Does copyright concerns turn you red in the face and screaming? Oh. That’s just me.

As a teacher is it understood we photocopy excerpts of novels, show slides of artist work, and borrow ideas from other teachers.  With the first two categories, as long as we CREDIT the SOURCE, our actions are legal.  The latter is an understood agreement between teachers; those who don’t like sharing, don’t share.

This keeps coming to mind for me because I struggle with image copyright on this blog.  I see my blog as an extension of my art teaching, but that does not mean a judge would agree…

What has brought this discussion on?  My recent article brainstorming has triggered this discussion.  I love showcasing artists.  I am in NO WAY pretending the images of their artwork are my own.  Nor am I incorporating their design or idea into my blog design.  I just want to share learning opportunities with their artworks as educational tools for discussing and learning about art!

Okay, I’m off my soap box now.  Regardless, there are laws on copyright and I want to follow them.  I’m just feeling really confused about whether I am doing anything wrong?!

For example, on my blog post discussing elitism in the arts, am I wrong to include the Guerrilla Girls’ artwork?  I believe the Damien Hirst image is satisfactory only because I took it from an advertisement of an exhibit in Florence but I could be incorrect there as well.  What about my inclusion of JR’s photos discussing his work?!

I am not selling my posts, however I do plan to sell e-books about art via this blog.  Does that make those posts a commercial venture versus an educational space?  I wouldn’t be allowed to use those images without appropriate licensing if I wrote a book discussing the same things, so…

As a result, I am beginning to think some of my past posts are of concern.  This is also driving the nature of my future articles (no article on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Mastaba for me… or you!).  And I think I should probably remove images from old posts that do concern me.

The concern of copyright is not a black and white discussion.  While I am grateful for the grey areas that allow me to use resources in my classroom, I wish I had a more developed understanding of the subject.  And if I discover I am in err including those cited images, you may see a much greater reliance on YouTube and artwork of artists I know in my future posts.

How do you deal with copyright concerns?  What resources do you reference when you have a question?

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