Tel Tales

Adventures in Technology Enhanced Learning @ UoP

Tag: copyright

Open source repositories

Alana Aldred

Okay, so this post isn’t really about whether cats are cuter than dogs… rather, it’s about open source repositories, and how they can help you easily access copyright free images and open source content!

We all know that using strong visuals and resources are a really important element in creating engaging paper-based and online course content to enhance the student learning experience.

And we also know that the internet is rich with photos, illustrations, graphic elements, fonts and videos… just a quick Google search and you can find thousands of hits right at your fingertips. But how do we know what is legally allowed to be used without restrictions? It’s fair to say that copyright law can be a bit of a minefield!

So to make life just a little easier, next time you are thinking about revamping old course materials, or creating some new ones, why not take a look at, for example, Wikimedia Commons. The site holds hundreds of thousands of media files, which can be freely used for educational purposes.

Another example of a lesser known repository is NYPL Digital Collections. This site holds a vast array of research collections featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video and much, much more!

The following websites have curated links to dozens of free and open source resources (and offer more than just cute pictures of cats and dogs!), which can be used with either little or no restrictions. You can also find tools that can be used to help deliver course content in a more engaging way.

 

Guest blogger: David Sherren – Copyright when blogging

David Sherren

David Sherren
Map Librarian – University Library, UoP

Copyright guru – David maintains the Copyright Guidelines at the University and endeavours to answer any copyright questions that come his way which, given the ambiguity of the subject, can be a challenge!

When producing content for a blog post it’s very easy just to ‘borrow’ material from other web sites and blogs. However, it’s important to remember that all web sites, emails, blogs and photographs are protected by copyright. Don’t assume that giving someone credit for material you use means that there is no copyright infringement.

Here are some things that you can do:

  • There is a copyright exception that allows you to quote from someone else’s work, provided that:

(a)  the work has been made available to the public;

(b)  the use of the quotation is fair (so it doesn’t affect the market for the original work);

(c)  the quote is relevant and its extent is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used; and

(d) the quotation is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

Note that copying a photograph is not normally allowed under this exception. 

  • You can use material that is in the public domain.

This public domain image, for example, comes from pixabay.com. You could also search among over a million public domain images released by the British Library and made available on Flickr Commons.

  • Use materials with a Creative Commons (CC) Licence that allows re-use. For example, the most accommodating licence is the Attribution (BY) Licence, which allows you to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon someone else’s work as long as you give the original creator credit. Appropriate images can be found by using http://search.creativecommons.org/, which links to various search services. Alternatively you can find licensed material by using the advanced search option in either Google or Flickr. The image below is available under a CC licence and is shown with its appropriate attribution, which includes the title of the work, the name of the author and a link to the work.

Technology Enhanced Learning This Way by Alan Levine is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There is some basic information about copyright in our Copyright Guidelines.

If you have any questions about copyright issues then please contact: david.sherren@port.ac.uk.