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Graphics, Copyright, and Creative Commons

posted: 8.5.14 by Traci Gardner

Teaching students about how to obtain and document graphics that they include in their work has been an ongoing challenge. I explain how copyright works and urge students to choose works in the public domain or with a creative commons license. The inevitable question persists however: “Can I use it if I link to the original?

My solution has been to create these FAQs, which offer explanations and links to additional resources, including places to find images that can be used freely:

Last week I found a wonderful poster that explains Creative Commons in infographic style, via Lifehacker. It’s a clear, simple chart that you can link to, distribute as a handout, or even staple up as a poster. I’ve added it to my FAQs already.


Click to enlarge in new window.

The beauty of this FAQ system is that I now have one place where I can post all my information on using graphics. It helps keep my message consistent and means I always have the resources I need without a search (like when they ask if it’s okay to just link to it). How do you teach students about graphics, copyright, and creative commons? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or drop by my page on Facebook or Google+.

[Photo: Creative Commons – cc stickers by Kristina Alexanderson, on Flickr]

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