Please attribute images when uploading them to the wiki

Posted by Chaos99 on 13 November 2011 in English (English)


I'm in the aftermath of preparing some talk slides and I'm going nuts over it!

Please: when you share images (like group photos, screenshots, cake) on the wiki,
don't just put them under CC-Attribution-ShareAlike License (or state that they are, if you are not the creator), but also NAME THAT ATTRIBUTION!

It's not enough to write CC-BY-SA under each picture. Put a name (or an acronym, nickname, website name, company name etc.) beside it. If you are the creator, you are free to choose how the attribution has to be done, but you have to actually do it!
If you just uploaded an image from someone else, then try to find out how the original creator wanted to be attributed.

For a group of people who care a lot about licensing map data, we care surprisingly less about the stuff we share on the wiki. Wikipedia does that a lot better, but they actually learned through very expensive mistakes.

(Yes, I know I could just attribute everything to if no one other is named. I would be out of harms way, but that is not how the license is meant and it's hardly fair to the original creator.)

Comment from Richard on 13 November 2011 at 16:58

Don't forget that plenty of people declare all their contributions, to the wiki and elsewhere, to be public domain.

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Comment from Chaos99 on 13 November 2011 at 17:10

I'm fine with public domain. My point was that they have to *declare* it. Most pictures miss license information altogether.

Every wiki page declares its content to be CC-BY-SA 2.0 (see the page footer). So things without a specific license automatically become CC-BY-SA, attributed just to But of course everybody knows that this is not true for every picture. (All those screenshots of external websites for instance.)

You might get away with fair use when using the picture in the wiki. But you also have to *declare* that. Just omitting the license brings us back to the default CC-BY-SA, which isn't right.

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Comment from !i! on 13 November 2011 at 17:11

Yes you are right (but I know that I miss this stuff a lot of times, too)

For that we have full attributes on

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Comment from AndrewBuck on 13 November 2011 at 17:12

Also a handy trick in hunting down source info for photos is to use to try to find the original image. You give it an image file, or the URL to an image and it will find other instances of that image on the web (I think even if they have been rescaled, re-compressed, etc it will still find them).

But yes, properly documenting stuff is definitely the best course of action, tineye is just for when it is not done right originally and you want to "set the record straight".


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Comment from Chaos99 on 13 November 2011 at 17:27

@!i! Oh no, we don't even have them for the press images?

@AndrewBuck Thanks for the link!

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Comment from Richard on 13 November 2011 at 18:04

@Chaso99: I have declared that, by placing the PD userbox on . That's the entire point of that box. I don't go round tagging every single object I upload to OSM with "licence: PD" or commenting every single line of code in P2 with "// this line is licensed public domain", either!

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Comment from Chaos99 on 13 November 2011 at 18:46

@Richard I see your point in not wanting to write that on every picture page. Do you see my point in not wanting to hunt that info down on your profile page when I'm interested in a picture? It surely depends on your jurisdiction, but at least I'm forced to attribute and state the license directly where I use the picture. Even writing it just at the end of the document may be not allowed. I don't want to do this either, but I just have to. Also there are those pictures edited by several users .... Or pictures that are clearly not produced by the user who uploaded it ....

But actually, your PD case is a bit different: As I have understood, you license your work as PD, then immediately re-license it as CC-BY-SA without attributing you. So you are out of the equation. When I want to use your picture, I have to attribute osm, not you. But I have to know that. Unfortunately there is no difference on the image pages between content re-licensed by osm and content licensed by their original owners.

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Comment from chriscf on 14 November 2011 at 19:17

That doesn't necessarily apply for images. If someone uploads an original image to the wiki and releases all rights to it, OSM doesn't magically gain rights to it in the way that it might with data contributions or contributions to the text of the wiki. So if Richard creates a totally original image and decides that he wants to release all rights to it, then the image retains that status wherever it's used. Which is exactly why images uploaded to the wiki need to be correctly tagged with their licence independently of the text and data.

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