Copyright Scenarios

  1. Students in Mr. Johnson's web design class have been given an assignment to make a personal website. Timmy Thompson, a student in the class, loves snowboarding and wants to put some snowboarding pictures on his personal site. The only problem is that he doesn't have any good pictures of himself. So, Timmy searches for snowboarding images in his favorite search engine and finds a site with a number of good pictures he would like to use. He looks everywhere on the site, but doesn't see anything written that says the images are protected by copyright. Timmy downloads a few of the images and uses them on his personal website on the hobbies page. Although he is tempted to try and impress other students by passing the pictures off as his own, Timmy is a man of good conscience, and under each picture he cites the source of the image to give credit to the owner. From what you have learned about copyright law, would Timmy's use of the images be acceptable?
  2. For their second project, students in Mr. Johnson's web design class have been instructed to create a website about their favorite place. The class just finished an activity where they learned about copyright law and Mr. Johnson warns the students that points will be deducted from their final score if he finds any copyright violations. Not wanting to jeopardize his grade, Timmy Thompson gets his parents to drive him to his favorite place and takes pictures to use on his website.  If Timmy puts the pictures he took on his web site, will they be copyrighted? Can other people take them and use them?
  3. When he gets to class the next day, students present their finished sites to the class. Timmy notices that Susie Simpson has used a bunch of pictures on her website that he knows must have been taken by a professional photographer. She didn't even cite the source of the images. Timmy complains to Mr. Johnson that he thinks Susie used copyrighted images on her website. Susie defends herself, claiming that she got the images off of a U.S. government website and was allowed to use the images without restrictions because they were in the public domain. From what you have learned about copyright law, would Susy's use of the images be acceptable?
  4. As a final project in Mr. Johnson's class, students have been tasked with creating a website for a local business in the community. Timmy Thompson picks his aunt's restaurant since he knows that she doesn't have a website already. While searching the Internet for ideas, Timmy comes across a stock photography website that has some really good close-up pictures of different types of food. These images would be perfect for his project, so Timmy reads the usage restrictions for the images. The images require payment for commercial use, but are offered free for not-for-profit or educational use. Since Timmy is doing the project for a school assignment, he believes that falls under educational use, so he downloads the images and uses them in his project. Timmy completes the final website and receives praise from everyone, including his aunt and Mr. Johnson, about how nice the site looks. From what you have learned about copyright law, would Timmy's use of the images be acceptable?