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What does Open Source mean and what are Creative Commons Licenses?

Courtesy of Michael Ruddlesden, UCL 2014 Engineering Summer Studentship recipient

What do we mean by open source?

This is a label used for work that is made freely available for anyone to use, modify and redistribute.

And what do we mean by copyright?

Copyright is the legal right the creator has over their material

We can combine these two ideas into a creative commons license. Creative commons is a popular type of open source license used worldwide to protect the rights of copyright holder, the creator of the works. They take complicated legal ideas and simplify them into rules that anyone can understand.

So why is creative commons relative to me?

Creative commons gives everyone a simple way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. In education, these licenses enable educational resources to evolve and be improved through editing each other’s work and allow students and staff to create their own unique resources based upon currently available documents and images.

So what licenses are available?

There are six licenses available. They range from the very open attribution license to more restrictive licenses that don’t allow for commercial use or for any changes to be made to your work.

Which license should you choose?

The choice is up to you. Depending on how you want your material to be used, you can choose the most applicable license. If you don’t mind people using and changing your work, as long as they credit you, choose a simple attribution license. However, if you want more control over what happens to your video, choose a more restrictive one. The licenses are available in combinations of the following:

  • Attribution: this lets other use and change  your work as long as they credit you
  • Share alike: this allows other to use and change your work as long as they share their version of your work under the same license
  • No derivatives: this allows others to share your work but not change it in any way
  • Non-commercial: this doesn’t allow people to share your work for financial gain

Choose a license

Take a look at the license chooser at creativecommons.org to help you make your choice.

A vast amount of creative material is available for you to use in anything you make as long as you use it in line with its own creative commons license. For example, if you want to use a picture that someone else has created in your own work, you must ensure the license allows for derivatives of the work to be made and adhere to any restrictions around commercial use and sharing alike. Remember, if material is not licensed, then by default it can’t be incorporated into other peoples material.

The creative commons license you choose should be displayed at wither the beginning or end of your video. You should include the logo for your respective license, which can be found at the end of the license chooser mentioned earlier. Keep an eye out for the one at the end of this video.

In this video, I discussed how creative commons licenses can allow us to use the works of other people. However, in the case of this particular university coursework, we ask that you only include your  own work. This means all images, video footage, narration and even music must be created by you.

Some useful open source sharing sites

Finding out where images have been sourced from

TinEye is a free image search engine that lets you find a particular image on the Internet. To do an image search using TinEye go to www.tineye.com in your web browser.

  1. Upload or link to a gif, jpg or png image up to 1MB in size. (Note: raw file formats like Photoshop .psd files are not supported).
  2. Tineye will index the image and compare it to over 1.5 billion other indexed images.
  3. Tineye will then tell you where that image appears on the Internet.
  4. You can filter by the oldest iage found, which is more likely to be the original source.
  5. You can compare the original image you searched for to the copy that is found on the Internet.

If you need something to compare try searching for the ‘The Scream’ image by Edvard Munch by pasting the following address in the URL search field:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f4/The_Scream.jpg/220px-The_Scream.jpg

If you Sort by Most Changed (in the left menu) you can then click on Compare under each search result to see the differences between the original (the one you searched for) and the copy that TinEye has found. A pop-up window will appear and you can Switch between the original and copy.

(This content was sourced from: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ele/2010/06/23/tineye-reverse-image-search/)

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