Citations and copyright

GDES-200 fall 2017 · American University Design
Instructor: David Ramos ( · office hours )

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.

Here are some guidelines about what you can use:

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. Exactly where you should do this will vary from project to project.

Additional questions

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?

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. That’s going to be one of the most educational approaches you can take.