I can no longer count how many times as a Photo Researcher for a large
publisher that I've run into photos being used without permissions.
Unfortunately you will find this practice often on University sites.
Students snag them and post them in articles used for assignments. The
University doesn't seem to have a problem with displaying the article.
Having been in the printing trades for many years and working with
customers who have no clue about this stuff. And, then the anger when
you tell them they will need a waiver from the author to use the
Keep after them otherwise they never learn. Although, it will be a
tough fight for you and can be expensive if lawers are involved.
If it is copied into the work which is submitted to the teacher _only_,
then yes, it clearly comes under the scholarly research fork of 'fair use'.
If it is 'published' to the world-at-large, the situation is _very_
I used to make web searches for the (trademarked) name of a company I
did sys admin work for, and would contact the parties using the name
'without license' (It was a _good_ name for a particular line of work
and lots of people came up with it 'independently', *including* several
Universities.) Most of the time, my phone call was enough -- especially
with the Universities -- The 'unreasonable' ones were forwarded to the
corporation counsel, who (most of the time) sent a cease-and-decease
demand that was complied with. Occasionally, counsel decided that the
other party was in a line of work that was 'enough different' from what
the company did that it was arguably _not_ infringement, and ti was let
slide. One party _did_ get *really* testy about it -- at least until
they consulted _their_ legal counsel -- whereupon their tune changed,
shall we say, radically. <grin>
The point remains, you've got to be prepared to take action to defend your
rights, or the 'others' _will_ trample you.
Use of someone else's work in a student assignment is not automatically fair
use. In fact it is often plagiarism and that is grounds for a failing grade
and disciplinary action by the institution, over and above any legal
remedies sought by the copyright holder.
If the work is copied in total, it's plagiarism (the penalty for which
is becoming VP). If it's excerpted or referenced, it generally comes
under "fair use". Of course fair use still requires an attribution.
The student may not need to pay a fee for use of the image. But it is
still required for them to give credit for the image. But even
publishers sometimes use photos that they have not gotten permission
for. If they can show due diligence in trying to find the owner of the
image the owner can't sue them but only collect the fair fees for use
There is no guarantee that that use _is_, in fact, exempt as fair use.
'Fair use' is a notoriously complicated subject, and one which the courts
have gone out of their way to _not_ clarify, for *many* years.
The copyright statutes specify some criteria to 'be considered' in determining
'fair use', but do not specify 'how much' consideration is to be given to
any particular point. This is just one of the reasons that copyright
infringement cases are so expensive to pursue in court.
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