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Problem Solved. Finding Copyright-Friendly Photos for Assignments

Expert Shares Tips, Tools for Finding Copyright-Friendly Photos

When students are creating book reports or PowerPoint presentations, they may find it difficult to decide whether their images are public domain, or not. One particular project helps both groups depict which photos to use in their assignments.

Creative Commons "is designed to span the gap between full copyright and the public domain," according to Kathy Schrock, professor and independent education technologist on Schrock said the Creative Commons project "provides content creators the opportunity to state ahead of time how their images may [or may not] be used."

"When an image creator posts an image online and applies a Creative Commons license to it, there are four conditions/restrictions they can apply to the image:

  1. Attribution (giving credit to the creator) is always expected.
  2. Commercial use: the creator can state whether their item can be used commercially or just non-commercially.
  3. Transformation: the creator can allow others to change their work, by mashing it up, cropping it, editing it, etc.
  4. Share alike: if the creator allows other to transform their work, they may also state, if someone wants to transform the work, the created image must carry the same Creative Commons license as the one that was transformed. I call this the 'pay it forward' option."

Schrock also offers tips on how to find public domain photos with other search engines, such as Google and Flickr. When using Google, she said, "after the initial search, students will see a 'search tools' sub-menu. Once that is clicked on, they can view a menu entitled 'labeled for reuse.' This drop-down menu provides the ability to limit the search to just Creative Commons licensed items."

When using Flickr to search for images, Schrock said, "after the initial search, a sub-menu called 'Creative Commons' appears to limit the search to images that have permission to be used."

"The most important outcome of using Creative Commons-licensed images is our students begin to understand and practice 'giving credit where credit is due,'" she said. "Granted, the students do have more fair use rights than the general public when using images in support of learning. However, by teaching them how to locate Creative Commons-licensed images, we are building a life-long respect for honoring the intellectual property of others."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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