Sunday, August 7, 2011

Legalities & Copyright Issues Regarding Web Images

During Sandra Burke's (published author of a range of fashion books) latest visit to SDC, I had the priviledge of discussing many of the legal issues and restrictions that we will face as an Online Academic Institution, placing our material on the Web. These copyright stipulations may not just be relevant to the Online College but our full time course material as well. Sandra has mentioned, that she had to deal with many restrictions when writing her books, as to what she could include as "borrowed" material. After doing further research on this very complex legal mine field, I cam across this article
Entitled "Legal Copyright issues Web Site Management Law Suites Schools Education" (Jamie McKenzie) which very simply end effectively explains in "lay person's" terms somme of the possible scenario's and offers links to related legal sites. I found this article very informative and I realised that certainly more insight and safegaurds needs to be enforced in order to avoid any infringement issues further down the line.

Sandra Burke has been requested by Mr Claude Fourie to endorse the SDC Online Illustration Short Course which references her book "Fashion Artist". After reviewing the course material, she suggested that we use more of our own photographic imagery,  student work etc in order to remain within the  ethical boundaries of "intellectual property" and copyright restrictions. Our material for this course in particular will be reviewed and re-submitted for her approval.

I am also certain that SA laws regarding the use of images and information found on the web could be still in it's developmental phase or using the American or European standard model. Please do consider everything mentioned when preparing your lessons and Online material. Once I have done extensive research in this area I will submit a detailed outline of what steps will be taken, clauses and waivers that will be implemented. All I want to offer for now is that we document our own processes, use images taken by our students/tutors and basically produce work that is as authentic to our institution as possible. I do realise being a compiler of modules myself that there will always be a need for examples "borrowed" from web sources, I will in a future "Tutor Zone" e- letter give all educators and contract professionals guidelines to follow when using these sources.

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