Learning content is often heavily text based and to provide visual interest images are frequently used. The difficulty comes when you want to find images that can be reused without infringing copyright. Below are a couple of methods you can use to find images either in Microsoft Office or on the web.
On the web
How do I know whether I can reuse an image?
A non-profit organisation has been set up which promotes the use of free easy to understand legal licenses that explain how an image or work can be reused. This is called Creative Commons.
There is now a large community of users who apply Creative Commons licences to images they post online. There are four different terms which can be used within a license and these can be combined to create up to 6 different licences. As students pay for our services it is best to look for images which can be used commercially. If you see the non-commercial logo then you should not use this image. For this reason look for the following licences:
Attribution – reference who is the original author of the image.
Attribution-ShareAlike – You must attribute the author and share it under the same license (you can change and adapt the work if you need to).
Attribution-No Derivative Works – Attribute the work but it must remain unchanged from the original.
But how can I make sure that I am searching for images with creative commons?
A great website to use is http://search.creativecommons.org/. The website searches other sites such as Google Images and Flickr but applies restrictions to help only find images that have creative commons licenses applied. You will still need to double check that the image is shared under a creative commons license but using this search method should make it easier to find images you want and can reuse.
You may not realise that Clip Art in Microsoft Office has improved. It now draws upon thousands of images from Office Online which have minimal copyright restrictions.
According to the Microsoft Service Agreement (point 17)
You may not:
- sell, license, or distribute copies of the media elements by themselves or as a product if the primary value of the product is the media elements;
- grant your customers rights to further license or distribute the media elements;
- license or distribute for commercial purposes media elements that include the representation of identifiable individuals, governments, logos, trademarks, or emblems or use these types of images in ways that could imply an endorsement or association with your product, entity or activity; or
- create obscene works using the media elements.
It can also be useful to filter so that only photographs appear in your search. To do this, click on Insert and then Clip Art. In the Clip Art side bar, click the ‘Results should be’ dropdown menu and uncheck all the options apart from Photographs. Now when you search only photographs will appear this means you can avoid some of the cartoon animations which do not look as sharp.
Microsoft (2010) Microsoft Service Agreement [online], http://explore.live.com/microsoft-service-agreement (accessed 15 November 2011).