As an ICT integrator and teacher, I place a strong emphasis on teaching my students and colleagues about why and how we attribute online images and creative works. I also take the time to teach them how to find Creative Commons and Public Domain works we have permission to use in our projects, so long as we provide the relevant attribution.
As a professional educator and presenter, I endeavour to model best practice with image attribution in my teaching and presentations, sometimes with surprising results – see a post on this topic from 2013. I’m trying to set an example, but I know I’m not perfect. I didn’t always attribute images properly, especially in my early years.
Today; however, I discovered why image attribution is so important.
This picture, taken off Twitter, and cropped to avoid publicly identifying the presenter, contains two unattributed images, of which I happen to know the creators.
The first image, featuring a quote by Sarah Breathnach happens to be mine.
I can’t claim one of the most deeply meaningful quotes I’ve ever found, but I can claim the image. Made in Canva, it was uploaded and prominently featured on my organisation’s website from October 2014 – around July 2015.
This happens to be the original, which was not published under a Creative Commons license. .
The second image, of children holding up the globe, is by a Global Classroom Project guest blogger, published on our blog here in January 2013. Looking at the copyright statement on the creator’s professional blog, this image is technically copyright.
Neither of these images can be sourced through Google Advanced Image Search (usage rights), or through Creative Commons search engines. In fact, there are better CC/PD alternatives that could have been used instead.
Why is this an issue?
I have two major issues with the use of these images.
Firstly, my image was used (and modified) without permission, either implied or requested. Under normal circumstances, if asked, I would have agreed for this image to be reproduced under a Creative Commons – Attribution – Non Commercial license.
Secondly, the image was used in what can be technically described as a commercial presentation held in Australia, organised by an overseas presenter, and requiring payment from attendees. Whether the presenter was paid for this event is not the point. I am not comfortable with other people using my work for these kinds of events, particularly when they use it without permission.
Using my images without permission or attribution is NOT ok.
I’m sharing this post in the hope that other people will learn from my experience. Perhaps the presenter in question might read it, and reconsider how he selects and attributes images in future presentations.
No hard feelings mate, but if you’d like to use my images in future, please ask. Or at the very least, give them a meaningful attribution.