Copyright MCQ example (OERu peer evaluation post)

This blog post is published in response to Activity 3.1 of OCL4Ed 14.06 to assist with the testing of  the alpha software release of the peer evaluation development under the OERu’s Google Summer of Code project.  The resultant multiple choice questions on copyright will be integrated into future iterations of the OCL4Ed course, thus planning for future reuse of this resource. 

Scenario: Using clip art

jantonalcor_pencilA lecturer teaching at the School of Hospitality at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand is preparing a study guide for the unit covering the design of a menu.  The study guide will be distributed as a printed resource and will also uploaded to the learning management system.  She will be using Microsoft Word, a proprietary software package which is licensed for use to staff at the Polytechnic, to prepare the study guide. dartsTo improve the visual design she includes a number of clip art images from Microsoft to designate the learning outcomes, written activities and reflective questions in the guide. These clip art images are sourced from the Microsoft clip art library which is distributed with the software for licensed users.

Question 1

Can the lecturer legally copy and reuse the Microsoft clip art?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Yes – the lecturer is an employee of Otago Polytechnic  (Correct. While the clip art is all rights reserved, the lecturer is permitted to reuse the clip art as a legally licensed user of the Microsoft software under the terms and conditions of the custom license for the clip art.)

b) No – the copyright of the clip art belongs to the Microsoft corporation  (Incorrect, While the clip art is all rights reserved and the property of the Microsoft corporation, users are provided with custom permissions to use the clip art as a legally licensed user of the Microsoft software. )

c) It depends on whether use of the study guide is restricted to non-commercial activities.  (Incorrect, the licensing agreement of the software would not restrict its use to non-commercial activities, otherwise it would not be possible for education institutions to sell textbooks commercially.)

Question 2

Who is the most likely owner of the copyright of the the study guide?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Otago Polytechnic – (Correct.  The teaching materials are produced in the course of employment and would normally belong to the employer. In the case of Otago Polytechnic, the institution’s intellectual property policy provides for dual ownership of copyright between the institution and the lecturer, however this would not be generally known to respondents outside the institution and Otago Polytechnic is a legal copyright holder under the policy.)

b) Microsoft corporation – (Incorrect. While the clip art is owned by the Microsoft corporation, the company cannot claim copyright of the materials produced by the lecturer.)

c) As educational materials, they’re in the public domain.   (Incorrect. In the absence of a public domain declaration by the copyright holder, the ownership of copyright defaults to all rights reserved.)

Question 3

Otago Polytechnic has adopted an OER friendly policy whereby all educational materials default to an open Creative Commons Attribution license. Can the study guide, including the clip art be published under a blanket Creative Commons license?

Select the most correct option below:

a) Yes – it is permitted by the institution’s intellectual property policy (Incorrect. A Creative Commons license cannot be applied to the all-rights reserved clip art owned by the Microsoft corporation. The lecturer would need to source clip art which uses a Creative Commons attribution license or images which are dedicated to the public domain. Alternatively, the clip art images would need to be explicitly excluded from the license statement assuming they were not altered or changed in any way.)

b) Yes, only if the text is uploaded to the password protected learning management system.  (Incorrect. While the lecturer is legally allowed to use the clip art as a licensed user of the software for registered students at Otago Polytechnic, this does not extend to re-licensing the all rights reserved clip art under an open license.)

c) No, the Microsoft corporation is the owner of the clip art. (Correct. The licensing provisions for the ownership of the clip art do not extend to reassigning copyright ownership.)

Except where noted otherwise, this post is licensed as follows:

Creative Commons Licence
Clip art copyright case study by OER Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Youtube video, How to insert a clip art in Microsoft® Word 2013 by iYogi is embedded under the provisions of the Standard Youtube License.

Image credits:

Pencil icon used for illustrative purposes is sourced from and is dedicated to the public domain.

Target with dart used for illustrative purposes is sourced from and is dedicated to the public domain.



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