Copyright is important for everyone to understand.  I have included a few basic rules here for consideration.

1)      It is the best practice to always cite and credit all works regardless of a copyright status.  Cite all resources used in your research, always.

2)      One can use up to 5 graphics or photographs from the same person, or no more than 15 images from the same collection, without violating copyright law. (Fair Use law).

3)      A work of authorship that is no longer under copyright protection or failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection is considered under Public Domain.  Medieval works are under Public Domain but when a person takes a photo or purchases a photo from an original medieval manuscript, than that photo becomes under copyright law.  The same is true of someone’s sketches or other art work that is within 75 years of today.

4)      Obtain permission to use an image in writing.

5)      Do not assume when you find an object on the Internet that it is not copyrighted.

6)      When you use an image for your art work, your art work becomes covered under copyright.

7)      Creative Commons is a great way to license and share your work.  The ‘Commons’ represents a place to join with others of ‘common interests’.  It illustrates the power of networking with others of like interest, research, and knowledge. By utilizing a Creative Commons license a person may choose which type of copyright protection to put on their work.  There are four licenses to choose from:

a.       Attribution: Attribution will allow others to copy, distribute, display, or perform your copyrighted work, and also create their own creative versions based on it , but they are required to give you credit in the way that you describe and want to be credited.

b.      Noncommercial: The Noncommercial license will allow others to copy, distribute, display, and perform your work, in addition to any versions they have created based upon it,  but only for noncommercial purposes.

c.       No Derivative Works: With the No Derivative license, it allows others to copy, distribute, display, and perform only identical copies of your work, while giving you full credit, and they are not allowed to make their own creative versions based on it.

d.      Share Alike: is a license that allows others to distribute their versions of your work, but only if they use the same license that governs your work.

For more information about more of the Creative Commons Licenses go to their website:

To read more about copyright, go to the Resources panel. There are many resources about copyright laws and Fair Use laws. Please read as much as you can about our constantly changing copyright laws, especially those pertaining to digital images.

1 comment

  1. Hello to whoever is reading this.

    Please consider joining this blog and adding any resources that you may have considering copyright and Fair Use Laws, or licenses such as Creative Commons. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Julie Carmen

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