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

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions
Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Of Horses, Whips and Lawyers

If you're talking about stuff on a website then just contact the website and ask them for permission to use the image, explaining your purpose and identity.

Any reasonable person or organization should not object to school pupils using an image for a project.  It's usual to display where you got the image ( or other material ) so that folks can know who to thank.

Any unreasonable organization or individual should, IMHO, be horse whipped.  Nothing more important than education.  OK, maybe nutrition, health and shelter.  But then education.  Definitely.  Well, it's very high on the list, anyway.  Above bloody copyright law for sure.

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StephenG

Greenville Senior Member • Posts: 2,238
Re: Educational Use For Non-Profit

Antioch wrote:

Educational Use is exempt from Copyright Laws. Otherwise, nobody would be able to learn anything.

The key is that it is used for educational purposes, and not resold etc.

Regards

The fair use in education is pretty well established, but is not universal. As the other poster mentioned for profit activities in education are not covered by fair-use.

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Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 5,087
Hate to keep harping on this ...

Greenville wrote:

Antioch wrote:

Educational Use is exempt from Copyright Laws. Otherwise, nobody would be able to learn anything.

The key is that it is used for educational purposes, and not resold etc.

Regards

The fair use in education is pretty well established, but is not universal. As the other poster mentioned for profit activities in education are not covered by fair-use.

Fair use is pretty well established in education -- that part's true.  But it is also strongly limited. Most schools have guidelines on the use materials under the fair use doctrine, and they typically include quite strict limits.  Links to example guidelines are posted elsewhere in this thread.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'not universal'.  If you mean limited then that's true.  But fair use is universal in the sense that it does apply to everyone in both commercial and non-commercial settings.

Commercial activities are definitely included within the fair use doctrine. The classic example is the use of a cover illustration or a product photo when writing a review for a commercial publication (DPR, for example), or quoting from a book when writing a critique.

Fair use is one of the most complex topics in copyright law. It's hard to nail down to simple truisms like commercial versus non-commercial, or educational versus non-educational uses.

If you're concerned about fair use -- and you should be if you are an educator, trainer, or other person who uses source materials in their work -- then it's worthwhile learning the basic outlines of the concept.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use  In particular, there is an extensive list of common misunderstandings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Common_misunderstandings, several of which have been cropping up in this thread.

MaxTux Regular Member • Posts: 449
what do we expect a first grader to be able to do?
1

NancyP wrote:

MaxTux, are you expecting that first-grader to get out with a 500mm f/4 and SLR to shoot original images?

The answer is, I guess, pretty obvious: no, I don't.

Consequently, we should ask ourselves: what exactly is the purpose of such an image in a first-grader's homework? Who and why expects this picture to be present in it?

If I am correct, such picture contributes absolutely nothing to the skill development of that first grader, it is there merely because legions of teachers blindly follow Alice's preferences ("...and what is the use of a book [] without pictures..."). They do so without giving any thought to the upside (if any?) versus downside (as I believe it to be - see my previous posts) of the unreasonable expectations (mirror lens and a tripod heavier than the kid?) placed on that first-grader. Indeed, most of the participants in this discussion would, I propose, do well to answer for themselves the question opening this post.

One last thing before I retire from the thread: I do agree with those that believe that possible formal, legal, copyright violation (regardless of the source of the image!) is, is this instance, of such minuscule weight that it is not even wort addressing. It is not one case of transgression against a particular image author that I consider important here: what I believe is important and worth discussing, is the role of an educational system in developing ethics, and the means to do it.

MaxTux

tex Veteran Member • Posts: 7,404
Re: Of Horses, Whips and Lawyers

sjgcit wrote:

If you're talking about stuff on a website then just contact the website and ask them for permission to use the image, explaining your purpose and identity.

This is not required for academic purposes, only proper citation is required and there are accepted protocols for that (and have been for years).

One issue here is the age of the child, though.  I believe the child is in primary school.  Typically this is well below the citation threshold, as stated above, on cognitive levels.  Beginning in middle school (or about 4th grade/age 9 at advanced schools) light guage citation protocols can be introduced successfully w/o overloading the students in academic arcana.  Full bore citation protocols usually can wait until high school/upper level secondary.

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l_objectif
l_objectif Forum Pro • Posts: 21,160
Look who is talking!...
2

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.

Amazing!.... You must have much experience in these matters:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51495290

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Martin.au
Martin.au Forum Pro • Posts: 12,851
Re: Look who is talking!...
2

l_objectif wrote:

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.

Amazing!.... You must have much experience in these matters:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51495290

Looper1234 makes me sad.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 40,751
Ouch!
2

l_objectif wrote:

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.

Amazing!.... You must have much experience in these matters:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51495290

Nicely caught! 

JamesMortimer Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: I think it comes under...

Great Bustard wrote:

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.

I agree - educational use is a little more relaxed.

But he should still credit the references (photos) in the same way you might credit quoted text.

It's not important for grade 1, but he'll have to do it in later years and college, so he might as well start now.

I'd have no worries about it either - it's not like he's selling the photos or making money off of his report..

I'd have no real worries about a photo of mine used in a classroom wall hanging..
(In a text book, yes, they should credit and pay)

l_objectif
l_objectif Forum Pro • Posts: 21,160
And another...
2
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micronean Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Is it OK to "steal" pictures for school reports, etc?

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?

This problem has been solved a long time ago by academia. All you need to do is cite the source in your references, as is done with charts, etc. Students aren't really expected to create EVERY single piece of data on their own.

although, for a elementary school level report, you'd have to be pretty selfish to deny a child use of your photo.

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Tony Sx Senior Member • Posts: 2,155
No, it is not o.k.
1

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?

Yes, it is either theft or copyright violation. Doesn't matter which, it is wrong. All you or your first-grader has to do is acknowledge the image's source.

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?

Yes I would unless you or your first-grader were to acknowledge the source. And please don't think that there's an age limit on theft. It's no good saying he's only 6. What are you going to do when he's 7? Or 8..... It's very simple, if you find an image on the web that you want to use, use it unless there is some statement forbidding reproduction. But when you use it, it's only correct, polite and reasonable to state who's image it is!

DonA2
DonA2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,061
Re: No, it is not o.k.

Tony Sx 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?

Yes I would unless you or your first-grader were to acknowledge the source. And please don't think that there's an age limit on theft. It's no good saying he's only 6. What are you going to do when he's 7? Or 8..... It's very simple, if you find an image on the web that you want to use, use it unless there is some statement forbidding reproduction. But when you use it, it's only correct, polite and reasonable to state who's image it is!

Yes, life is cruel.  Just try to get over it.  I photograph cargo ships and download to an International AIS shipping site.  The crew or Captain undoubtedly downloads copies for their own use.  That's fair. The site explicitly requires permission to use any image for commercial purpose.  Well I can't stop even that.  If it's out there on the WWW it's going to be used and even abused.  I just can't lose any sleep over it.   I may even be flattered that it was good enough to put to a good use. Obviously I don't make a living shooting ships.

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Craig Gillette Veteran Member • Posts: 9,639
Re: Fair use - not infringement or theft.

A direct quote should be attributed - if you copy the text of an article without quotes/footnote, etc., that's potentially plagiarism.  But using an image to illustrate an academic paper is not theft, not an infringement.  It's clearly covered in several references already provided.

Yes, there is a place for providing references or acknowledgements  - this isn't it.  The child isn't claiming to be  the photographer and very few people will be confused by that.

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