Activity 7: Fair use, copyright, and introduction to using images

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Welcome to our free professional development series on class and student blogging!

This series consists of a range of activities that take you through the process of class and student blogging.   While many of the class blog examples we’ve included are from primary grades, the same principles apply for class blogs regardless of student age (including adult learners).


The activities can be completed at your own pace and in any order!

The aim of this activity is to introduce you to the use of images and how to use them on class and student blogs.

Click on a link below to go to the section you want to work on:

  1. Introduction to copyright, fair use and using images in blog posts?
  2. Introduction to Creative Commons
    1. Creative Commons licenses
    2. Flickr Creative Commons images
    3. Searching and adding Creative Commons images to blog posts
    4. Creative commons and image attribution
  3. Adding images to blog posts using image location
  4. Uploading photos from your computer
  5. Online tools for creating your own images
  6. What now?


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Introduction to copyright, fair use and using images in blog posts

You can’t just use any image you like in a blog post.

Why?  Because unless stated otherwise, the law automatically grants full “copyright” over any creative work a person makes.

I’m sure you’re probably thinking it is okay because as educators, we have a few more flexible rules, called “Fair Use”, to play by.  Fair use, in some cases, if an image, text, video, etc. is being used for educational purposes, means you may have more flexible copyright rules.

The trouble is, most of the laws and rules that cover fair use and education were written well before the invention of the web.  They don’t apply to use of copyright material on the Internet.  Using copyright material leaves you open to copyright infringement.

So what does this mean?

You need to:

  1. Learn what images you are and aren’t allowed to use, and why.
  2. Learn how to attribute images you are allowed to use.
  3. Educate your students that you can’t just use any images off the Internet in their blog posts, show them how to source and attribute images they are allowed to use.

Understanding digital copyright is an essential skill we need to understand and teach our students.  This post focuses on use of images.

Refer to The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons for comprehensive information on the use of images, curriculum docs, text and quotes, music, videos.

The safest way to source images for blog posts is to either use your own photos, images you created or use Creative Commons images.

Here’s a list of websites you can use for sourcing images:

  1. Flickr Creative Commons images
  2. Creative Commons Search
  3. Findicon.com
  4. Open Clipart Library
  5. Morguefile
  6. StockVaul.net

Check out Joyce Valenza’s Comprehensive list of Copyright Friendly Image websites.


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Introduction to Creative Commons

Creative Commons, founded in 2001, is an organization which provides free content license known as a creative commons license that people can apply to their work.

When you license your work with creative commons, you are giving people the permission to use it without having to ask permission, provided they use it in the manner stated in your creative commons license.

The reason people use creative commons licenses is to make it easier for everyone to share and adapt creative work without the concern of copyright infringement.

Creative commons licenses are used for books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings.

If an image, or website, doesn’t include a Creative Commons license then it automatically implies all content is the copyright and you shouldn’t use!

Please note:  there are a few websites that do provide free images that aren’t licensed under Creative Commons licenses — make sure you follow their terms and conditions of use.

For those wondering, unless a blogger includes a Creative Commons license, all content on that blog is automatically the copyright of the blogger.

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Creative Commons Licenses

There are several different types of Creative commons licenses people use depending on what restriction(s) they want to apply to their work.

For example,on the bottom right corner of the sidebar of The Edublogger you’ll see we license all content on the blog as “Attribution – Non-Commercial - Share Alike”.

That is fancy talk for letting you know that you are free to use anything on The Edublogger as long as you:

  1. give an attribution or credit that lets others know where you got the info with a link to The Edublogger,
  2. won’t profit in any way from using our content and use it for non-business purposes only, and
  3. anything you create with our content, you must use the same license.

Below’s a quick summary of the different types of Creative commons licenses:

Attribution CC BY

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), remix (to adapt the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NoDerivs

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided you do not alter, transform or build upon the work and you attribute it in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike               

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) provided it isn’t used for commercial purposes, you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor and you distribute it under the same license.

Attribution-ShareAlike               

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) and use it for commercial purposes provided if you alter, transform or build upon the work provided you distribute it under the similar license.  You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercial               

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) and remix (to adapt the work) provided it isn’t used for commercial purposes.  You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs               

Allowed to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work) provided you do not alter, transform or build upon the work or use it for commercial purposes and you attribute it in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

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Flickr Creative Commons images

One of the most common sources of Creative Commons images used by bloggers is Flickr (an online photo sharing website).

Unfortunately many assume Flickr images are licensed under creative commons and allowed to be used.  This isn’t the case.

Images marked as “All Rights Reserved” are copyrighted and require permission from the person who uploaded it to Flickr.  Images with “Some rights reserved” means the Flickr user has applied a Creative Commons license to their photo and you can use the image in the manner specified by the license.

If you look at images directly on Flickr always check to see which license applies to ensure you only use the image in the manner specified by the license.  Click on “Some rights reserved” to confirm which Creative Commons license applies.



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Finding Creative Commons images

The best option for finding Flickr Creative commons images is to use online tools such as:

  1. Compfight - great for fast searching.
  2. Flickr Blue Mountains
  3. Flickr Storm - ideal if you want to provide a selection of Flickr images on a specific topic for students to choose from.

Other sources of Creative Commons images include:

  1. Wikimedia Commons
  2. Search by Creative Commons
Check out Joyce Valenza’s comprehensive list of Copyright Friendly Images website list.

Searching and adding Creative commons images to blog posts

Refer to Kathleen Morris’s detailed instructions on how to search and add creative commons images to blog posts.

Kathleen created this guide for her students to provide step-by-step instructions on how to find images on FlickrCC and Wikimedia Commons and upload them, with attribution, to blog posts.

We recommend you download her Guide here to use with your students or read it directly within the embedded Scribd below:

Using Creative Commons Images From FlickrCC and Wikimedia Commons in Blog Posts


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Creative Commons and image attribution

It’s a requirement of all Creative Commons Licenses that you attribute the original author.  This means you can’t just use a creative commons image without acknowledging the person who originally created it.

Within or at the end your blog post you must attribute the image and you must link the photo back to it’s original photo page.

Here’s an example of image attribution:

Photo by Darwin Bell licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

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Here’s how to add an image to a blog post using image location:

1.  Right click on the image and select Copy image location.

2.  Click on Add Media icon.


3.  Click on From URL

4.  Paste the image location, add image title, Link Image to original photo location and click Insert into Post.

Please note:

  • Some School Districts block Flickr
  • If Flickr is blocked in your District you need to download the photo onto your computer and then upload it to your blog post.


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Uploading photos from digital cameras

Digital cameras are designed for printing good quality photos and not for uploading directly into blog posts.

A photo from a digital camera can be as large as 2.4 MB, it’ll unnecessarily use up blog storage space and takes longer to load your image compared to an image that is resized before uploading.

It’s really important to resize them before uploading to your blog post.

The best option is to resize the photo to:

  1. 450 pixels wide – if you want it to take up the full width of your post area
  2. 150-200 pixels – to left or right align the image with wrapped text

Here’s some tools you can use to resize your photos:

  1. InfraView – here’s how you do basic image editing using irfanView
  2. Picasa – here’s instructions on resizing your photos using Picasa
  3. Picture Manager – here’s detailed instructions on how to use Picture Manager
  4. PIXresizer – Here’s instructions for resizing images using PIXresizer.
  5. iPhoto

Uploading image to your blog post is as simple as:

1.  Click on Add Media icon.

2. In the Add Media window click on the Select Files button.

3.  Locate the images on your hard drive

Use your Shift or Crtl key to select more than one image.

4.  Click Open to start uploading the images.

5. While your images are uploading you will see a progress bar.

  • If you upload more than one image you will need to click on the Show link to edit the image details and insert an image into a post.

6.  Now all you need to do is:

  • Add a title for the image
  • choose how you want the image align (None, Left, Center or Right)
  • select size of image you want to insert (Thumbnail, Medium, Large or Full Size)
  • and then click Insert into Post


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Online tools for creating your own images

Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  kerpoof, ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunky, fd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts!


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What now?

How did you go?

What have your learnt about using images? Leave a comment below with a link to your blog and let us all take a look!

Also feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.

Or go to Activity 8: Cool tools for enhancing your blog posts!

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18 thoughts on “Activity 7: Fair use, copyright, and introduction to using images

  1. That it is important to link back to the source even with Creative Commons (which I have used). I will ensure that I discuss this with my granddaughter, whom I have set up on an edublog. Thank you for your informative information and the edublogs site!
    I will remember to credit the source (link)!
    Best,
    Lynne

  2. Hi Lynne, our biggest issue is the use of copyright images. We get lots of emails to remove images from blogs. Teaching them early on about creative commons, attributions and linking to the photo page makes them more aware of not using copyright images.

    Hi Alfred, there is variations between countries but websites like us are required to act immediately on any DMCA infringements we receive ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act ) . So in our case, regardless of the country of origin if a copyright infringement has occurred we immediately remove the offending item(s).

    We get a lot of teachers who assume that Fair Use allows them to use on their websites. Students are more likely to be cause out by use of copyright images whereas teachers are more likely to breach copyright by uploading PDFs of books, curriculum documents.

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