I’ve long been aware that many people don’t realise that you can’t use just any image off the internet for your own purposes.
Many of my students join my class with the habit of reproducing Google Images strongly ingrained. This habit is often either taught or not questioned by parents or previous teachers.
I also find that many people who use any online image think that “attributing” with a link to the source makes it acceptable. Little do they know, all creative work a person makes is copyright unless stated otherwise. Linking to the source doesn’t change this fact.
There seems to be another group of people who know it’s not right to reproduce any online image in their work, but do this as they don’t know how to source and attribute Creative Commons images.
Despite having a lot of anecdotal experience of others not knowing about Creative Commons, I was surprised to read that more than 90% of Creative Commons images are not attributed at all and more than 99% are not adequately attributed.
This shows that even people trying to do the right thing with Creative Commons images often aren’t. I’m certain I’ve been guilty of this in the past.
With more and more people becoming producers rather than consumers of the internet, I find this general lack of knowledge concerning. For that reason, I try to teach students the correct way to source and attribute images for their blog posts and published work. This guide to Using Creative Commons Images in Blog Posts is just one resource I’ve created for teaching about Creative Commons.
I recently came across this excellent infographic on Twitter via @suewaters and @joycevalenza. I think it’s something all educators would benefit from taking a look at! It certainly refreshed my own understanding.
Click on the image to view a larger version.
Educators might also find this guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons by Ronnie Burt useful in upskilling themselves.