My current thinking is that with all the problems and risk associated with digital content copyright, I am getting back into the habit of making my own content (eg. Image taken with this blog post was a 30 second iPhone moment in the office today).
Before you become a Creative Commons expert, which you should, see my five recommended and sequential approaches to copyright:
- Don’t Assume
- Check Licensing
- Ask Permission
- Build local Stock
- Make your own
Why not MYO images for your next project? Most of us know what copyright implies, (sort of), basically you don’t use it if you don’t have permissions to use it. You can’t just grab some image from Google Images and use it as you please. Really?. Yes Really?. The biggest culprits of copyright infringement are people like me, that is educators, who in an attempt to get a quick image or video for a presentation or resource just grab what they can find.
‘If it’s in the public domain then I can use it’, ‘As long as I put their name on it I can use it’, ‘As long as I only use 10% of it’, ‘As long as I don’t sell it’. All false assumptions and popular misinformation.
For an excellent detailed summary of attribution see fair use copyright and introduction to using images, but here is what people aren’t telling you. It is very difficult to ascertain the original source and owner of any digital asset. Even images purchased online from stock art websites can’t be trusted anymore as I can tell you many stories of individuals receiving nasty legal letters for using images they thought were ok at time of purchase. One teacher said a picture of her baby daughter is ranking high on Google images as it was at some point, entered into a baby photo competition. As more people reuse this image the harder it will be for her to get this image taken down from the internet. Images like this can even be sold online as at some stage tracing the original source becomes too hard.
It takes more time, it means getting creative but building a local stock of your team’s own creations can also be the unique edge you’ve been looking for.