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Bringing Copyright Awareness to the Surface

November 5, 2013 Copyright, Featured Carousel 7 Comments

Every once in a while I visit the Microsoft Office Clipart Gallery. I just realized that they have redesigned the page. It is suddenly titled “Find Images Where you Need Them” and is divided into three sections:

  1. Using the Newest Office on Your Desktop
  2. Using Office Web App
  3. Using Bing to get Images.

It is the last section that caught my attention. Bing is a search engine, just like Google . You can read the following step-by-step directions to find images with Bing Search

microsoft-screenshot_110413_040135_PM

 

  1. Open Bing.com in your browser, type a word or phrase describing the art you want, and start the search
  2. Hover over your selected item in the result set and right click you mouse to bring up an Options menu
  3. Click Save picture as… in the menu. Save image

What is WRONG with these instructions?  From my perspective Microsoft, so keen in protecting their own copyright on their products, feels that it is irrelevant to even bring it to the attention of their users that the images showing up in their Bing search results might be copyright protected and it is not as as simple as right clicking and saving them. From my perspective, these kind of instructions even ENDORSE copyright infringement!

For the fun of it, I typed in “langwitches” on Bing and saw the following results. According to Microsoft, just right click away and save this images to your computer!

Screenshot_110513_074600_AM

 

Oddly enough, Microsoft explains copyright on another page by stating explicitly:

If you use someone else’s copyrighted materials without permission, that use generally violates the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, and is copyright infringement. So if you create a new work and include parts of other people’s works in it (such as an existing photo, lengthy quotes from a book or a loop from a song), you must own or have permission to use the elements you borrow.

There are other companies, like Soundcloud, a community of music and audio creators, on the other hand seems to be much more proactive in helping raise awareness and educate their users about copyright. They even have prepared and included a very useful Copyright Checklist.

SoundCloud is a platform for creators and we expect all SoundCloud users to respect other people’s copyright.
What is copyright?
What is copyright infringement and how can I avoid it?
Copyright Checklist
Further resources

Copyright is complicated. If you have any doubt regarding the extent of your rights in any sounds, you should consult with a suitably qualified lawyer before uploading anything to SoundCloud or making any claims or counter-claims regarding your rights. However, as a general guide, here are some of the issues you might want to consider before uploading anything to SoundCloud.

I applaud companies, like Soundcloud in their effort to bring copyright awareness to the surface and am very disappointing in companies like Microsoft who even seem to encourage copyright infringement!

Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. […] New blog post: Bringing Copyright Awareness to the Surface- langwitches.org/blog/2013/11/0… […]

  2. The problem seems somewhere in the middle of the road between ignorance and willful disregard for the work of others. There is much confusion around the laws and ethics of copyright, the meaning of fair use and too much ease in reproducing, remixing and sharing.

    Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse for violating copyright, however, when a company like Microsoft puts a search engine on their image site without a mention of licensing or attribution, I think many people really believe that they these images are suitable for reuse.

    On a related note, I have noticed some prominent educators on Flickr who use “all rights reserved” photos, add some text to them, relicense them as CC, and tell others to share freely, never acknowledging that the original image is NOT licensed for reuse. There seems to be some notion that using (and changing the license on) copyright images is ok, as long as there is a link to the original. I have seen this on Slideshare as well. These are educators who speak and lecture to other teachers on topics such as image reuse!!!!!! There can be no other explanation in my mind but that they do not realize that what they are doing is wrong. The bad behavior is being modeled and replicated. It is a mess!

  3. […] RT @langwitches: New blog post: Bringing Copyright Awareness to the Surface- langwitches.org/blog/2013/11/0… […]

  4. […] Bringing Copyright Awareness to the Surface @langwitches langwitches.org/blog/2013/11/0… […]

  5. Hello,
    My name is Caitlin Hinton and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I am always looking for new pictures to put on my blog and I have never even thought about copyrights. I guess I assumed that if it was on the internet that it was acceptable to use. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I very much enjoyed reading your post.
    Caitlin Hinton

  6. T. Hopkins says:

    Thank you for your insights into this very important topic. I’m currently a teaching candidate in a certification program and am curious to know, how would you approach this with students? With technology becoming increasingly prevalent in classrooms, and even more so with younger and younger students, I’ve been wondering about how you would establish norms regarding this topic.

    http://blogginfrommynoggin.wordpress.com/

  7. Keith Bryant says:

    When you work with students make it a routine to create your own pictures (no copyright issues) or to search using Creative Commons, via…
    http://search.creativecommons.org/
    …for example.
    It’s no more complicated than searching via another search engine and you know you are using pictures whose creators are willing to share.
    To follow the CC licence rules (link to the original image – give credit to the creator of the image) is a little extra work but it’s not that much extra work. The credits/links can be listed at the end of the students work just like a bibliography. If teachers are consistent in demanding this information then the students soon learn to provide it.

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