Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights, Fair Use …. it’s all so BORING.
Hate it or really hate it, we actually engage with copyright issues all the time and often without realising it. For example, I added lots of images to these blog posts that I found on the internet. It made everything look so pretty. But did I check to see if I actually could use them? Did I ask for explicit PERMISSION from the creator of the images, or from the person who owned them, or holds the rights to these images? Nope, of course I didn’t, because I did what many people do when using the internet – I didn’t think about the fact that I was COPYING someone else’s work and adding them to this blog, and that this blog is a form of PUBLISHING and it is publishing in an OPEN internet environment that anyone can view.
So while I thought I was harmlessly dandying up my blog, what I was actually doing was taking copies of other people’s work and publishing them on my blog in a public environment without their permission to do so. What kind of no good bum am I, eh? THE WORST KIND, it would seem.
Well, after Week 3’s session on copyright I saw the error of my ways and set to put things right. I changed all the images on my blog to ones that I knew I had permission to use. I obtained these from three really useful online image / photo sharing services & archives:
Flickr – using images with the relevant Creative Commons licences.
morgueFile – a good archive of rights free stock photographs.
Compfight – a really good archive of images with clear rights & use permission (and they provide html that you can add to you blog post to create links out to the rights statement & acknowledgement of the image’s creator).
Not being able to just use whatever image I found on the internet (and having to select from images that I knew I could use) was a really interesting exercise in itself. I found it made me think creatively about selecting suitable images for my posts from what is essentially a much reduced treasure trove.
In relation to THING 9 – c’mon, I’m a subject librarian 😉