How to copy Internet images to show in class 
Marvin Bartel, written 7 April 2002
updated 27 June 2008
Ethics, Plagiarism, and the Law
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As a teacher it is important to model good behavior and set an example for students to emulate.  Therefore, I attempt to be very diligent about giving credit whenever I make a quotation or use an idea from somebody else.  I can not tell you how many times I have seen public speakers violate this common decency when showing cartoons, and other slides without crediting the author, artist, or photographer.

For teachers in the classroom, quoting and/or copying images and artwork should be treated with the same respect that we expected of text. 


Any copied images or artwork should always be credited with the name of the artist, photographer, cartoonist, author, etc. along with bibliographical information about the source of the copied work being shown.  Not to do so in a classroom presentation sets an example of plagiarism by the teacher. 

In Powerpoint presentations this information should be clearly visible, but for the sake of design, I format it smaller than the major text points. For an image, I run this along the bottom of the slide, just below the image and caption, or for a vertical image it would be along side of the image under the caption.  Of course the artist's name might be part of the caption.

I assume that all artwork is copyrighted - including my own.  This is true whether or not there is any designation with a symbol or word.  The following is a link to an off site web site that explains this for teachers. 

Laws about copyrighted artwork
in the classroom environment. 
Since the above link takes you to a site that is designed with frames, you will have to scroll down the in the left frame until you can click the copyright link.  To get back here, use your Back button (top left on your browser).  This site gives explanation of what is legally permitted in the classroom.  It is a site titled, Copyright 1996-2002 Michael Delahunt.  This site is also a good place to find the correct spelling and pronunciation of artist names. 

We are never allowed to publish images on our own www web sites, even purely educational web sites, without permission from the copyright owner.  If you think nobody will find them, think again.  Search engines routinely find pages soon after they are posted on the server - even if no link has been made to the page. 

We are never allowed to use other's  images for any business use, trade use, advertising, advocacy work, etc. without permission. 

The Ethics of Student Copy Work
Should art students be allowed to copy the images of other artists and photographers as part of their assignments or class work?

I do not encourage copy work on the grounds that is is not a good way to become a creative contributing artist.  If students do copy or "quote" artwork or photographs that are not their own, I would say it is plagiarism unless it has bibliographical credits (clearly apparent footnotes).  Similar to the standards used for term papers and other written work.  As art teachers, we need to be clear and  help students understand this.  Many people do not realize that honesty in the visual world is at least as important as honesty in the verbal and accounting worlds.

title: Signs of the Times
photo by Marvin Bartel 2002

This photograph illustrates the idiosyncratic symbolism seen in much of the post-modern world.  A flag is placed in the front parking lot of a Cancer Center Hospital seen in the background of this photograph.  The flag is seen here in the middleground of the photo, but because it is unusually large and because of the photographer's camera position, it appears to be placed on a church sign.  The camera angle places a Mennonite Church's sign in the foreground directly under the flag which is actually across the street.  This is a "straight" photograph.  No digital cutting and pasting were used to create the mergers. No changes were made in the scale of the objects other than using a slightly wide-angle zoom of the camera lens..

A photography teacher may wish to copy and show this image in class to illustrate the use of mergers to make a photographic statement.  As the photographer, I give you permission to use this for classroom presentations.  This photograph may be used to practice "taking a photograph" from the Internet.

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Marvin Bartel, posted 2002
All rights reserved. Teachers may make one copy of this webpage for their own personal reference so long as this URL (web page address) and this copyright notice is included. You may make a link to this page from your website, but you may not place a copy on your website.

Updated 6/2008
Send your comments or permission requests CONTACT

Other essays on Art Education Home page by the same author
How to Use a Digital Camera to Copy Slides
How to Hang Artwork Temporarily with Masking Tape

Taking an IMAGE FROM THE WEB to use in teaching.

title: Wave Dancer
artist: John Mishler - 2002

stainless steel and paint
14' x 3' x 4'
photo by Marvin Bartel 2002
This photograph shows two college students at Navy Pier in Chicago discussing sensations evoked by a Mishler site specific work in context. The top portion turns in the breeze adding kenetics to the work.  Misher teaches sculpture at Goshen College.

A sculpture teacher may wish to copy and show this image in class to illustrate the use of design in context.  As the photographer, I give you permission to use this for classroom use.  This photograph may be used to practice "taking a photograph" from the Internet. 

How to find an art history image.
 Google Images Search is a great place to start.  In the search box you can type the artist's name and/or the name of the artwork.  Sometimes it will even suggest a better way to spell the name.  However, knowing the correct spelling is best.  For well known art, it is apt to find many choices.  For Vincent Van Gogh's painting, Starry Night, there appear to be over 100 choices with a large variety of quality.  In general, larger file sizes are better quality but slower to load when browsing with a modem connection. 

Art history texts, other art books, encylopeidias, dictionarys, etc. are good sources for appropriate names and artwork ideas.  If a book has a high quality reproduction, a flatbed scanner could be used to attain an image (within the limits of fair use  - Since this link takes you to a site that is designed with frames, you will have to scroll down the in the left frame until you can click the copyright link)

How to "take a picture" from the web.

  1. In order to print an image to show in a classroom, you can place the cursor on the image and use the right mouse button, hold it down, pick "save image" or "save picture" (with a single button Mac mouse, hold down the mouse until the dialog box appears).
  2. Designate and watch where you save it on your computer drive. Images on the web are generally .jpg image format that is easy to open with Photoshop and can be INSERTED and/or opened with many other programs. 
  3. Open a new file in Word (some other word processors also work) and use the top menu to find INSERT, PICTURE, FROM FILE, and place the image on the page.  Then size it by clicking on it and  grabbing a corner. 

  4. You can also slide it where you like it. 

    This can also be done using Powerpoint instead of Word.  Powerpoint is better for presentation programming if the classroom is equipped for projection from a computer.  Word is better for printing for overhead transparencies or handouts. 

    Sometimes I first size it and work on the image in Photoshop. Of course you can print from Photoshop, but it seems easier to add the caption and source credits if you insert them into a word processor or Powerpoint.

  5. In another Word file I collect bibliographical text information from the web site.  In this Word file I can fix the formatting.  Then I can copy and paste it into the presentation slide or overhead layout file.

  7. From the top menu, use INSERT and TEXT BOX (in Powerpoint).  Then use Copy and Paste to include sources such as the web site address and the owner/publisher/author bibliographical credits for the source of the image, and for the title, artist, dates, and so on.  It is hard to say exactly what is legal and within copyright laws, (see copyright notes and links on left here) but teachers are allowed a bit of "fair use" leeway that commercial users are not permitted. We should at least give credit if we take these images from web pages (we are NOT permitted to publish them on our own Internet web pages without permission).
  8. If you do not have image software such as Adobe Photoshop, printing can be done from Microsoft Word .  Teachers without computer projectors may wish to print art images as transparencies for overhead projectors to show to a class.  Blank transparencies (from office suppliers) are available for inkjet and for laser printers, but be sure to use the correct ones, paying attention to the type of printer. 
CAUTION: Laser printers are hot and melt the plastic media for inkjets.  You could damage the printer, if the wrong transparency media is used.

Protected web sites.
Presumably, some art galleries and museums are using software in an attempt to protect themselves from unauthorized use.  I open the page in Netscape, go to File, Edit Page.  When the image comes up, I copy and paste it.  If your web browser does not allow page editing, try searching "screen capture" and/or "print screen" to find a instructions for other ways to copy and paste.

Other links related to the above

Basic Image File Preparation Using Adobe Photoshop 5
Using Layers to produce a Montage Composite using Photoshop 6  2002
How to Print Photographs from a Mac
Try a web search if these links are outdated.