I’m writing this blog post for the entire class, not just to do a homework assignment. If you are worried about violating fair use, don’t be. That being said don’t just randomly put in a photograph or an essay. The Fair Use checklist can be boiled down to three main categories.

  1. Education & Research: We are doing our projects, and our work, for a class to inform the world about local migration and immigration in our communities and our surrounding areas. We are pretty spread out from as far northeast as New England, to as far south as North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, to as far west as Missouri and Minnesota. We’re informing the world about migration and immigration in seven different states, with tech support in Virginia, so in total we are spread out between eight states.  Our projects inform the world about migration and immigration throughout the United States. The only thing I have to add is if in doubt, contact in whatever way you can the original author if you are concerned about violating copyright laws.
  1. Citations: Where are we getting our information from? Who is the author, what is the title’s of the author’s work, who published it etc. We are using Chicago for this class so we are going to cite using that method. The main point is that we are giving credit to the original source for their information, and not claiming that we wrote the article, or the book, or the database entry etc., in question.
  2. Profits, or lack of: Our projects are not intended to turn a profit, and therefore we should not use any article, photograph, or website to make money for ourselves to pay rent. If it’s strictly our own information and product it would be different, but that is not the case here. As long as everyone bares that in mind, (and personally I do not think that this is going to become a problem) then everyone will do just fine.

As for Creative Commons licensing, it is even more straightforward than studying what is fair use. Kerrin does an excellent job telling us how to use a Creative Commons license and how to set one up. The only thing I really have to add to Kerrin’s explanation of how to set up a Creative Commons license without repeating her, is why we add a Creative Commons license to our websites. Basically it shows that we are using everything we put on our blogs and our website under the definition of Fair Use. It doesn’t mean we own all the information we cite from, just that we have used it fairly. Fair Use and Creative Commons goes hand in hand, and if you use