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

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions
tkbslc
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Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
May 20, 2013

My first grader is doing a report on eagles.  We were thinking of printing a few pictures from some websites to use in the project.   But then I got thinking, is this photo theft or a copyright violation?  Isn't there some provision made for educational use?

Or I guess another question might be, would you be angry if you found out someone used a picture you had taken for a school project?

Great Bustard
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I think it comes under...
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

tkbslc wrote:

My first grader is doing a report on eagles.  We were thinking of printing a few pictures from some websites to use in the project.   But then I got thinking, is this photo theft or a copyright violation?  Isn't there some provision made for educational use?

Or I guess another question might be, would you be angry if you found out someone used a picture you had taken for a school project?

...the heading of "fair use".  Either way, I'd have no qualms about doing so, and would not mind in the least if someone used my photos for this purpose.  Others, however, probably feel differently.

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Doug J
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

tkbslc wrote:

My first grader is doing a report on eagles.  We were thinking of printing a few pictures from some websites to use in the project.   But then I got thinking, is this photo theft or a copyright violation?  Isn't there some provision made for educational use?

Or I guess another question might be, would you be angry if you found out someone used a picture you had taken for a school project?

I agree with GB on this, it's probably Fair Use. A source for photos is Wikipedia, all photos posted are under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_licenses

Many of the photos on Flickr may be used under one of the Creative Commons licenses, as are mine on pBase.

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MaxTux
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No, it's not
In reply to Doug J, May 20, 2013

(And it's not a matter of "stealing").

The sad reality is that this is common practice. Kids are actually encouraged to simply pick up images from whatever source they can and include that in their school projects. For some reason that I find very hard to understand, those evaluating such assignments would have no tolerance for including a piece of text not authored by the student, but doing the same with an image is somehow OK.

So I don't care about "stealing", I care about the system that conditions kids to have vastly different levels of authorship respect between the text and the images.

MaxTux

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Doug J
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to MaxTux, May 20, 2013

MaxTux wrote:

(And it's not a matter of "stealing").

The sad reality is that this is common practice. Kids are actually encouraged to simply pick up images from whatever source they can and include that in their school projects. For some reason that I find very hard to understand, those evaluating such assignments would have no tolerance for including a piece of text not authored by the student, but doing the same with an image is somehow OK.

So I don't care about "stealing", I care about the system that conditions kids to have vastly different levels of authorship respect between the text and the images.

MaxTux

Was it your intention to direct your reply to me?

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Martin.au
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

Probably fair use.

I would include a citation or address just beneath the photo so that the source of the image is identifiable.

That's good practise and a useful bit of knowledge for kids. Citations and references are required as they continue their education. Be a good lesson to learn.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

This is covered by Fair Use.

I have been quite surprised how broad fair use is when we ask our legal council and document specialists concerning specific situation that come up in our company.  Pictures for a school report are no where close to the boundaries of fair use.

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tkbslc
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to MaxTux, May 20, 2013

MaxTux wrote:

(And it's not a matter of "stealing").

The sad reality is that this is common practice. Kids are actually encouraged to simply pick up images from whatever source they can and include that in their school projects. For some reason that I find very hard to understand, those evaluating such assignments would have no tolerance for including a piece of text not authored by the student, but doing the same with an image is somehow OK.

Using an image is not the same as plagiarism.  You aren't pretending you took the image, nor are you being grading on the merits of the photography. You are using it to illustrate the work you actually did.   I think it would be more like if you were writing a report on modern literature and included excerpts of other author's writing to prove your point.

Or maybe flip it around and take a photo for an art class, and mount it along with a famous poem that relates to the photo you created.

So I don't care about "stealing", I care about the system that conditions kids to have vastly different levels of authorship respect between the text and the images.

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.

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looper1234
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

tell the kids to get picture from a trusted source, like wiki.

explain the what is meant by "Attribution" make that part of the project, giving credit for your sources is good practice.

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ZorSy
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to looper1234, May 20, 2013

looper1234 wrote:

tell the kids to get picture from a trusted source, like wiki.

explain the what is meant by "Attribution" make that part of the project, giving credit for your sources is good practice.

I agree with looper1234. Here on DPR we can find numerous posts about copyright, use of photos, stealing...and general consensus is that the best way to protect copyright is to heavily mark posted photos or not to post at all. But, Internet if full of pictures people posted without expectations to be compensated if somebody download them for private enjoyment or use.

So if my kids are doing the project and they get images from the web site discussing the subject their project is about, they always list sources of information (including photos) what their research was based upon. Considering that in Australian public schools the reward is in form of the  comments like "excellent work"; there is no commercial value as they can't exchange "excellent work" for lollypop...

I disagree with the comment  labeling it as  " that is way of teaching them to steal". That perspective would label the teaching/learning process as stealing someone's intellectual property (someone has published the book and reading it and remembering word-by-word is essentially copy of the same? hence some kind of copyright breach).

For those who post photos on the internet without any copyright remarks or protection, expecting they would get rich if someone uses that photo without their permission are fooling themselves, it's such a media. If one thinks it's worth something, put a price tag on it and advertise it's for sale - simple.  And wait for the buyer to come.

If not, think about it as a kerbside: take a $10 note and write your name and phone number  on it, leave it laying there. Then wait for call to come....Technically, it's your money. But to claim it back, you'd have to explain why did you leave it on the kerbside on the first place (instead of your valet). Where I live, we don't write our names on the notes....

In short: I fail to  see why kids shouldn't use internet and everything on it as "open source library" for school projects - at least until they become like us, adults - money obsessed  and rotten ........

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mike703
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to looper1234, May 20, 2013

looper1234 wrote:

tell the kids to get picture from a trusted source, like wiki.

explain the what is meant by "Attribution" make that part of the project, giving credit for your sources is good practice.

+1.  Learning how to give appropriate citations and acknowledgement of sources is essential and would be a valuable part of the lesson for schoolchildren.

Best wishes

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MaxTux
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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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Cane
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to Doug J, May 20, 2013

Doug J wrote:

MaxTux wrote:

(And it's not a matter of "stealing").

The sad reality is that this is common practice. Kids are actually encouraged to simply pick up images from whatever source they can and include that in their school projects. For some reason that I find very hard to understand, those evaluating such assignments would have no tolerance for including a piece of text not authored by the student, but doing the same with an image is somehow OK.

So I don't care about "stealing", I care about the system that conditions kids to have vastly different levels of authorship respect between the text and the images.

MaxTux

Was it your intention to direct your reply to me?

Do you know how to use the internet? Just because it's under you doesn't mean it's a response to you. Go to flat view.

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jcharding
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to Cane, May 20, 2013

Many people use threaded view.  And as such your response appears to be a direct reply.  We should not assume that everyone else uses the internet as our own personal preferences dictate.

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jvkelley
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

Here is a page that talks about guidelines for Fair Use in student projects.  These guidelines aren't the actual law, I think they are just meant to be helpful to educators and students.

http://www.washington.edu/classroom/emc/fairuse.html#fair1

Students must credit sources with full bibliographic description where available.

A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project.

When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project

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J.V.

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Cane
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to jcharding, May 20, 2013

jcharding wrote:

Many people use threaded view.  And as such your response appears to be a direct reply.  We should not assume that everyone else uses the internet as our own personal preferences dictate.

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Yes, here's how message boards work throughout the internet. If your original post is quoted in the post, then it's a reply to you. If not, it can either be a 'general' comment and not in reply to anyone, or in reply to the subject or OP. Did you see your post quoted in his post, no.

If someone reads through the whole thread, he doesn't have to go back to post one and reply under it for a general comment. This is like explaining to my parents how to use text messaging.

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jcharding
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to Cane, May 20, 2013

For flat view BBs, sure.  Again, you should not assume that everyone views threads as you do.  This BB has the option for both flat and threaded, so people need to post under the assumption that people will be viewing in both manners.  This is also basic viewing etiquette.

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tex
tex
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Uhh, actually it IS about plagiarism...
In reply to MaxTux, May 20, 2013

With "fair use", ALL materials not the product of the writer in an academic paper need to be sourced, and in better schools and higher grades this will be true.

First graders, however, are given a pass on this one on cognitive grounds.

The greater problem in fair use pertains to those media where sourcing is awkward at best.  There are no footnotes in a concerto, for instance, or a ballet.  It does seem to me, however, that source material is being better sourced by visual artists, gradually, in label copy and etc.  It's far, far, FAR, from a complete project, but it seems to be getting better (I work in a contemporary art museum, just for the record...).

Interestingly, I think, photographers are much more prickly about this than other visual artists, who often copy from each other pretty freely....

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?
In reply to tkbslc, May 20, 2013

tkbslc wrote:

Or I guess another question might be, would you be angry if you found out someone used a picture you had taken for a school project?

Not in the slightest.

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dsjtecserv
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Re: No, it's not
In reply to Cane, May 20, 2013

Cane wrote:

jcharding wrote:

Many people use threaded view.  And as such your response appears to be a direct reply.  We should not assume that everyone else uses the internet as our own personal preferences dictate.

-- hide signature --

Yes, here's how message boards work throughout the internet. If your original post is quoted in the post, then it's a reply to you. If not, it can either be a 'general' comment and not in reply to anyone, or in reply to the subject or OP. Did you see your post quoted in his post, no.

If someone reads through the whole thread, he doesn't have to go back to post one and reply under it for a general comment. This is like explaining to my parents how to use text messaging.

That's not how DPreview's message board works. When you are viewing a message and hit Reply (with or without quote), your response will be listed as "in reply" to the message you were viewing. You can see that at the top, in the message header, right under your subject line. This is obvious in threaded view by the indentation of messages in reply. But it is also obvious in flat view -- see how each and every message has its own "Reply" link? When you click the "Reply" link for the last message in the list, you were, in fact, replying to that specific message. If you want to reply "in general" then your best approach is to go back to the original post and reply to that.

So really, your assumptions about how this works "throughout the internet" are a bit flawed. But I don't mind explaining to you how it works here.

Dave

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