End of MS Clip Art Means Educators Need to Pay Attention

I recently got the news that Microsoft Office will no longer have Clip Art (see more here http://blogs.office.com/2014/12/01/clip-art-now-powered-bing-images/ ). What will happen now is that your search for images to embed in MS Office documents (Word, Excel, Publisher) will be handled by Bing (a search engine owned by Microsoft) using a filter to identify Creative Commons Licensed materials. In theory, this should return “useable” images for you, but the reality is a bit more complex for the average educator. Please read on.

What You Need to Know About

cc-title.fw

Every CC License Except “CC0” Has Requirements for the User

Many people think they are free to use Creative Commons licensed materials in whatever way they want. This is incorrect. Creative Commons content is licensed in a particular way and all but one of the licenses has requirements. The exception license is designated “CC0” where the creator/author is contributing content to the “public domain” meaning you can do whatever you want with it, however you want. Some countries do not legally recognize that authors/creators can directly put work into the public domain. cc-0.fw

There are 6 other commonly recognized forms of Creative Commons (CC) licensing. What they all have in common is that EVERY ONE of the other 6 licenses requires ‘attribution’ as a minimum requirement when you make use of that content. Below is a quick grid of the 6 main licenses (other than CC0), their icons, and the requirements for use.

Creative Commons License Requirements (J. Hengstler, December 2014)

License
cc-by.fw  Attribution (BY)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
cc-by-nd.fw  Attribution- NoDerivatives (BY-ND)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
  • Redistribution OK if it remains unchanged from the original
cc-by-nc-sa.fw  Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
  • Redistribution & derivative works OK if non-commercial
  • New works must carry same licensing
cc-by-sa.fw  Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
  • Redistribution & derivative works OK New works must carry same licensing
cc-by-nc.fw  Attribution-NonCommercial (BY-NC)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
  • Redistribution & derivative works OK if non-commercial
cc-by-nc-nd.fw  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (BY-NC-ND)

Requirements for the User:

  • Credit the author/creator
  • Redistribution OK if non-commercial
  • No derivative works can be created

MS Bing’s CC Search Filter is Reliable, Right?

Tom Kulhmann, a respected blogger & elearning developer, did a recent test of the Bing search function with MS Office (T.Kuhlmann, 2014, Microsoft is Dumping Clip Art. What Are You Going to Do?). He unfortunately found that the Bing image search returned images from sites “under some sort of Creative Commons license, [but] many of the images [my emphasis] were not necessarily owned but the site author”. He goes on to say, “In my tests, there was nothing to indicate that the site owner actually had rights to the image for me to use. So basically, you can’t trust the images you find in the search [my emphasis]” (T. Kuhlmann, Microsoft is Dumping Clip Art. What Are You Going to Do?).

Your Take-Aways

As an Educational Technologist in a Faculty of Education, here’s my advice to educators:

  • Remember anytime you use Creative Commons content you have obligations—the least of which is attribution (unless it is CC0, Public Domain.)
  • Don’t trust Bing’s image search results as your sole test to determine if the image itself is licensed under Creative Commons & which license it is.
  • Do a little legwork to find the original version of the image online & check it’s licensing. (If you need help, ask others to give you a hand or try tineye.com.)
  • Find other sources of Creative Commons licensed image—some ideas below.
  • Be sure to follow the requirements of the particular image’s Creative Commons license.

Some tips to search for appropriately licensed alternative content:

 

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One Response to End of MS Clip Art Means Educators Need to Pay Attention

  1. Reblogged this on EdTech Mentorship Network and commented:
    BC Educator Julia Hengstler (who blogs at https://jhengstler.wordpress.com and tweets as @jhengstler ) has given permission to share this useful information about the correct use of creative commons materials.

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