Linking to other websites
You can provide a link to another website without attribution as the website will have its own logos, copyright information, etc. associated. However, if a website has a document available that you download, you can’t legally upload the document onto your site. You can only link to the document in its existing location. For example you can’t download a HSC exam of syllabus document and upload it onto your site.
Youtube and Google Maps
Some website creators/blogs allow you to directly embed Youtube clips and Google Maps onto your webpage. When you do this, you are actually providing a link to the Youtube site or Google site and as a result you don’t need to attribute/cite the
source. The Youtube or Google logos will show on your website where you have embedded the resource. Youtube has the responsibility to ensure that their users meet copyright regulations. For example if there is a clip of the Sydney
Symphony Orchestra playing a piece by Beethoven, it is the responsibility of Youtube to address the copyright issues.
If you decided to take a screen shot from a Youtube clip or Google Maps application this would require attribution.
Music is very difficult to work with in online publishing. Copyright applies to both the performance of music and the written piece of music. In most cases a licence must be paid for use of music online which can be very expensive. A work-around is to embed a Youtube clip of the music being performed to pass on the copyright responsibilities to a third party.
Using material from other websites
If you want to use material from other websites it is best to just link to the site. However in the case where you just have a small section of text it is fine to just quote the source and provide a link back to the webpage that you found it. In the case of the Board of Studies, they are very touchy about their property being reproduced. If you use a section of the syllabus for example, type NSW Board of Studies beneath the quote and then link from the words “NSW Board of Studies” to the page the information is found.
Working with graphics
When creating your class website, you need to be very wary that all the images and graphics that you use are copyright clear and don’t breach any privacy policies of the Department of Education.
1. Use photographs that you have taken yourself. Dig out your holiday snaps. Ideally you don’t want to be using photos of yourself, but you can always edit yourself out if necessary. Don’t forget that most phones these days have pretty good camera capabilities. If you are out somewhere and see a great shot that would work well on your website then take it.
2. Don’t publish photos of students. Most students at the school have signed a “Permission to Publish” form, but some have not. This could be for a whole range of reasons such as a witness protection, domestic violence issues, etc. To avoid any problems it is best to avoid photos with students. If you want to use photos of students doing something or making something try to frame the photo so that you just see the student’s hands or the back of their head. Obviously photos of students are posted on the official school websites, but these go through a series of checks to ensure that no-one is published that shouldn’t be.
3. Use image repositories. Sites such as wikicommons, flickr, shutterstock, and getty images allow some of their images to be used in online projects without citing the source (some of these will also require that you pay for them). Others will require that you cite the source correctly. In this case you will need to state the owner/creator as well as the type of license used. See below “Using Wikicommons”.
4. Create your own images. You may choose to create your own diagrams or modify images using programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Fireworks. This is usually a more complicated option for using graphics, but can be mastered fairly quickly.
For further information examine the DEC resource: Copyright for Teachers.
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.