Archive for category Distance Learning

Use of Free, Licensed, Images In An On-Line Course

Q.  We would like to use in our web based, online, AP Art History course some artwork for which permission has been granted to copy, distribute and/or modify under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.  Since the license permits copying and distribution, would this allow for use in an on-line course?

A.  It is important to read the license statement in its entirety. One can only use the material as per the rights granted in the license.  The absence of any statement restricting a particular use, such as on-line, does not automatically grant the user such rights.

In regard to the rights granted to copy and distribute, the question remains does this only mean making physical copies and distributing, or does the license extend to  making a digital copy and making it available on-line. If you download images from a site that clearly grants such user rights, whether in reference to the GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons or other such sources, then you could use those images. If  not sure how to interpret the license statement, I would recommend making contact with the licensing source.  Assuming the action desired is permissible,  full credit still needs to be given to your sources.

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Downloading/Linking to YouTube Videos

Q.  Is it permissible to download a YouTubetm video and incorporate it into my on-line course, which is hosted on a restricted access network?

A. In terms of YouTube, their on-site, legal statements indicate that unless there is a download button on the screen for the video desired, it is not permissible to download the video.  Even if it is permissible to download, it is also stated that materials posted on YouTube are for personal use only.  When one agrees/accepts the terms and conditions of using a site, they are now operating under an agreement, which is contractual in nature.  Contract law supersedes copyright. Based on the restrictions stated on the site, I would recommend utilizing links to the video titles you wish to use, rather than downloading and embedding the video segments into your course.

The negative to linking is that you periodically need to check to see if the link is still active or hasn’t been hacked and is pointing to a less desirable location.  However, the positives to linking are not only do you avoid potential copyright issues, but you tie up less space on your institutional server than when storing video segments.

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