class
Photos for Class is a student friendly place for searching safe images from Creative Commons Flickr.
The downloaded images include attribution of the photographer and the image license terms.
Multicolr Search Lab
Multicolr Search Lab allows you to search Flickr images by color. This is a handy tool when you’re trying to match specific colors. All you need to do is select up to 5 colors.
Creative Commons and image attribution
It’s a requirement of all Creative Commons Licenses that you attribute the original author. This means you can’t just use a creative commons image without acknowledging the person who originally created it.
Within or at the end your blog post you must attribute the image, include their copyright information and you should link the photo back to it’s original photo page.
Here’s an example of image attribution:
Photo by Chotda licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
ADDING IMAGES FROM COMPFIGHT TO POSTS
Here’s how easy it is to find an image on Comfight and add it to your post with image attribution:
1. Go to Compfight and enter your search term.
Make sure Creative Commons and Safe search is selected.
2. Click on the creative commons image you want to use.
3. This launches a pop up image window.
4. Click on ‘Some Rights Reserved‘ to check the creative commons license.
5. Click on ‘Download‘ next to the size you want to use to download it onto your computer.
6. Click on Add Media icon in your post editor.
7. Click on ‘Upload Files’ and then ‘Select Files’.
8. Locate the image on your computer and click Open to upload.
9. While your image is uploading you will see a progress bar.
10. Once the image has uploaded add the (1) image title, (2) alternative text, (3) paste the HTML code into the caption, (4) Select Custom URL, (5) Paste original image location, (6) Select full size and then click (7) Insert into Post.
11. Your image will insert and look like this.
USING OWN IMAGES
The alternative options to sourcing images from other websites is to upload your own photos or create images using online tools.
Here’s some ideas for creating your own images:
- Comic Generators like ToonDoo
- Photo Editors like Befunky, fd’s Flickr Tools
- Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
- Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs
- Fun photo tools CutMyPic, Deefunia, Glitterfly, PhotoFunia, Says It recommended by the Daring Librarian. For more check out WebTools4U2 for other great tools for creating your own images.