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HST/GEOG 170 Hist. Geo. Visualization Lab (Fall 2017)

Short Introduction to Image Rights and Usage

Current US copyright law gives full copyright and usage rights to the creator of an image. Unless explicit permission is given, images may not be reused except in very specific circumstances that are covered by Fair Use. One of the areas in which Fair Use has extended application is in education. Use of materials in "closed spaces" such as face-to-face or online classes is generally permitted. However, use of copyrighted materials that can reach a broader audience is not.

If you are looking for images to use in research projects your best bets for materials that you can use within copyright guidelines are:

  • Images in the Public Domain
  • Images covered by Creative Commons Licensing

Works in the Public Domain

Usually images produced by the US government are in the public domain and may be reused as long as proper credit is given.

Most materials published in the United States in 1922 or earlier are in the public domain. However, if reproduced in proprietary locations (such as a database) the reproducer may claim rights to the reproduction but not the content.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons licensing provides a way for creators of images and other creative works to grant others permission to use their work in certain circumstances. There are different levels of permission that a creator can grant but the most commonly used are:

 

Creative Commons (CC) - Attribution [Author/Copyright Holder] (BY)

Images and other creative works covered by this Creative Commons license may be reused in their entirety or may be mixed and reused to create derivative works as long as the original creator/copyright holder is credited.

Creative Commons (CC) - Attribution [Author/Copyright Holder] (BY) - NoDerivs (ND)

Images and other creative works covered by this Creative Commons license may be reused in their entirety as long as the original creator/copyright holder is credited.

Creative Commons (CC) - Attribution [Author/Copyright Holder] (BY) - NonCommercial (NC)

Images and other creative works covered by this Creative Commons license may be reused in their entirety or may be mixed and reused to create derivative works for non-commercial use as long as the original creator/copyright holder is credited.

Educational uses such as  teaching materials and projects created by students for classs and generally considered non-commercial.

Creative Commons (CC) - Attribution [Author/Copyright Holder] (BY) - NoDerivs (ND)

Images and other creative works covered by this Creative Commons license may be reused in their entirety for non-commercial use as long as the original creator/copyright holder is credited.

Educational uses such as teaching materials and projects created by students for class are generally considered non-commercial.

 Learn more about Creative Commons Licenses