Attribution of Flickr images

Attribution is a core condition in all six Creative Commons licences.  A question which we are commonly asked is “How can I properly attribute a CC-licensed work when I use it?” 
We explain the Attribution requirement in our factsheet (available here) and in our seminar presentations.
Increasingly, attribution of CC-licensed works is becoming easier through the availability of tools that automatically generate attribution information. 
One such example is ImageCodr, which generates the attribution information for CC-licensed images on Flickr, based on the information provided on the relevant Flickr page. All that is needed is to copy the URL of the Flickr image, paste it into ImageCodr and  click “submit query”.  
ImageCodr then generates the Flickr image with the relevant information attached. Copying the HTML code generated by ImageCodr into a website will provide a succinct Attribution statement:  the CC licence icon and the Flickr username appear below the image.
Users of ImageCodr are also provided with a brief outline of the CC licence conditions applicable to the image.
To find CC-licensed Flickr images, you can browse the images on Flickr’s dedicated CC page, search for images via Flickr’s advanced search page, or use other web tools such as Flickr Storm (using the advanced search) and TinEye’s Multicolr Search Lab.
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3 Responses to Attribution of Flickr images

  1. Pat Hawks says:

    Thank you for this.
    As a Flickr user and Creative Commons evangelist, it bothers me when images are used with no more attribution than just “via Flickr.”

  2. I would second Pat Hawks earlier comment but this problem is not just limited to Flickr or wiki images. As a web designer myself I regularly create unique graphics for use on client websites and it never ceases to amaze me when i see my own totally unique graphics used competitors sites. I have even had a whole website copied and all they changed was the contact details! As i see it though this problem is only going to get worse.

  3. It is very rare to to see Creative Commons licensed photos being attributed properly. Many think the CC is a free for all and no rules apply. So many times I see the a simple and vague reference to Flickr as the source as Pat mentioned above, without any links back to the source, mention of the license used or any explanation of that license.
    I generally contact the person who posted the image and politely explain that it is illegal to use CC licensed photos without proper attribution:
    Credit the creator;
    Provide the title of the work;
    Provide the URL where the work is hosted;
    Indicate the type of licence it is available under and provide a link to the licence (so others can find out the licence terms); and
    Keep intact any copyright notice associated with the work.
    Admittedly, it is quite tedious to code all that into the photo’s description and the lack of proper attribution is likely partly due to lack of technical skills of the person reusing the content. So having tools like ImageCodr and FlickrStorm might help with this problem and result in more correct usage of CC license materials. Let’s hope so!

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