Being Ethical

Being ethical means doing what is right and behaving in an acceptable way.

In Everyday Life

In everyday life we know how to behave and we know when we are doing wrong.

We know it is not right to steal, to lie, to claim things as our own when they belong to someone else, to borrow something from someone and make changes to it without permission.

We know that we must respect the rights of others. Their right to feel safe, their right to decide when things about them are made known to others.

Creating Digital Outcomes

When creating digital outcomes we need to follow the same ethical principles.

Anyone can use anything from the web. It is simple - copy&paste and it is done, but is it ethical to do so. We need to make sure we consider whether it is okay to use them and to do what is necessary to make it okay.

If we include images or information about others we need to make sure that they are okay with that and get their permission to do so.

When are we allowed to use things from the internet?

We are allowed to use items from the internet if there is no copyright or if a Creative Commons license allows us to. Sometimes we can use copyrighted items as long as we follow something called "Fair Use"".


When making any digital outcome always make the required ethical considerations:

  • Usage Rights
  • Privacy Considerations
  • Moral Considerations

Next: Copyright for Students

Other Considerations

Apart from copyright, and the related topic of "fair use", you also need to consider things like other people's rights (e.g. their right to privacy) and not offending others. Also you need to know how to reference any items used in your school assignments.


Respecting other rights to privacy is covered by the Privacy Act. One important part of the act is that you cannot share information about or images of others without their permission.

Image source (License: CC0), 5Dec17

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Not Offending Others

Moral considerations are very important. The content of your digital outcome must not offend, upset or harm others in any way. This not only applies to the images used, but also the language and information used.

Image source (License: Public Domain), 5Dec17

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Correct Referencing

It is good practise to include the source of any item you use from the internet. There are a few accepted ways to do this. Always do it in such a way that it does not effect the design of your digital outcome.

Image source (License: CC BY Attribution 2.0.), 5Dec17

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