Radiopaedia.org has always had as one of its core goals, to collect a huge library of cases and to make them readily available to others for teaching the art and science of radiology. To that end, all the cases contributed by 1000s of users are made available through a Creative Commons license. What does this mean? Well, it's really simple: as long as you abide by the rules of our license, you don't need to ask permission to use the images for free.
The license conditions are really simple:
- your use must be non-commercial
- you must attribute the case to the contributing author
- you cannot slap your own copyright or different license on the image
Simple right? Well you would think so, but recently I traveled greater than twenty hours from my home town of Melbourne to a well known North American university hospital - you know who you are - for a moderately expensive (>$1000) neuroimaging seminar, and to my amazement I recognized about 10 of my cases, all unattributed. Not only that, but the handout for the lectures were all copyrighted. So all three creative commons license rules were violated.
I experienced a number of different emotions in close succession: pleasure at seeing my cases, annoyance at not having them attributed to me, irritation at the fact that this institution was charging folk to see my cases which are free on Radiopaedia.org, and that they were using these cases to build their brand - "wow, they have great cases at institution X".
My initial knee-jerk response was "how can I stop this from happening?". When I had settled down and taken a breath I realized that as poor form as this is (you really should be ashamed of yourself) it is no reason to make it harder to use our images. If we did that, we would be undermining everything Radiopaedia.org stands for. It didn't actually cost me anything and 200 or so radiologists from around the world understand neuroradiology a little bit better, at least in part because of my images. That's a good thing, despite the circumstances.
So today I want to introduce you to a little feature that makes it even easier to use our images correctly.
Icon by Thomas Le Bas *
This little download button, located in the top left corner of images, will help you download a copy of the selected image for you to use in your presentation or handout or video or whatever. We have made it super easy for you to do the right thing, including cut-and-paste attribution and links.
And remember, if you need to use an image outside of the creative commons license, just write to us and we and the contributing author will work something out.
Thank you all, and keep sharing. Together we are making a real difference in how radiology is taught.
* This icon by Thomas Le Bas is from the Noun Project (icon here). We have purchased the rights to use this icon on our website, but I include attribution to Thomas in this blog, not because we have to but just to show you that attribution is easy and gives you warm fuzzy feelings of knowing that you are giving credit where credit is due :)