Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creative Commons Image Attribution

I put the following on my school library blog for the students, but I thought it might help some of you too. It took me a while to get the hang of using Creative Commons licensed images. I hope this helps you! Please send feedback and ideas; I will be teaching our faculty about this later this month.

If you find a digital image (or video or audio file) you want to use in a presentation or project, first you must discover if you are allowed to use it, alter it, or sell it. Creative Commons licenses take the mystery out of this aspect of your research.

The following picture I found on flickr using the Creative Commons portal, a great resource for finding images you are allowed to use in your work. Or you can search flickr: Creative Commons directly. On the bottom right of the flickr page for the image, in the Additional Information section, there is a link usually titled Some rights reserved. If you click on this link, you will find if and how you are allowed to use the image. It will also give HTML to copy and paste the correct attribution onto a site.

I added the title of this photo with a link directly to the photo's page, and the photographer's name in this attribution. The attribution sends readers to the photographer's site on flickr, and the second part links to  the type of license (in this case, non-commercial, share alike - meaning you also must allow the same licensing).

"Sharing" by Andy Woo  

I used Picnik to quickly and easily add a frame and put part of the attribution on this photo, and I added a heart as well, since I am allowed to make a derivative work.Although you will sometimes see only  this short attribution, the more complete one is preferred (note the language from the quotation from creativecommons below).

"Sharing" by evilpeacock 

The next one I edited in Picnik as well. Notice that I can really adapt the work, as long as I give credit.The attributions within the pictures in this case aren't links, but the URLs are short enough to type in if needed.

This is a derivative work of

More information from the Creative Commons FAQ:

"How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work?

All current CC licenses require that you attribute the original author(s). If the copyright holder has not specified any particular way to attribute them, this does not mean that you do not have to give attribution. It simply means that you will have to give attribution to the best of your ability with the information you do have. Generally speaking, this implies five things:
  • If the work itself contains any copyright notices placed there by the copyright holder, you must leave those notices in tact, or reproduce them in a way that is reasonable to the medium in which you are re-publishing the work.
  • Cite the author's name, screen name, user identification, etc. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link that name to the person's profile page, if such a page exists.
  • Cite the work's title or name, if such a thing exists. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website.
  • If you are making a derivative work or adaptation, in addition to the above, you need to identify that your work is a derivative work i.e., “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author].” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”

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