To Copy or Not to Copy…

Citing sources and Copyright
Copyright is a law we all have to follow in order to respect others’ rights. Giving credit to the author is a must nowadays. Following all the copyright guidelines and rules may sound like a tremendous amount of work, or like a very strong limiting factor. Fortunately, thanks to the development of technology, life of our students became a little bit easier. Citing resources has changed as well, thanks to online citation generators such as MyBib, EasyBib. They allow students to generate a citation easily just by copying and pasting the URL address or ISBN code (for books) of the chosen resources in order to get all necessary details for the citation in the correct order. Remembering my days at schools and university… this process wasn’t that easy back then 🙂
In my opinion, teacher, as a role model for students, should show an example of fair use attitude. Unfortunately, teachers still need reminders about watermarked picture use in their presentations, posters, etc. I find the pictograph by Langwithes an amazing step by step guide which helps you follow the copyright as well as provide a basic understanding of all types of copyright existing in the ocean of the internet. This tool could be really helpful to all teachers, who aren’t sure about the fair use of digital content. One more great visual (learning from visuals is exciting!) by The Visual Learning Guy displays copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain all in one graph. If you can wrap your head around those four concepts, image copyright won’t seem so scary. Curtis Newbold, March 24, 2016.
I Love Unsplash, Piqsels, Pixabay, and Creative Commons. Also, I use filters in Google Search. Unfortunately, sometimes it is not easy to find a picture matching your needs exactly. After attending a workshop led by Keri Lee Beasley I came up with an idea, that students could create their own images and their collections. At the workshop, Keri taught some simple photography concepts and basic rules that could help make a good picture. I also found similar tips here – Depositphotos.
We love taking pictures and we are doing it every day and everywhere with our powerful smartphones. Why don’t we learn a few simple rules and apply them every time we are taking a picture and collect them in great collections. For example, my COETAIL blog header picture is a creation of mine and I’m very happy that I can use it without any permission.

Remix and Participatory Cultures
Remixing culture is very common in education. We are learning from the best authors, artists, singers, composers, educators, business managers, personalities and explore their best works as examples. Remixing culture is inevitable from education in many cases.

Image from Piqsels

Furthermore, I would like to share an example of remix culture from my country – Lithuania. Jolita Vaitkutė is a young Lithuanian artist recreating portraits of famous people as well as artworks by using food, books, recycling materials, pencils, etc. and shares it all online.
Recently, with all of the COVID-19 situation, staying at home became a mission impossible for some people. Fortunately, some cultural institutions, such as theater, opera, music halls, ballets, etc., have started various initiatives that perfectly meet the remixing culture description. For example, museums have encouraged people to recreate iconic paintings using any household items they have by their hand. Read more about it from Bored Panda. By recreating all those paintings people could also broaden their knowledge about the art. I believe, all this situation made many of us, young and old, move towards the participatory culture. According to Henry Jenkins, it is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations. All this world crisis made us start thinking differently.

Forms of participatory culture include:
Affiliations— memberships, formal and informal, in online communities centered around various forms of media, such as Friendster, Facebook, message boards, metagaming, game clans, or MySpace).
Expressions— producing new creative forms, such as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction writing, zines, mash-ups).
Collaborative Problem-solving— working together in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (such as through Wikipedia, alternative reality gaming, spoiling).
Circulations — Shaping the flow of media (such as podcasting, blogging

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)


“Back To Basics: 10 Composition Rules In Photography.” Depositphotos Blog, 7 Dec. 2016, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

“Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It? Yes? No? If This… Then….” Silvia Tolisano- Langwitches Blog, 10 June 2014, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

Newbold, Curtis. “You Can Use a Picture If: Guidelines for Image Copyrights.” The Visual Communication Guy: Designing Information to Engage, Educate, and Inspire People, 24 Mar. 2016, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

Pat Tamarin Pat Tamarin, et al. “Museums Ask People To Recreate Famous Paintings With Anything They Can Find At Home, Get 35 Hilarious Pics.” Bored Panda, 18 Dec. 1969, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Remix Culture.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Oct. 2019, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

8 Replies to “To Copy or Not to Copy…”

  1. Hello Julija,
    Thank you for such a reach post! I have learned a lot from your examples and from the links you have shared with us!
    I have actually never heard about the term “Remix culture” and I think this is a very interesting topic for the research.

    1. Dear Irena,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found some useful ideas in it. The Remix as the definition wasn’t new to me, but I learned more about remix as a culture from our COETAIL course2 second week material. It made me think of many examples that apparently I knew already 🙂

  2. Hi Julijia,

    The common thread I notice amongst the many posts on this week’s topic on copyright is that it is complicated! Haha. I’m not sure any of us have it totally figured out, but the important thing is that we are learning. We have been given resources and tools like the flowcharts that will help us make better choices when using other people’s media.

    As a teacher, I am constantly using videos and images to create material for students that is engaging a visually appealing. I have to make an effort to make sure I am doing it in a responsible way that models good practices for my students.

    I like how you mentioned creating your own images. I’ve been creating lots of How-To videos for my 2nd-grade students learning from home. I’ve been teaching them how to use Google Drawing to create images for their Home Learning Journals. Many students like to find images online and add those, but I often find that their image doesn’t match the context. For example, one Vietnamese girl when writing an entry about her family added a picture of a white family. So I encouraged her to get a real family photo and taught her how to add that instead. Real-life pictures are always the best!

    Thanks for sharing your links too. I might have to try the drink linked to Keri Lee Beasley’s blog. Haha!

    1. Dear Andrea,

      The topic about Copyright is complicated as well as confusing in many cases. Especially thinking about all of the laws related to it. We are learning 🙂
      I do agree with you that students are using the wrong images sometimes. I’m facing this problem sometimes as well. Love your example about the girl from Vietnamese family 🙂 It’s funny because sometimes I even see adults failing in a similar way. The role of educators is really important here.

      P.S. No worries about my name 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing those additional resources! I knew about Unsplash (Flaticon is one of my favorites) but had not heard about Piqsels and Pixabay. Many thanks!

    1. Dear Luiz,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found something useful in my posts. Thank you for sharing info about Flaticon. It is new to me, but I’ll definitely try it. There are so many tools and I stopped believing that I can learn all of them :). It would be great not to get lost in that variety. Choosing the best tools fitting our needs is essential.

  4. Hey Julija,

    Thanks for sharing the easy bib and mybib, such great tools to use to make a challenging task an easy one. I especially loved your idea about using student photography to create their own image collections! When you said more about learning “simple photography concepts and basic rules” I know that would be something I’d love to learn more about and start exploring with my own students.

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