Digital Literacy: Find Free (and Legal) Images for Your Classroom

Jennifer Carey, The Yale Journal of Law & Technology, Apr 30, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, I think it's good to give people advice on where to find free and open images online. But I bristle when these are characterized as 'legal' images. It is true that you can't just use copyright images willy-nilly. But there are ample provisions under fair use (or fair dealing) for the use of images - goodness, just go look at Google's image search and you will see that Google, at least, can use smaller copies of them in appropriate contexts and for non-infringing purposes. The definition of 'legal' is not the same as 'presventing anyone from sending cease and desist orders' because (putative) image owners extend their 'rights' far beyond what the law allows. A kid using a Google Images copy of salami on a class blog? That really sounds like fair use to me, and to my mind, large commercial corporations should just leave these kids alone. And online pundits should not cater to this - these corporations are wrong when they are harassing kids about copyright, and should not be treated as though they are right.

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