Something I—and any consumer of online media—see a lot is people using images without proper attribution of any kind. Not only is this unfair to the original creator and anyone wanting more information about said image, it’s wrong, and that is true even when an image is licensed under Creative Commons. Not only that, but many people don’t properly attribute Creative Commons-licensed images, which is also wrong.
When I wrote my post featuring thought-provoking words from Jacques Barzun a week ago, featuring the artists of which he wrote was important (and seemed sensible to me). Happily, many of these works are in the public domain, but even so, I obtained them from somewhere, and wanted you to find them while also giving credit to the host. Of course, if you find Creative Commons-licensed things online, it may seem difficult to figure out exactly how to properly attribute the works, because one must include the title, the artist, the license, the location—but fear not! A quick search turned up this infographic explaining the whole process in very simple terms!
Creative Commons-licensed images can be found on Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, and other places as well. Keep in mind that if you see something along the lines of “©” or “All Rights Reserved”, the image is not free for the taking (if you don’t believe me, this very brief article may convince you), no matter your “reason” or whether you found it on Pinterest or someone else’s site. All of my photos, for instance, are indeed all rights reserved—even if you buy a print!
If you see an “All Rights Reserved” and you’d still like to use the photograph, my suggestion is you track down the original photographer and simply ask them if you can use it. Explain why—you are writing about the topic, you are promoting the photographer’s work, et cetera—and wait for their response, please.
In the end, though, I found this infographic about proper attribution to be very helpful when it comes to using others’ images for my blog, and hope you do, too. Even if something is in the public domain, it’s courteous to let others know where it came from in case they’d like more information!