Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
MaxTux
Regular MemberPosts: 436
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it's not about "plagiorism"...
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

tkbslc wrote:

I think the line is presenting the work as your own when it is not.   No school I have been a part of has encouraged that in any form.

Presenting the work of others as your own is unethical, and when it is part of a school project, probably constitutes fraud.

But this is not what I was concerned with. There is a substantial difference in how, in such projects, the work of others is treated. If it is text, it is expected to be a short quote, fully attributed, leading to an original thought or discussion on the part of the student. If it is an image, it is considered just a decoration, something which need not be in any relationship with the body of student's work - in short, a piece of "eye-candy". I have seen a large number of such assignments, and I have yet to see one where the illustrations were attributed, and never heard of a teacher (or a school board policy) that would object to the fact it wasn't. This conditions the students to treat other people's writing as something that must be respected, and other people's images as "res nullius", something that anybody can pick up from wherever available, and use it for any purpose whatsoever.

In case of OP, he's (and his kid) in a quandary: a teacher will, without doubt, consider such "illustrations" as perfectly acceptable and will probably grade "the effort" and "the presentation" higher than a similar quality text alone. So I'm not suggesting to him not to do it, I'm suggesting to image creators everywhere (especially, if I may, to those that are "a part of" educational systems!) to warn educational authorities that they should instill in their students the same respect for the work of others, text and image alike. This would be much more productive that the futile search for technical (impossible) or legal (mostly unworkable) attempts to "protect one's images" that we see with some regularity on this forum.

MaxTux

p.s.., @Doug J: Was it your intention to direct your reply to me? - No, it was just a continued general comment on the subject that ended up somewhat misplaced in the thread.

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