Monday, February 16, 2009

Sketchory: 250,000 Drawings Available through Creative Commons Licenses

Sketchory is a growing collection of over 250,000 drawings that may be freely shared, in unlimited number, by keeping to a Creative Commons license. These works come from, a site where people from all over the world submit sketches to share. They may be used in publications, for example, providing the conditions of the Creative Commons license are met. This is another example of the copyleft movement, which seeks to provide alternatives to the restrictions of the "all rights reserved" paradigm of copyright law.

Image: from Sketchory, some rights reserved under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Can I use this image?"

Whether you are a faculty member or student, it can be confusing to determine your rights to use images in various ways, such as classroom presentations, written assignments, conference presentations, or publications. To complicate matters, images of art and architecture often involve intellectual property rights at two levels: the underlying work and of the image of that work. There are two useful online tools to help individuals understand the underlying principles at work and to guide them in making informed decisions based on variables involved with particular images.

Michael Brewer and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy have published the online Digital Copyright Slider tool to help you decide whether materials are protected by copyright.

The Intellectual Property Rights Committee of the Visual Resources Association provides an online tool called the Digital Image Rights Computator (DIRC). It is "intended to assist the user in assessing the intellectual property status of a specific image documenting a work of art, a designed object, or a portion of the built environment. Understanding the presence or absence of rights in the various aspects of a given image will allow the user to make informed decisions regarding the intended educational uses of that image."

Image: RK Catch, Hagia Sophia, 2006. From Flickr, some rights reserved under a Creative Commons license.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

GIMPshop (free alternative to Photoshop)

I have shared information about GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) software with the Art and Art History department in the past. It is a free, open-source alternative to Adobe Photoshop, and satisfies the needs of most people in need of an image editing and authoring program. Many people, however, learned image editing with Photoshop and prefer the familiarity of its look and feel.

Enter GIMPshop!

"GIMPshop is a modification of the free/open source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.

It shares all GIMP's advantages, including the long feature list and customisability, while addressing some common criticisms regarding the program's interface: GIMPshop modifies the menu structure to closely match Photoshop's, adjusts the program's terminology to match Adobe's, and, in the Windows version, uses a plugin called 'Deweirdifier' to combine the application's numerous windows in a similar manner to the MDI system used by most Windows graphics packages. While GIMPshop does not support Photoshop plugins, all GIMP's own plugins, filters, brushes, etc. remain available."

We've been busy...

Welcome back to Lia Pileggi, who has been away on maternity leave caring for new arrival Zaki. More posts coming soon!