Friday, October 26, 2007

Uploading photos, image generators and using Creative Commons

This post was prepared for the 23 Things programme by Kate Makoweicka, Copyright Co-ordinator for Murdoch University.

Uploading photos and using image generators

Firstly, the photos:

• you are the creator and will own the copyright in the photograph;
• there is no copyright in a person’s image – usually, if you are taking photos in a public place, you don’t need to get permission from each person in the shot;
• however, you may want to consider the feelings of anyone snapped: you never know who may come across these photos, whether inadvertently or as the result of a deliberate search, e.g. googling by a prospective employer;
• so, especially if you’re taking photos of friends or family, you may want to let them know that their image will be going out to the world via Flickr and your blog.

Secondly, using image generators:

Like many other websites, simply by using these services you are agreeing to abide by their terms of use, e.g.


• the facilities are provided for your personal, non-commercial use (although Slideshare encourages its use for conference presentations, etc.);
• you keep copyright in anything (e.g. PowerPoints, photos, etc) you upload to, or create on the site, but you grant the owner and any other user of the site a non-exclusive licence to use it;
• you must have the permission of anyone pictured in an image that you upload;
• text and images you upload to or create on the site can be seen by anyone, and can be found by search engines;

Creative Commons for creators

As the Educause article notes, copyright automatically applies (for the term of your life + 70 years) to a work when it takes material form – even if you don’t want to lock down your music, photos, short stories, etc., unless you do something about it that’s what happens.

Creative Commons licences allow a creator to reserve some of their copyrights (i.e. to copy, publish, adapt, communicate, and perform) rather than all of them; to specify the uses (e.g. commercial v. non-commercial) that can be made of the work or an adaptation; and even to put your work straight into the Public Domain.

Look here for more about CC in general:; and here for Australian CC licences:

Creative Commons for consumers/recreators

Creative Commons licenced works are usually free for non-commercial and educational use. They don’t have to be reported to CAL for royalty payment, and can be used in Blackboard etc. rather than having to go into ECMS (the ‘share alike’ requirement doesn’t prevent their use in password protected websites – I checked!).

There is heaps of stuff available: you can search for CC works via Google, Flickr etc., as well as via Creative Commons itself

Other sites, such as the Australian Creative Resource Online (ACRO), offer audio and visual bits and pieces with CC licences as the raw material for people to mix and make their own new works or in collaboration – and they encourage you to submit your own work back to ACRO.

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