Citations and copyright
You’ll need to make sure that you have the right to use the images, text, and materials that appear in your projects. You’ll also need to provide citations for any work that you didn’t make yourself. There are two entirely separate issues here: one is copyright law, and the other is a combination of class policy and the university’s academic integrity policy.
Copyright and using work
Here are some guidelines about what you can use:
- If you created it, and it’s not a direct copy of someone else’s work, it’s yours to use.
- Are you using a tiny part of a piece, or a shrunken version of it, for the purpose of commenting on the piece? That’s fair use.
- Is the piece in the public domain (that is, no longer covered by copyright)? You can use it.
- Is it an open-source project? You can use it, but check the license.
- Is the image freely licensed (i.e. Creative Commons)? You can use it.
- Did you get permission from the person who made the image? You can use it.
- Otherwise? Outlook not so good. You’ll need to check with the instructor.
You’ll also need to cite any images, text, or code that you didn’t create yourself. Provide information about who made the original and where you obtained it. Exactly where you should do this will vary from project to project.
Q: Where can I get reasonable quality, freely licensed images?
A: See the image sources guide.
Q: I can’t find the images I want!
A: Copyright is part of a working designer’s world. Your design problem includes the challenge of finding images legally and ethically.
Q: I put the creator’s name on the piece. Can I use it?
A: Giving credit is a separate issue from copyright.
Q: Where can I find out more about copyright?
Q: What about making images myself?
A: Brilliant. Definitely try creating your own photos and illustrations. That’s going to be one of the most educational approaches you can take.