Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Use of Images Online

Copyright is the U.S. law that protects original written, artistic, musical, and other types of works. One common copyright issue is the posting of images on webpages found online. As educators we strive to engage our audience with words and images and we have learned how easy it is to find hundreds, if not thousands, of images online using tools such as Google image search and “stock” photography sites. Unfortunately, not all images that we find online are able to be legally re-posted on webpages.

Many images are perfectly fine to use on our webpages:
  • photos we have taken ourselves
  • graphics we have created ourselves
  • public domain images
  • images with certain Creative Commons licenses
Unless you are positive that you may use a particular image you have found online, it is best not to use it and avoid the possibility of copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is illegal and may result in penalties in the form of "cease and desist letters" and/or fines that are assessed by the copyright owner.

One resource we have in Barrington 220 about our copyright responsibilities is the Copyright and Fair Use General Principles section of the school opening presentation that covered a variety of “mandated” information. You can review the copyright section here.

Often, images found on the Internet include a "watermark," indicating that
they are copyright by someone else and, therefore, not free to use.
(This is one of my own photos with a watermark I added for illustrative purposes.)

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