While doing research for a blog post about 2U filing for an IPO, I ran across a presentation given last year by the Villanova University Distance Learning Task Force for a Faculty Forum. In this presentation I found one of my graphics that was shared on e-Literate and in EDUCAUSE Review.
I'm flattered that they would find this information useful, and this usage is why I usually include a footer to many of the graphics showing that they are licensed under creative commons to facilitate sharing. All I ask is for attribution and occasionally no derivatives.
However, not only was there no attribution in the presentation, but the footer has been stripped off (I do not know if this was done by Villanova personnel or if they found a stripped-down version). Maybe that was just an unfortunate situation.
But wait, just five slides down I find another graphic, same situation.
And another two slides down, a third.
At this point, I'm starting to think there is more than coincidence at play here.
Listen, I'm all for re-sharing information, and that exactly why I use the creative commons license. What is troublesome is that this comes from a Distance Learning Task Force, which should be a source of guidance and best practices around use of digital materials.
I realize that I could have just quietly sent a note to Villanova asking them to fix the graphics and provide attribution, but two aspects have led me to also blog on the subject:
- The faculty forum was last year, and providing attribution now is of declining value (it should still be done, but that is only part of the issues); and
- I see this behavior too often, even from groups that should know better. Mathieu Plourde and his MOOC poster might be the king of removed footer / lack of attribution. While he and I have disagreed about the importance of keeping the footer, I think the issue is bigger than either one of our interests.
Note: everyone makes mistakes, and I'm sure that I have erred before in attribution (and will fix where I find or am notified of mistakes).