Success story 1: Copyright in Coursework

Gemma is a third-year art and photography student.

"As part of my coursework I frequently need to look for images of art works and also photographs. I constantly find myself in a dilemma when it comes to including images within my coursework since it has been explained to us several times that we must be careful about the origin of images that we utilised and also how we use them."

"It's not so bad when images are to be included in rough sketchbooks or maybe even in a particular written assignment but when the work may be included as part of a public display I tend to get very confused about what I can use and how. Even having looked into copyright in some depth and spoken with my tutors I still don't feel confident using images where the copyright usage terms are not explicitly stated."

"When one of my tutors directed me towards some free image sites and we were shown what Creative Commons could do for us it changed the way I worked completely. I'm still careful to make sure that the images I use are covered by copyright and I will often ask the person who posted the image/s whether it is okay for me to use it in the context that I'm thinking of (just to make sure!)"

"It can be difficult to find very specific images that are provided for free use but in the majority of cases, for example when I'm composing pieces of work such as collages of photos, I can now do so without worrying that I am infringing copyright law and I know I'm unlikely to get myself and my institution into trouble."

"My friends and I all share ways we've found to locate good images and we've even created our own list of tips and websites on our institution's VLE so that other students can quickly and easily find what they need. As a photographer I've also started to make my work available under Creative Commons licenses so that other people can use my pictures if they happen to be of interest."

Success story 2: Visual Impact in Lectures

Dr Paul Jacobs is a lecturer who teaches on several biological courses. He uses images frequently within his teaching materials for a number of reasons including making learning materials more interesting, illustrating difficult concepts (e.g. what a particular species of animal looks like) and to accommodate different learning styles.

Paul uses his own images where possible but often has to fall back on finding images online.

"For me, using images in my teaching is very important especially now that much of my teaching resource is provided on the Institution's VLE. There are thousands of great images available on-line to choose between but it's not always easy to find what you want especially when you consider other people's copyright."

"Before I became more aware of copyright in images I used to use any photos I found on the Web but increasingly I'm using sites that have Creative Commons pools to source pictures. I feel more comfortable in the knowledge that these images are provided specifically for use by people like me in teaching and learning contexts."

"Occasionally, for very specific images destined for print, I've had to be more creative and ask permission to use images I've found online. Sometimes this works but it does take time and effort."

"Having started using sites like Flickr (Creative Commons section) and Stock.xchng I've not needed to revert to using Google at all for my image needs. I've also discovered other sites that are specifically geared up to biological images along the way and these fill in many of the gaps that the more general image sites can't cater for."

Success story 3: An Image-conscious Librarian

Dan Thomson is a Higher Education subject librarian (history and archaeology). He is regularly asked to find and provide a wide range of images relating to his subject area.

"Within the library we are lucky to have a relatively large image collection, however, most of the images are on transparencies and finding and scanning them can take a lot of time and effort."

"I find myself increasingly reliant upon the Internet to meet people's expectations and deadlines, not to mention manage my own workload."

"We have a small budget for buying images but largely we are required to find what we can for free. I have spent a good deal of time researching sites for images and have managed to find some that have collections of free-to-use historical and archaeological images. They're not always the easiest of pictures to come by!"

"Using generic search engines has always been discouraged here due to copyright issues but thankfully increasing numbers of sites are providing free-to-use images. You still have to be a little careful, however, to make sure that the photographer submitting the photograph does actually own the copyright. Also, I have found it necessary and very beneficial to learn a little about copyright law since people contributing images to "free" sites often don't understand copyright themselves and inadvertently infringe the copyright of others."

"It is fair to say however, that with the rise in the number of sites providing free images that my life has become substantially easier and I can now generally provide specific images to students and staff on a very quick turnover, which was impossible before."

Last modified: Monday, 8 July 2013, 4:50 PM