Lesson 7: Intellectual Property and Images


Starting with a discussion of their personal opinions on how others should be allowed to use their work, the class explores the purpose and role of copyright for both creators and users of creative content. They then move on to an activity exploring the various Creative Commons licenses as a solution to the difficulty in dealing with copyright.

Finally, with a common understanding of the restrictions of various Creative Commons licenses, students learn how to add images to their web pages using the <img> tag.


Students will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of copyright.
  • Identify the rights and restrictions granted by various Creative Commons licenses
  • Add an image to a web page


  • Citation – A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.
  • Copyright – the exclusive legal right to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same
  • Creative Commons – A collection of public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work, used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created
  • Intellectual Property – A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a piece of writing or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

Introduced Code

Warm Up (10 min)

Use of Your Work

  1. All of you have been working hard to create a new website that you’re going to publish to the world. When you publish something, though, it can be hard to control what other people do with it. Sometimes people use our work in ways that don’t seem fair to us. I’m going to describe a few situations for you. If you think what happened was fair, stand up. If you think it was unfair, sit down.
    1. You take an awesome picture and someone puts it on their social media account and with your name beside it.
    2. You write a story and someone else publishes it and says that they wrote it.
    3. You write a song and someone sings it to her friends.
    4. You write a song and someone sings it at a concert and makes a lot of money.
    5. You take a picture and someone else Photoshops it and puts the new version on his web site.
  2. It’s okay if not everyone agrees how they want their work to be used. Copyright law says that whoever creates new content, such as a picture, a story, or a song, gets to decide how other people are allowed to use it.
  3. What rules would you make for people who want to use your creative work? Journal individually, then share with a neighbor, and finally discuss as a whole class.

Activity 1 (20 min)

The Creative Commons Solution

  1. Copyright is granted the moment something is created, so unless explicitly told otherwise, we have to assume any picture, video, or other media we find online is fully covered by copyright law, which means that no one else can make copies or post it online without permission.
  2. Sometimes, though, we want people to share our work so that more people can see it. The Creative Commons (CC) license was developed to help content creators have more specific control over how other people can use their work.
  3. Get with a partner
  4. Get a copy of the activity guide.
  5. The first portion of this activity guide covers the components of a Creative Commons license. Think critically here about both the value each component adds to the creator, but also the ways it might limit the cultural exchange of ideas, connecting the components of the license to the scenarios that they considered earlier in the class.
  6. The second portion of this activity provides you with four CC licenses and two content creator scenarios. For each scenario, you are asked to evaluate which of the four provided licenses is the least restrictive but still addresses the concerns and needs of the content creator.
  7. Share out your responses to the Choosing the Right License scenarios.

Activity 2 (20 min)

Adding Images

  1. Go to Code Studio, where you will learn about the <img> tag and have an opportunity to add images to the pages you’ve already created.
  2. Do levels 1-5 on your own
  3. Review levels 6 & 7 together as a class
  4. Finish levels 8 & 9 on your own

Wrap Up (5 min)

Your Own CC License

  1. Update your “HTML Tags” list with the tags you learned in this lesson.
  2. Journal: Think of all the personally created items that you’ve put on your website so far, and those that you may add in the future. Without a clear license all of those of things (and your web pages themselves) are covered under the fully restrictive copyright. Which Creative Commons license would you rather use (if any) and why?
  3. If there is time return to your site and add the Creative Commons license you decided you would like your website to have.
  4. Check out the Creative Commons license chooser
  5. You can add a footer at the bottom of each page with their Creative Commons License.

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