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.
Copyright and using work
Here are some guidelines about what you can use, from the point of view of copyright law:
- If you created it, and it’s not a 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 original? 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.
- 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? Probably not. 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.
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.
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.