reminder: doing the right thing with CC licensed images in blog posts

I’ve been using a fair number of CC-licensed images in blog posts lately; I’ve had a lot of fun doing it- looking through and finding the pictures is often a blast. I’ve noticed others are doing more of this lately as well.

CC, by Franz Patzig, used under the CC-BY license.

Note that in all of the pictures I use, I include the title, the creator, and the license, plus links for each of those. It is my pleasure to give credit to the generous artists who let me use their work.

But let this post serve as a quick reminder: the Creative Commons licenses also require that when using the licensed work, you must also include the URI of the license, the name or pseudonym of the author, and the title and URI of the work. These requirements are fairly loose (they need only be appropriate to the medium) but they are there, and they should be respected.

Tangentially: some CC fan should update this flickr greasemonkey script (or a similar one) to include proper licensing information. That would make this whole blogging thing so much easier :)

11 thoughts on “reminder: doing the right thing with CC licensed images in blog posts”

  1. It’s not a big issue, but it would be nice if Flickr (and other sites hosting CCed content) would provide one-click access to the appropriate attribution line. It’s obviously not a large amount of work, but it would clearly be a lot easier if the HTML were just there in a text box the way YouTube provides embedding code.

  2. I use CC-BY music for my also CC-BY video projects ( ), and I usually include the album URL on Jamendo where I got the music from. I also mention the artist, track name and album name and the fact that it’s licensed under CC-BY. It’s kinda impossible to properly link via a video though as my videos are uploaded on several sites sometimes not accompanied by HTML (and only Quicktime .mov supports hot links when clicking a movie), so people interested in the works must type the URL after pausing the video at that credit point. It ain’t ideal, but at least it’s there.

  3. Because Obnoxious Advertising Clauses are such a good idea. Yet another example of how digital art is two decades behind software in maturity of free licensing.

    – Chris

  4. I’d love to hear your opinion on this Luis as I believe you begin treading in murky waters once you use a person in even your CC attributed work. As someone pointed out once in my blog that a model release is often required to reuse someone’s image for a “promotional” purpose. My own take, as you can see in the comment, is that the spirit of the model release is mostly for privacy. And with the person in the picture in question posting the picture to their site with the CC license they are basically giving up this specific form of privacy for that photo. The other concern is the “promotional” aspects of the use of the photo and if it would be out of line with what it was used for.

    In your case, I believe the person in this photo would completely agree that usage of that particular shot of themselves was well in line with promoting the CC license.

    ( i wish you comment entry space was as large as the comments are going to come out )

  5. I’m illustrating posts with CC pictures since I upgraded my blog. Until now I was adding Title and author (FlickrID) in the ALT, then link to the Flickr page, then posting the URL and a thankful note in the comments of the Flickr page, then even adding the picture to favs sometimes.

    Ok, I’ll follow your steps as well. All this takes a lot of time but the end result is worth.

  6. Tim: I agree completely. I’m not sure why flickr hasn’t done this, a-la youtube.

    Chris: I’m not sure that I like advertising clauses (I’ve bickered with the CC folks on the CC lists about this exact point) but I am sure that I like following licenses once they are agreed to. So here we are. (I think you can also make a fair argument that creation of functional works like software is different from creation of primarily creative works like pictures, which might result in different licensing schemes.)

    Paul: interesting.

    Quim: I think doing it in alt is good (though I had not noticed them :) but you still need at least the link to the license, which probably needs to be an actual link and hence not in alt. You’re right that it is more work, though.

    Bryan: I really have no idea how those interact, legally-speaking. Probably it varies from state to state- which makes it even more fun (read: total PITA.)

  7. This is very timely (even if I’m reading it a few weeks later) because we’re just about to launch a flickr widget via commercial API. We filter out all but the appropriate licenses, we attribute and include the title, but your post makes me wonder if there’s more to be done. I did do the research, but the explanations are not explicit on the flickr or the CC sites. I think they’re so eager to keep it simple that they bury the details.

  8. Rekha: they do say, even in the simplified license:

    “You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).”

    “For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.”

    I agree that it isn’t perfect, but the language about linking to the license is fairly clear.

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