This is a class that deals with editing media works, not creating originals.  As such we generally will not be taking photos, filming video, capturing audio, etc.  For most of the work in this class, we will be using examples prepared specifically for the course.  However, we may also use material found on the internet. 

For all source material used the student MUST attribute the usage to the original source.  This is done in the following format, with each piece of data separated by commas:

[Name or Description of Material], [Author's Name or the words "No author could be identified"], [the source of the media], [the license that allows you to use this media]

For example
Name/Description - This is usually something that can be found easily if you download the material from the internet.  If one is not available, or if you have two different pieces of material with the same name in your project, write something that will describe it uniquely.
Author's Name - This is generally found with the material if you are downloading it from the web.  This can be an individual (Thomas Kent), a screen name (teeks99), or a group/organization (NASA).  If you are not able to find an author for your material, you may put the words "No author could be identified" here.
Location - For items found on the internet, this would be the web address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the material.  If it is not found on the internet, please describe the source.
License - This is probably the most important part.  This is where you identify why it is allowable for you to use this material in your project.  See more on licenses in the next section.

It is essential that all material used in this course have an attribution that is submitted with the project.  Any projects that have material which is not correctly attributed will have credit deducted.


All media that is created is immediately and automatically granted a copyright to the creator of that material (also called a "creative work" or just "work").  This copyright allows the author to control the use of that creative work by requiring that anyone who wants to use the work have a license for that work. 

Let me repeat that one more time because it is important, when a person creates a creative work: a picture, song, video, etc. they are automatically given a copyright on that.  Therefore any material found online, on a CD/DVD, in a magazine, etc is copyrighted by someone else!

If the work is used without a license, the author can sue the person who used it illegally for hundreds of times the amount that the work is valued at.  Because of this, it is essential that you have a license to use any works that you incorporate into your projects during this course.  In addition, any projects that you do will automatically be copyrighted to you!  However, as the teacher, I will require you license the works to me for use in grading and use in class. For more info see:

Because it would be very difficult to contact the author directly every time you need to use material in your creative works, there are a set of licenses that are setup that authors can attach to a work that allow anybody to re-use them in ceritan ways.  These licenses are generally called "Creative Commons" Licenses, and are administered by the Creative Commons orginization. 

The Creative Commons licenses share a set of four basic components (plus a few more for special cases):
Attribution Attribution (by) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.
Non-commercial Noncommercial (nc) Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.
Non-derivative No Derivative Works (nd) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.
Share-alike Share-alike (sa) Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.)

These components are combined together to create a creative commons license.  The important ones and their abbreviations are:
Attribution (CC-BY)
Attribution - Share Alike (CC-BY-SA)
Attribution - Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC)
Attribution - Share Alike - Noncommercial (CC-BY-SA-NC)
Attribution - No Derivative (CC-BY-ND)  (Note, this one probably can't be used in this course)
Find out more about them at: and

In addition to these creative commons licenses, some media content is also made available under licenses generally used by open source software.
GNU General Public License (GPL) - This requires that if you use the work in your work, you make your work available under the GPL as well.
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) - You may use works licensed under this in your work, however if you make changes to the original work they must be made available under the LGPL.
Apache/MIT - Very similar to the LGPL
GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) - Same as the GPL, but specifically oriented towards documentation.

In general the recommendation for this course is to use the CC-BY-SA license on any material you create.  For an example of how to do that, see the beginning of this document.

Public Domain

When content, for whatever reason, does not have a copyright that needs to be licensed it is said to be in the "Public Domain".  Any work in this state can be used by anyone for whatever purpose without any requirement to license or notify the author.  However, it is still recommended to attribute the original work to that author.  There are two general ways that things get into the public domain: they are either put there explicitly by their creator or they reach the limit on the number of years that their copyright applies.  The length that a copyright will last on a work varies from country to country, but is usually multiple decades long. In the United States this is at least 70 years.
Some governments such as the United States are obligated by law to put the works they create into the public domain.  For this reason you will find many works from groups such as NASA, NOAA, and even the IRS in the public domain (there are some exceptions to this however).
For more info see:

Fair Use

Even when a work is not available under one of the above licenses or in the public domain, there are certain, very limited, ways that you can use the work without having to worry about the license.  These are generally termed "Fair Use", and the rules on this vary greatly from country to country. 
In general the following are legitimate uses: commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.  However, there are several restrictions on these uses.  The purpose of the new work must transform the original work, it can not simply be using the success of the original to create success for the new work.   You generally can not use the whole of a work, it is acceptable to use a clip of a movie in a parody, but you cannot include the whole movie in it.  Finally, the new work should not seriously harm the market for the original work. 

It may be noted that most of the works used in projects for this course could be claimed as fair use, as they are being used for scholarship in an academic institution.  This is true, however as this is a course in multimedia creation, one aspect is teaching the correct use of copyright and licensing. So, for the attribution required for each work in this course, "Fair Use" is not an acceptable license description.
For more info see: and