Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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Succeeding in postgraduate study

3.4.3 Creative Commons and Flickr

Photo-sharing websites such as Flickr can be used as sources of images. During your search you may come across Creative Commons Symbols [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Creative Commons licences, which allow you to use images under certain conditions, with different licence attributions permitting different usage rights. Regardless of what licence the image is under, you should always:

  • credit the copyright owner (author or creator)
  • provide the title of the work
  • provide the URL
  • indicate the type of licence it has been made available under
  • keep intact any copyright notices placed by the copyright holder.

Boxes 6 and 7 provide a summary of Creative Commons licences and conditions. For more detailed information, see the Creative Commons website.

Using photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, which allow you to search for images under Creative Commons licences, can save you time and effort. However, you should be mindful that it is still important to evaluate images that you find. Be aware that people can, and do, upload images that are not their own and make them available under Creative Commons.

Box 6 Creative Commons conditions

There are four conditions available under Creative Commons, which can be used in combination to create licences for image use:

  • Attribution. You can let others copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work (and derivative works based upon it) but only if they give credit the way you request.
  • Share Alike. You allow others to distribute derivative works, but only under a licence identical to the licence that governs your work.
  • Non-Commercial. You let others copy, distribute, display and perform your work (and derivative works based upon it), but for non-commercial purposes only.
  • No Derivative Works. You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Box 7 Creative Commons licences

The following licences can be created using the conditions:

  • Attribution. This licence allows the public to use, distribute, manipulate and create derivative works for any purpose, even commercially, as long as the copyright holder is credited for the original image.
  • Attribution Share Alike. This licence allows the public to use, distribute, manipulate and create derivative works, even for commercial use, as long as the copyright holder is credited and the new works are licensed under identical terms. All new works using the image must carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
  • Attribution No Derivatives. This licence allows for redistribution for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, as long as it is not altered or manipulated in any way. The image must remain exactly as it is and in whole, and credit must be given to the copyright holder.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial. This licence allows the public to use, distribute, manipulate and create derivative works but not for commercial purposes. As with all Creative Commons licences the copyright holder must be credited for the original image. Derivative creations do not have to be licensed under the same terms as the original image.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike. This licence allows the public to use, distribute, manipulate and create derivative works but not for commercial purposes. The copyright holder must be credited and the new works must be licensed under identical terms. All new works using the original image must carry the same licence, so any derivatives will not allow commercial use.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives. This licence is the most restrictive. It allows the public to download work and share with others as long as they credit the copyright holder. Works under this licence cannot be used commercially or changed in any way.
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