How to attribute Creative Commons images?
February 14, 2007 1:25 AM   Subscribe

Is there a correct way to attribute images used under the Creative Commons system?

I work for a non-profit and we'd like to use more Creative Commons images in our website. I've only used one so far - when I did I put "Shopping baskets. Image by flickr user xxxxx, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 license" in the ALT tag? Is that enough, or does it actually need to be text on the page?
posted by Ulleskelf to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the licence you're talking about. And the relevant clause (4(c)):
If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work or any Derivative Works or Collective Works, You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work; and in the case of a Derivative Work, a credit identifying the use of the Work in the Derivative Work (e.g., "French translation of the Work by Original Author," or "Screenplay based on original Work by Original Author"). Such credit may be implemented in any reasonable manner; provided, however, that in the case of a Derivative Work or Collective Work, at a minimum such credit will appear where any other comparable authorship credit appears and in a manner at least as prominent as such other comparable authorship credit.
What is 'credit reasonable to the medium', assuming you're not creating a derivative or collective work? I'd say that your attribution is an okay start, but it should be in the text of the website and visible to anyone who can see the images, there should be a link to the text of the licence (or any other licensing information or copyright notice specified by the author), and it should contain the author's copyright notice (eg 'Copyright 2006 flickr user xxxxx'). That seems reasonable to me. Other versions of the licence may change this.
(This is not legal advice; I am not your lawyer and probably don't live in your jurisdiction; get properly qualified legal advice if you want to be sure)
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:29 AM on February 14, 2007

Speaking as the former web design guy at Creative Commons and a photographer myself, in talks with lawyers during the license draft process, we made sure to keep it loosey goosey enough that attribution wasn't too set in stone.

The "credit reasonable to the medium" means that in a newspaper, you might just say "PHOTO BY: JANE DOE (" but online you'd probably stuff some text near the photo or the footer with a live hyperlink. Since you can't put links in printed or audio material, we went with "reasonable to the medium" instead of something like "must credit original source by URL with a hyperlink".

Anyway, in practice, I've often just mentioned it at the end of blog posts that the photo accompanying my post was by someone with a link to the flickr page source file. I've never mentioned the license name in my attribution. How about putting a bit of 10px text below photos that just say "photo credits" with a link to a single page on your site showing links to all the flickr photos you've used?
posted by mathowie at 9:43 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

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