Thursday, 8 November 2012

Staying Legal Online for Educators

"Thou Shalt Not Steal"

This week I was part of an interesting discussion with other educators concerning the use of digital images online.

My question to them was "Is everything online free for the taking?"

We were, of course, discussing the use of digital images taken from the Internet, eg. from Google Images. Several teachers genuinely thought that unless there was a copyright logo or watermark on the images that you were free to use them as you please.

The whole discussion reminded me of a workshop I ran at a conference last year titled "Thou shalt not steal - what every educator should know about staying legal online" (embedded below).

The workshop is from a New Zealand perspective, but applicable to educators world wide. As educators we are working in an ever-increasingly digital world. Digital technologies have revolutionised how creative works (eg. photos, videos etc) are made, distributed and used.

The short answer is that NO.
You just cannot take anything you find online and use it how you please.

Image: 'hoist the jolly roger mr crab, there be looting to be done!
Found on

Are you a pirate?

Do you take images, movies, text, music freely from the Internet?

Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons are concepts ALL educators need to begin to understand.

If we expect our students not to plagiarise and copy information off the Internet, as educators, we must model good copyright practices too.

Below is the presentation that you may be interested in viewing. 
Several legal alternatives for digital publishing are suggested as well as ways you can protect your digital content

Videos referenced in the presentation are:

Copyright, what's copyright?

What is Creative Commons (Kiwi version)

So, what are your favourite websites to get copyright free or Creative Commons based teaching resources from?