Peter Shanks from Australia has put together a nifty tool called Flickr CC, which not only fetches CC pictures from Flickr by keyword but also allows you to modify them. I use it all the time for my presentations and with the students.
I have bookmarked some royalty free photos in delicious.
Good idea to have a search engine to identify CC /Open Source images: Flickr CC Peter Sahnks, the creator of the search tool had a good idea. Now there is one thing my copyright focused mind thought of: the search tool is as accurate as the people who posted on flickr.com and if any person miss-attributed a photo as their own , it would be a copyright issue. This has nothing to do with the quality of the search software: Flickr CC
I would think to use the images for in-class presentations, handouts and anything that is digitally created on a very small scale & non-commercial educational internal use. One hopes that any copyright issues will be tracked or caught by flickr.com (owned by yahoo).
Similarly, many people may not realize that for years, Google has let you limit your search to just Creative Commons searches in it's own Advanced Search interface (though I'd argue not very clearly labeled).
Finally, a few searching tricks of my own that I can share. I've mentioned that I like storing resources in del.icio.us. One of my favourite writers, Tony Hirst, wrote a good post on the various custom constrained searches that delicious allows, as well as how the same socially constrained search can function in Google Reader. The idea is to start harnessing the collective filter abilities/knowledge of your social network.
But more than that, I really really love the Google Custom Search Engines (akak Google Coop.) These let anyone create their own constrained search engines, meaning you can restrict searches to just select sites. Coupled with the Google CSE bookmarklet, this means you can literally build a search specifically constrained to the quality sites you want to search that will grow with just one click. The ultimate (for me at least) place to take this is a community driven custom search, as I wrote up here.
If we have fair use in small scale, in-class presentations why should we be discussing OER at all? Content and information abound, just a matter of filtering, adapting for you context and needs. It is difficult to teach exactly the same thing , the same way in different classes.
Are OER a way to make less expensive content to serve those who can add value or status to it to repurpose it more easily for mass production and sell it without guilt or legal annoyance? Is charity a cooler way of branding and marketing? Is it a way to exerce cultural control on those who use them (banking education?) Is it the latest trend for those who are after a grant? All reasons above, none of them, some of them, irrelevant, a win-win situation or not appropriate ?
There is an interesting survey (and comments) for non-commercial use at Creative Commons (oops, sorry survey closed on Dec 14th).
Barbara is right for USA - fair use exists in that country , I'm in Canada and I have to abide by fair dealing that does not permit distribution of print/digital copies for educational purposes unless the creator/copyright holder or a collective representing the copyright holder (ex.: Access Copyright) permits.
If Flickr.com has a mishap with posting for authoship with CC , then FlickrCC would perpetuate this. So I pointed to safe use in Canada : no commercial use or no educational republishing. In Canada ,the fair dealing & educational exceptions would not work if one republishes in digital course modules or print modules photos with uncertain copyright. Maybe one or two can be an honest error, but all from uncertain resources would not fly... Only thing allowed for Cnd:is to project in class (no distribution). We are close to the US border but not close to the legal system, so fair use can not be used....