Google Image Search helps you find Creative Commons images

As reported by Creative Commons, the Google Image search tools now allow you to filter images by usage rights – making it much easier to find copyright friendly images for your teaching needs. Cool indeed!

Keep in mind, though, just because someone has posted an image, that doesn’t mean they own it or have the right to license it. Some websites are kind enough to grant permission for images they didn’t have the right to use in the first place. So for instance, the open-license pictures I just found of “the Fonze”, or Garfield, or Tony the Tiger – even though marked for free re-use – probably doesn’t belong to the facebook blogger who posted it. There is still room for a critical eye when using images on the web.

Here’s the Legalese: (from the Canadian Copyright Act)

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (5), it is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution, or a person acting under the authority of one, to do any of the following acts for educational or training purposes in respect of a work or other subject-matter that is available through the Internet:

  • (a) reproduce it;

  • (b) communicate it to the public by telecommunication, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority;

  • (c) perform it in public, if that public primarily consists of students of the educational institution or other persons acting under its authority; or

  • (d) do any other act that is necessary for the purpose of the acts referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c).

  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply unless the educational institution or person acting under its authority, in doing any of the acts described in that subsection in respect of the work or other subject-matter, mentions the following:

    • (a) the source; and

    • (b) if given in the source, the name of

      • (i) the author, in the case of a work,

      • (ii) the performer, in the case of a performer &s performance,

      • (iii) the maker, in the case of a sound recording, and

      • (iv) the broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.

  • (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the work or other subject-matter – or the Internet site where it is posted – is protected by a technological protection measure that restricts access to the work or other subject-matter or to the Internet site.

  • (4) Subsection (1) does not permit a person to do any act described in that subsection in respect of a work or other subject-matter if

    • (a) that work or other subject-matter – or the Internet site where it is posted – is protected by a technological protection measure that restricts the doing of that act; or

    • (b) a clearly visible notice – and not merely the copyright symbol – prohibiting that act is posted at the Internet site where the work or other subject-matter is posted or on the work or other subject-matter itself.

  • (5) Subsection (1) does not apply if the educational institution or person acting under its authority knows or should have known that the work or other subject-matter was made available through the Internet without the consent of the copyright owner.