Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Copyright - Time to get it right

Wikimedia Commons.
Last week I posted about "Copyright and Third Party Data" - there is a heightened awareness about re-using data that is not your own and that is publicly available. I will strive to acknowledge all sources of data that I use in my classes and try as far as is possible to use only data that I have permission to do so.

The thought has also struck me that this rule should apply to all other third-party resources. For example, it has long been my habit to add images to my module resources such as PowerPoint slides. Usually I show the link where I "sourced" the image, though often I am simply referring to a page which in turn has not acknowledged the original source. Sometimes I use such images for explaining concepts, other times it is simply to fill up blank spaces on a slide or to make the slide look prettier (or at least - less dull). I also used many images that are not my own in this blog, for several years now I have always indicated the source - but this is not enough. It does result in me using images that I do not have permission to do so.

Google always warns us when we do an image search that "Images may be subject to copyright". Google also has a very useful page What is "Copyright"? - well worth reading for anyone not sure about copyright.

Hopefully my practice from now on is to only use images when it is clear that I have permission to do so. Wikimedia Commons is great for this as everything there is open source. There are many other sources of free images, but most seem to be copyrighted. It is a good idea to follow this practice. Not many students read this blog, but it would be hypocritical for me to flout copyright laws while at the same time preaching in class how important it is. 

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