Creative Commons & Copyright

Creative Commons license symbol for attribution.

Creative Commons license symbol for attribution.

Students are expected to use Creative Commons licensed images if they are using images or photographs that they did not create. In class we have gone through the steps of how to best search for Creative Commons licensed work, and how students must give credit (citation) for the images they are using.


“Always provide as much information as you can about an electronic source. The goal is to provide as much information as you can accurately supply that will help the reader locate the exact source cited.” – Garner and Smith, 1993

You must give credit to the “owner” of the information or the image that you use in your project. Anytime you use a direct quote, or even change an author’s words, you are using somebody’s thoughts. Simply changing the wording (paraphrasing) is not enough; you must cite your sources.

Helpful Links


  • Citation: A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author or creator. When in doubt, it’s better to provide too much citation information than too little.
  • Plagiarism: plagiarize means to ‘to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own’.
  • Attribution: Attribution in copyright law, is acknowledgement as credit the author of a work which is used or appears in another work. The most fundamental form of attribution is the statement of the copyright holder’s identity, often in the form Copyright (C) author’s-name.
  • License: This is a legal tool that defines how you are allowed to use the work.
  • Copyright: Copyright happens automatically as soon as a copy of the work is created.  Just because you don’t see the copyright symbol doesn’t mean the work is “public domain” (you have the right to use it freely).  In fact, the opposite is usually true.
  • Public Domain: Public domain works are not restricted by copyright and do not require a license or fee to use. Public domain status allows the user unrestricted access and unlimited creativity.


Information above comes from the following websites: Creative Commons, Teaching Copyright, Cyberbee, Miriam-Webster, Wikipedia.

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