Thursday, September 27, 2007

Clear as Mud

I notice that students have trouble figuring out how to correctly attribute photos they find on sites like flickr which have Creative Commons licenses. Are there any clear standards? I posted a question in the flickr forum and got some very interesting replies including one from a person who works on developing the flickr search tool Behold. This is a copy of the conversation in that forum over the past few hours:

Attribution for kids

bookminder (That's me) says:

I work with high school students and find that they are very confused about how to attribute correctly. Have the people at flickr ever considered posting a simple page with specific examples so that kids can easily tell how they should attribute photos they use?

Posted at 3:56PM, 26 September 2007 PDT ( permalink | edit )

Reply #1:

Erm, if people are using photos from flickr, they need to contact the respective photo-owners to find out how they want to be attributed.
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #2:

This is not a simple task, since attribution depends on the kind of copyright or creative commons license and the use of the image (is it journalistic fair use for example).
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #3:

There isn't a standard way. Each photographer may have there own requirements. For myself one can simply use my user name on flickr as that is the name that they are posted under. Others may want to be attributed by their real name. In the case of CC images you can look here for some guidance.

NOTE the CC clause of making clear the terms of the license.
Posted 17 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #4:

If it's a CC-license, there's no need to directly contact a photographer (That's the point of the CC license). However if the photographer leaves no specific instructions for how they wish to be attributed, then the CC license terms require simply doing the best you can. Flickr handle, name if it's available, etc.

It's the photographer's responsibility to spell that out if they choose such a license,
Posted 14 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #5:

In case you want to know how to contact Flickr still, there's a "Help by email" link in the foot of every page of the site.

But Flickr will tell you the same that all these people above :-)
Posted 13 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #6:

Have the people at flickr ever considered posting a simple page with specific examples so that kids can easily tell how they should attribute photos they use?

I like the way Scott Beale handles it at Laughing Squid:
Posted 12 hours ago. ( permalink )

bookminder says:

Thanks for all the great replies. This gives me a much better idea of how to advise students. They will, of course, only be using Creative Commons works. I am showing them how to use the new photo search Behold and click on the "and are free to use box".
Posted 10 hours ago. ( permalink | edit )

Reply #7:

Well I just did a search on Behold for all pictures tagged Glasgow, and found All Rights Reserved photographs. Even when I click the "commercially" button. That doesn't seem right to me.
Posted 9 hours ago. ( permalink )


Hi, bookminder and werewegian, thanks for the feedback on Behold. I work on this search engine. werewegian, i checked the photographs you mention against my index, it appears that quite a few people have changed from creative commons back to all rights reserved. Behold updates its index every so often and these changes have not all been reflected. Thanks for pointing this out! I will fix this with more frequent updates shortly.

P.S. I do wonder what the implications are of releasing something as creative commons and then re-licensing it as all rights reserved.
Posted 7 hours ago. ( permalink )

Reply #9:

If a photo is Creative Commons, and someone then uses it under that license, then the license cannot be revoked for that usage. But future uses are no longer covered by the license.
Posted 7 hours ago. ( permalink )

No comments: