Archive:Copyright Howto For Professors

Revision as of 23:25, 2 February 2009 by Gameguy43 (talk | contribs) (=Fair Use)
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Goals of This Guide

  • show profs where to get images (and other media) for their slideshows (or other course materials)
    • so that their course materials are suitable for publishing online as an OER (such as OCW)
  • approach from the angle of making life easier for professors. this is all about them having to worry _less_ about copyright issues
  • super duper simple and step-by-step and brief and approachable
  • eventually we're going to turn this into a pamphlet thing

On With The Show

This is a guide for professors who want to use outside material (images, video, text, etc) in their course materials without having to worry about copyright infringement. This makes it easy to share your course materials with others inside and outside of the university without legal worries.

Where to Get Material


Public Domain

Creative-Commons Licensed

  • Wikimedia Commons: Great for diagrams and figures. Some photographs as well. Most of this content is Creative Commons licensed, but some is in the public domain. Each piece has its own copyright information attached.
  • Flickr CC Search: Original photographs from all around the world. Huge database.


Public Domain

Creative-Commons Licensed


Public Domain

Creative-Commons Licensed


Public Domain

Creative-Commons Licensed

What If I Can't Find What I need?

Fair Use

Because you are in an academic environment, some uses of copyrighted material may be acceptable without permission. Relying on fair use for your course materials is discouraged when it's not entirely necessary because it doesn't scale--as you decide to use publish your course materials in other places, you may have to re-evaluate whether or not you are still protected by fair use. That being said, fair use is sometimes the best solution when you need to use a piece of media and there just isn't a good openly-licensed or public domain alternative. Heck, Wikipedia even does it.

Here is a link for more info on fair use.-----

Make it Yourself

If you're looking for something, chances are that other professionals are looking for it too. Make it yourself openly license and publish it so that it can be of use to others.

License and Publish Your Own Work

If you're finding value in openly licensed media, then the best way to say thank you is to contribute back to the commons! Who knows, maybe your work will get passed around until it ends up the hands of a potential collaborator or employer.


We recommend using a Creative Commons license because it allows you to specify exactly how you want your work to be used. Simply use the CC License Chooser.

notes/discussion (not part of the guide)

--i omitted this because i was worried that profs would too easily end up using it to find non-cc items (especiall with the google search. -Parker ccSearch: use this to search more broadly, but be careful. For example, the google results will have one cc license on them, but not necessarily everything on the page/site is cc-ed

this is useful as part of implementing OCW. professors need to be taught how to use openly licensed images in their slideshow presentations so that their slideshows can be put online.

" get your images from a flickr cc search or wikimedia commons. not google images. here are the links, and here (briefly) is why it matters. also, here is how to openly license and publish images of your own. "

let's flesh this out!

potential model:

Why Does Copyright Matter To Me? -Teaching -Creating

What Is Copyright? -[quick definition]

How Does Copyright Affect Me? -Unless you teach only public domain material, your courses are going to use copyrighted material. When you assign readings, add images to lecture slides or assign papers, copyright is going to be involved. Luckily, copyright has an exception of sorts which allows teachers a wide breadth to pursue their educational mission.

What Is Fair Use? -[defintion]