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Congenia Copyright Guide


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  • 1. Copyright The Congenia Creative Commons Guide
  • 2. Copyright
    • If you create something original, it is automatically copyrighted.
    • You own the copyright. You don’t have to do anything – this happens by default.
    • If someone wants to use it, they have to get your permission
  • 3. What if you want people to use your work without having to ask you?
    • Well, you can give your work a “Creative Commons” license.
    • If you do this, then other people don’t have to ask you permission to use such work, because you, the copyright owner, have already granted permission.
  • 4.
    • So, this is the type of material we are interested in
  • 5. Licenses
    • There are two types of Creative Commons licenses that we need to know about.
    • The first one (the attribution license) says that others are allowed to use a piece of work, as long as you give the author credit.
    • The second (the non-commercial license) says others are allowed to use it, but only for non-commercial purposes. As we are a commercial organization, we can not use material that people only want to be used for non-commercial purposes.
  • 6. Luckily,
    • there is a way to find what we can use on the web
  • 7. Go to
  • 8. Go to Check the box that says “ Search for works I can use for commercial purposes ”
  • 9. Go to http:// / Check the box that says “ Search for works I can use for commercial purposes ” Choose a search tab. The tabs available are: Google / Yahoo! - text Flickr - images - video OWL - audio SpinXpress - video, audio and images
  • 10. Go to http:// / Check the box that says “ Search for works I can use for commercial purposes ” Choose a search tab. The tabs available are: Google & Yahoo! - text Flickr - images - video OWL - audio SpinXpress - video, audio and images Enter your search query and press “go”
  • 11. Alternatively,
    • if you click on “Content Directories”, you will see a list of websites where you can get creative commons-licensed content, organized by media type.
    • Note! To credit the author, you may need the address of the webpage you got the media from. This is not the address. To see the real address, click on “Remove Frame
  • 12. Credits
    • A credit for could be as simple as a line under the image like this:
    Photo by Tim Ellis
  • 13.
    • Potentially frequently asked questions
  • 14. Q. Can I use my own images (photos I have taken or pictures I have drawn)?
    • Absolutely. You own the copyright. However, if you take a photo of someone, you might want to check with them that they don’t mind their photo being used.
  • 15. Q. Can I download any image from the web (e.g. Google Images) and use that?
    • Not any image, no. Only those with a Creative Commons licence. You can search for such images in Flickr or at
  • 16. Q. What about the images in the Siacco media library?
    • A lot of the images in the Siacco media library are ones that we have permission to use (i.e. we bought the rights to use them).
    • If you are writing a Siacco exercise and you need to use an image, search the media library first, before trying to find an image from somewhere else.
    • Finding an image in Google, then uploading it to Siacco does not make it legal to use. Please don’t do this.
  • 17. Q. I can’t record a song from the radio and use that, but what if I sang the song myself? Who owns the copyright to that recording?
    • If the composer has been dead for 70 years, you can use the song freely.
    • If, however, the composer has not been dead for 70 years, you can't freely use the song.
    • Interestingly, if you do record a song (legally) , the recording (not the music) is copyrighted to you.
  • 18. Q. YouTube positively encourages the embedding of their videos in other websites. It happens all over the place. Can we do that?
    • Actually, no. YouTube’s terms and conditions state that you are allowed to embed the videos in your own website, but NOT for COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
    • Which is us.
    • So we can’t. Downloading the videos and later uploading them to Siacco is also naughty.
  • 19. Q. Access to Siacco requires a username and password (i.e. the content is not publicly available on the web). Therefore, if we do use a copyrighted image or video, it is very unlikely that the copyright owner will ever find out. So what’s the problem ?
    • True. It is unlikely in the case of Siacco ( is public however), but that doesn’t make it legal.
    • Consider the following scenario. You need to use a news article in a Siacco exercise, so you copy one from the BBC. One of your students just happens to be married to someone who works for the BBC. They find out. We get in trouble. Better not to do it in the first place.
  • 20. Q. Can I copy the text of a news article from a news website (like BBC News or CNN)?
    • No, but the free news website Wikinews lets you. The articles there are available under a creative commons license. Don’t forget you have to attribute it though .
  • 21. Q. What if I'm not sure whether or not to use something?
    • Ask the head of studies. He or she is responsible for all the material that the students get.
  • 22. The Congenia Creative Commons Guide David Hollingworth & Dónal Thompson October 2007