The thing about copyright

The thing about copyright that makes it a nuisance is that it is complicated. That’s what makes it an interesting topic for number 6 of the 10 USQ 23 Things. It’s also what makes me want to avoid dealing with it whenever I can.

The post by Tahnee Pearse lays out some useful information about copyright in the Australian context and some of the support that USQ offers to academics who need to deal with it for teaching purposes. That helps to clarify the situation but I don’t think it necessarily makes it any easier. She also includes some material about open access licences and Creative Commons and links to some useful resources.  Again, that is a help but getting everything together neatly is not a simple task and can be time consuming if a project uses multiple resources.

I confess to a distaste for unnecessarily complicating my work. As a consequence, I have tried to avoid dealing with the copyright recording system since I had to pull together some materials more than 10 years ago for a print-based offer of an external course. The USQ copyright forms at the time had 3 narrow columns on an A4 page in portrait orientation and seemed to require more detail than was really necessary. I completed those that I had to and swore never to do that again–the experience was so bad. Since then I have not taught a print-based course and have been able to link to web-based material that is either openly available or available through databases held in library subscriptions. That has worked for my courses though I recently read some text around some material I was looking at that seemed to forbid links from course materials. I’ll have to think about that if I need such materials in a course.

When I’m creating presentations and need images I try to use my own images, stored in my Flickr site or elsewhere, wherever possible. My alternative is Creative Commons images, usually from Flickr, but doing the attributions for those can be painful. I’ve recently discovered the free-to-use flickr cc attribution helper created by Alan Levine. That allowed me to install a bookmarklet in my browser that will generate a properly formatted attribution for a Flickr image. I’ve used that to provide the attribution for this image which is my response to our challenge for this week–to post and correctly attribute an image. I hope it works well enough.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC ) flickr photo shared by PugnoM