Citations and copyright

GDES-396 spring 2020 (David Ramos, American University Design) · office hours

You’ll need to make sure that you have the right to use the images, text, and code 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.

Here are some guidelines about what you can use, from the point of view of copyright law:

Cite materials

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.

Image citations: If you use an image that you did not create, add a note to your project’s citations file or write a caption for the image.

You’ll be submitting PDFs for all projects in this course. When you turn in your project, include a PDF file that contains all of your citations.

Additional questions

Q: Where can I get reasonable quality, freely licensed images?

A: See the image sources guide.

A: Copyright is part of a working designer’s world. Your design problem includes the challenge of finding images legally and ethically.

Q: I can’t find the images I want!

A: That’s the job.

Q: I put the creator’s name on the piece. Can I use it?

A: No. Giving credit is a separate issue from copyright.

Q: Where can I find out more about copyright?

A: Start with Stanford Copyright & Fair Use. Columbia Law School has a pithy introduction. The Library of Congress, which maintains the US copyright system, goes into great detail.

Q: What about making images myself?

A: Brilliant. Definitely try creating your own photos and illustrations. Probably the best approach.