Copyright: Can I use this?

Image by Ken Gallager, CC-BY-SA

Image by Ken Gallager, CC-BY-SA

On Tuesday, March 1st, Barbara and I visited the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) to host a “Copyright: Can I use this?” workshop, which was part of workshop series coordinated by Matthews-Fuller Biomedical Librarians.

We had a full house of diverse participants whose jobs ranged from doctors and technicians at DHMC, to an instructor in the Geisel School of Medicine, to staff at The Dartmouth Institute (TDI), Tuck School of Business, University Press of New England, and other various departments across Dartmouth College. The participants had questions about copyright from their perspectives as authors, presenters, and as people who need to explain copyright to colleagues and members of the public as part of the work they do.

Image by, Aaron Filler, MD, PhD, FRCS (CC-BY-SA)

Image by, Aaron Filler, MD, PhD, FRCS (CC-BY-SA)

Addressing so many varied professional perspectives, copyright needs, and personal scenarios can be challenging in a one-hour workshop, but it definitely made for an engaging conversation. Barbara and I learned a bit as well. For example, in the Scholarly Communication Program, we don’t address issues of privacy related to patient records, so we were interested to hear from our participants about how MRI images, etc. can be used in a public presentation or in a publication. We learned that since you can’t really identify a person by their MRI scan (unless the patient’s name is attached to the image), they can be used in public presentations without infringing on the patient’s privacy. But, scans should be credited like other resources used in presentations. The same would be true for publications. Also, doctors and others who are using images and visualizations from someone else’s publications need to credit their source, and in some cases, request permissions to use the image.  But, this rings true across every discipline, and is something that Barbara and I speak to on a regular basis.

Screenshot from Google Image Search

Screenshot from Google Image Search

Our workshop participants were also very interested in knowing where they can find openly available images not restricted by copyright. Many of them had not used Creative Commons before as a resource for finding such images, so we spent some time talking about how to refine Google Image and Flickr searches to produce items indicating licenses that allow a person to use them and share them with others.

 

Whenever Barbara and I host these workshops, we are struck by the level of interest and curiosity that surrounds copyright issues and information. In fact, our workshop participants will often ask if we can provide a similar or tailored workshop specifically for their department or office. One workshop can easily become three more workshops before it is over.  But, these are the questions and issues that we love to think and talk about, so we are more than happy to host copyright workshops wherever they are needed.

If you are interested in discussing a workshop idea, please contact us! 

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