The Kritic


Can I use it?

Internet Piracy

Can I Use It?Source: wesd440/TKK

Inspired by Elisha.

If, while walking down the mall, you see a person sitting on a garden wall and beside them on that wall you noticed a loaf of bread you wouldn’t just pick up the bread and walk off assuming it was free would you? No, of course not, you would assume that the bread belongs to that person. You could certainly ask the person if it’s free to take and use it or if it’s for sale and that is exactly the way it is with the Internet. Only the loaf of bread is a photo, a picture, a song or an article or some other item.

Some people may not realise that just because it is on the Internet does not mean it is there for the taking. It does not mean it is free or if it is free it does not necessarily mean it comes without legal conditions of use. Even some things you pay for, such as stock images, can come with conditions of use.

Some may even argue that because it is on the Internet it is in the public domain. The public domain is “the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, especially through not being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions.”[1] With regards to copyright law the term “public domain” actually means “belonging to the public” rather than “available to the public.” So therefore a work may be available to the public without belonging to that public.

“In the sense of intellectual property, works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. For example, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and most of the early silent films, are all now in the public domain by either being created before copyrights existed or leaving the copyright term.”[2] In most of the world, the default length of copyright (copyright term) is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years.[3]

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?[4] “Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.”[5] One of these tools, the Creative Commons License, helps you to legally access the knowledge and creativity of content creators thereby allowing a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. The easy-to-understand copyright licenses make it simple for you to know what you can and can’t do with content from the Internet. A Creative Commons licence does not necessarily mean the creator gives up their copyright. It simply means permitting you to make use of their material in various ways, but only under the specified conditions.

For example, if you were to go to the “About”[6] page on this Blog you would find the following:

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

Which means that I license my work, here on The Kritic, for you to “Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” under the following terms:

Creative Commons License BY NC ND terms

Creative Commons license BY,NC,NDSource: Creative Commons

Creative Commons Australia suite of CC licences version 3.0

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licensesSource: Creative Commons

What Is Fair Use?

In Australia “Fair Use” is referred to as “Fair Dealing” by the Australian Copyright Council.

The Australian Copyright Council states:[7]

There is no general exception for using copyright material simply because you think it is fair or because you are not making a profit. The Copyright Act allows you to use copyright material without permission if your use is a “fair dealing” for one of the following purposes:

  • research or study;
  • criticism or review;
  • parody or satire;
  • reporting news; or
  • professional advice by a lawyer, patent attorney or trade marks attorney.

Stock Images

There are plenty of Stock photo websites to be found where you can purchase royalty free images. They can supply many formats such as photos or illustrations or even video. Do not commit to a particular stock photo, illustration or video unless you understand the license agreement. There is always fine print for your license so make sure you read it. Some stock photo services reserve the right to revoke your license at any point and this can be problematic if you have built your theme around your purchase.

Actual Free Photos

Yes, there are websites that offer free photos. Most of them offer low resolution and often poor quality photos. Some of the photos may even be someone else’s intellectual property, stolen from somewhere else and offered on the free photos website. Another problem that is often seen with these websites is they come with an unusually high amount of advertising and can often require quite a few clicks through various pages before you get to the promised image.

But in saying that, there are the exceptions and one of those is “Pexels”. Pexels offer their stock of photos with a Creative Commons CC0 license[8], which basically means that the original owner of the copyright has offered the work with “No Rights Reserved” thereby placing the work as completely as possible in the public domain.

Which means you would see this:

Public Domain
This work is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.

So, Can you use it?

Yes, No, Maybe!

Look, Read and/or Ask!


The information in this article is provided as a general introduction to copyright. If you need to know how the law applies in a particular situation and you do not understand the license then please seek legal advice.

[1] Public Domain Definition –
[2] Public domain –
[3] Copyright Term –
[4] Creative Commons –
[5] Creative Commons FAQ –
[6] The Kritic » About –
[7] Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet G079v07 Fair Dealing –
[8] Creative Commons CC0 license –

Sea of Tyres

The ever mounting problem of used tyresSource Unknown

Everyone who has had a vehicle for at least a few years has had the necessity to have tyres replaced whether it is replacing one through damage or multiple through wear and tear. But do any of us give a second thought to what happens to the tyre once it leaves your vehicle?

An Australian study by Hyder Consulting Pty Ltd published 30 April 2015[1] states that approximately 51 million equivalent passenger units of tyres entered the waste stream in 2013-14 which equates to around 408,000 tonnes.

Of these, approximately 5% were recovered locally (either through recycling, energy recovery or civil engineering); 32% were exported, of this 32% figure many tyres are burnt in brick and cement kilns in countries that have quite lax air pollution laws like Bangladesh, India and Thailand; approximately 16% went to licensed landfills; and 2% were stockpiled for future recovery. Approximately 14% of end-of-life tyres were categorised as having “unknown” destination, and anecdotal evidence suggests that approximately 31% of Australian tyres (predominantly large, off the road tyres) are land-filled at mining sites. That is approximately 31 million tyres entering landfill over 2013-14.

Every year millions of used tyres are dumped, whether legally or illegally. The cost of dealing with this problem rises to the millions. The dumping of tyres can also lead to severe health hazards and environmental damage.

"Even the smallest number of dumped tyres can create a dangerous breeding ground for mosquitoes that transport disease, such as Dengue Fever and the Ross River Virus."[2]

While controlling Dengue fever is a more complex issue than simply managing our waste tyres, there is little question that Australia’s poor management of waste tyres is a significant contributor. In 2007 Dengue Fever was very much a rare disease in Australia, with just 187 cases in 2007; then by 2010 the rate of infection had increased to 1,171.

Additionally, "Tyres are combustible. Once ignited, they are difficult to extinguish – producing chemical toxins that affect humans, flora, fauna, waterways and the atmosphere. Because of their unique shape and components, once lit, a tyre fire is almost impossible to extinguish."

Undersea Wasteland

In the 1970s, a campaign was organised to dispose of 2 million used tyres into the Atlantic Ocean between two living coral reefs, about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The intent was to try to provide an aquatic habitat as well as to add to the coral reefs that were already there.

Coastal storms and hurricanes, of which there are numerous off Florida, moved a great quantity of the tyres onto the middle reef, essentially destroying it. In the main area where the tyres were dumped there has been no significant coral growth.

“You get down about 20 feet,” says Army Diver Jason Jakovenko, “and the 34 acre area starts to come into sight… It’s like the moon or something. It’s weird. It doesn’t look like anything you can imagine. It’s just tires for as far as you can see down there.”

The estimated cost for Florida state officials to hire private contractors to remove the tyres was $30 million. Coastal America, a small federal office that is responsible for bringing federal agencies together on large marine projects, brought about the idea to turn this project into a training exercise for the military with the military donating the time and expertise of its divers. This saved the state officials 28 million dollars leaving a need of just 2 million dollars for the transportation and the recycling of the tyres.

The dumping of tyres in the ocean is not unique to Florida or the USA for that matter. Among other countries are Malaysia, Japan, Portugal, France, Israel, Italy, Philippines and Spain.

Queensland University of Technology’s(QUT) Professor Richard Brown says “Globally, 1.5 billion tonnes of tyres are discarded each year. Australia, alone, will generate 55 million disused tyres a year by 2020. “Getting rid of old tyres in an environment-friendly way is a universal nightmare”.

As the world struggles with what to do with end-of-life tyres from cars, trucks and earth moving equipment Australia has been developing and refining a process called destructive distillation to recycle whole tyres. This process also known as pyrolysis occurs when you super-heat tyres in a reactor vessel containing an oxygen-free atmosphere ensuring there is no combustion and therefore no burning.

Pyrolysis reduces the tyres to three main products, Oil, Steel and Carbon Black. A 10kg car tyre yields 4 litres of oil, 1.5kg of steel and 4kg of carbon black. Based on these results using car tyres alone could generate 220 million litres of oil by 2020 just in Australia. The steel remains untouched since it does not get hot enough and is returned to be recycled and used to make new tyres. The high purity carbon is released in powder form, Carbon Black, which steel mills can use as a carbon source, replacing coal or coke in steel manufacturing[3].

The most common use (70%) of carbon black is as a pigment and reinforcing phase in automobile tires. Carbon black also helps conduct heat away from the tread and belt area of the tire, reducing thermal damage and increasing tire life. Carbon black particles are also employed in some radar absorbent materials used in the reduction of the radar cross-section of aircraft and in photocopier and laser printer toner, and other inks and paints. The high tinting strength and stability of carbon black has also provided use in colouring of resins and films. About 20% of world production goes into belts, hoses, and other non-tire rubber goods. The balance is mainly used as a pigment in inks, coatings and plastics. For example, it is added to polypropylene because it absorbs ultraviolet radiation, which otherwise causes the material to degrade. Carbon black has also been used in various applications for electronics. As a good conductor of electricity, carbon black is used as a filler mixed in plastics, elastomer, films, adhesives, and paints. Application of carbon black as an anti-static agent has provided uses as an additive for fuel caps and pipes for automobiles[4].

In addition, the process is emission-free, using recycled oil recovered through the process as the heat source for the production so the only waste generated is heat.

Researcher Farhad Hossain(QUT) said tests conducted on the oil from tyres in 10% and 20% diesel blends. The experiments were performed with constant speed on four different engine loads with no loss of engine performance and a massive reduction in emissions.

QUT’s Professor Richard Brown said they found a 30% reduction in nitrogen oxide which helps to create petrochemical smog and that there was also a reduction by 33% in particle mass. “It is a fuel that is as good as or better than normal diesel… made from old rubber otherwise destined to rot as landfill.”

Green Distillation Technologies facility

Green Distillation Technologies facilitySource Green Distillation Technologies

How do we, as consumers, encourage the use of destructive distillation to recycle end-of-life tyres? Contact your local member of the House of Representatives and let them know that we need to end all practices of disposing of tyres that do not completely recycle the tyre such as with destructive distillation. You can find your local member through the Parliament of Australia website Members Search.

Alternatively you can contact your State Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and put your concerns in writing either by email or snail mail. Find your state EPA.

[1] Stocks & Fate of End of Life Tyres –
[2] Why Recycle –
[3] Green steel from old rubber tyres produces no waste or toxic fumes – CRC Association –
[4] Carbon Black –