Plagarism and Fair Use

Finding imagery is entirely too easy. A quick Google search will give you thousands of images for any topic. The ease of finding images online may give the impression that those images are free to use. This can be a sticky situation.

Any image that you find online is protected under copyright by the author. This also includes text, code, and all other types of content. Even if an image or site doesn’t explicitly say that the materials are copyright they are still protected. If you use this content without obtaining permission you are infringing the copyright and that person would have cause for legal recourse.

Fair Use

I’ve heard the term Fair Use is thrown around quite a bit to justify the use of these images.There are limitations to what Fair Use covers and in general it allows for reproduction of work only in the case of criticism, comment, reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Students need to pay attention because “scholarship” may not apply in the sens of using found imagery in a design that is later presented as your own. Without receiving and giving credit to the original author the use of imagery is plagiarism.


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