If you are scanning in slides or taking digital images of projected slides, ensure that your institution has the rights to the images on those slides. A lot of colleges in the long and distant past would have purchased slide collections and now want to digitise them, ensure that you have the rights
to do so.
Who does own the rights to the slide, they do belong to the original photographer, but if they were an employee of the college and they took the photographs for using within a course being taught in the college then the copyright belongs to the college, unless there was an agreement to the contrary.
When producing electronic resources I commit myself to only utilise images that I have the rights to use – and in most cases these rights would have been purchased or owned by me.
As a result I will often take photographs for learning resources.
However be aware that taking photographs of students (and staff) can breach both the data protection act and the human rights act and therefore if there are people in your pictures ensure that they have signed a model release form before using them in learning resources or publicity material.
The other thing to remember is that a lot of image collections you can buy are for personal use only and can not be used in an educational context without the written permission of the copyright holder.
My line is, if in doubt don’t use it.
One way to find images you can use is via Flickr and search for those images which have a creative commons licence.
The information being provided in this posting is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as constituting legal advice.
JISC Legal will be hosting a free to view webcast on 18 July 2007 on Business and Community Engagement – The Legal Issues. The aim of this webcast is to raise awareness of the legal issues involved in BCE activities (for instance, copyright) and show how JISC Legal, through its guidance publications and case studies, can assist colleges and universities with these issues. There will also be contributions from the other JISC Advisory Services (JISC infoNet , Netskills , TechDis and TASI) to show how they can use their expertise to support institutions with their BCE activities.
The webcast is directed at UK further and higher education staff working in areas related to knowledge transfer, work based learning, community links, outreach, CPD, employer engagement, wider participation, and lifelong learning.
You can find further information about the programme and how to access the webcast by visiting the webcast section of the JISC Legal website.
I sometimes get asked what materials can I upload to a VLE, are there any materials I can’t upload due to copyright.
Basically what I advise is do not upload any copyrighted material unless you have the rights, a licence or permission from the copyright holder to do so.
Sometimes you will need to check multiple permissions for a single resource as the text, images and diagrams may have different rights holders.
Staffordshire University have a (obviously HE centric) guide on copyright and VLEs which gives a more detailed explanation of the issue.
There is also the JISC Collections activity which I wrote for them which also covers some VLE issues amongst others.
Copyright is a complex issue and there are a lot of myths about copyright and education. If you are not sure about something, check don’t assume it will be okay.