Continuing the series on choosing copyright-appropriate images for blog posts, my focus today is Flickr. If you need to play catch up on this series, read Part 1 for a discussion of copyright (and a horror story) and read Part 2 for information on using Google Images.
Flickr is a huge repository of online images and videos, with over 6 billion images on site. Not all of those images are available for public viewing and among those that are public, many are labeled “All Rights Reserved.” We admire those images but don’t use them. Right? Right!
Searching for images is easy in Flickr. Say I wanted to find an image representing copyright for this post. I’d just type copyright in the the Flickr search box in the upper right corner of the main page and wait for Flickr to return a grid of images that match my search.
Each image in Flickr has data stored with it, including license and usage information. For any image I consider using, I should check that information by hovering over the image and then clicking on the little i icon in the lower right corner of the image. You should see a pop-up box like the one shown below:
I’ve underlined the license information, which is reserving some rights for the image owner. Just to the left of that is a small icon. If you hover over that, you’ll see a pop-up box that indicates this image is available for use with proper attribution. Or you can click on the part I underlined to see the license with explanations of what you’re allowed to do and how you need to do it. So handy!
The search results for the word copyright returned 6.5 million results, and a good many of those were licensed as “All Rights Reserved”, meaning I can’t use them. Going through each image searching for one I can use is going to get tiresome. Quickly.
To help with sorting out the usable from the ‘hands off’, I’ll use Flickr’s Advanced Search feature. I can not only search for keywords but also limit the search to only those images that have Creative Commons licenses. Ready? Let’s get started.
Finding the Advanced Search Feature in Flickr
There are a couple of ways to do this, the short way and the even shorter way.
Short way: Near the top of your search results page, you’ll see a link for Advanced Search:
Click on it to go to the Advanced Search Page.
Or you can just bookmark the link to the Advanced Search page and start your search there.
Make sure your search term is in the search box and then scroll allll the way to the bottom of the screen for the Creative Commons section:
Check the box for the filters you want. Usually, I check all of them to ensure that I get an image that I can use in the way I want. (When I applied this filter in my search on the term copyright, my results page went from 6.6 million to 640,000, which shows how many of the original images were NOT available to use.)
Using a Flickr Image
So I’ve decided to use an image. Now what? I left-click on the image and then the Share at the top of the screen:
Left click in the code box to highlight the text and then either Ctrl+C or right-click/copy, toggle over to blog post and paste it in (Ctrl+V or right-click/paste). And this is what I get:
Ta-da! If you hover over the image, you see the attribution.
From what I understand, that’s enough to meet the license requirement, but I like to take it a step further and include an in-post mention as well. I’ve tried this beneath the image but not being particularly adept at coding, the results aren’t visually pleasing. I’ve also included an attribution at the bottom of the post, but that feels a bit like a footnote and the image owner deserves more than that, in my opinion. Fortunately, there’s an app for that!
Using ImageCodr for Flickr Images
ImageCodr works with Flickr images, checking the licenses for appropriateness and then generating html to display the image, the attribution, the license, and a link to the image owner’s Flickr page. Even better, it’s super easy to use.
Instead of grabbing the html code for the image, grab the link instead. Copy it from the Flickr page, toggle over to ImageCodr Get Code page and paste in the link.
Here’s what you get:
ImageCodr has checked the license, given me the green light (or green checkmark, in this case) and generated the html. I just need to copy it (I have to either Ctrl+A or right-click/select all first) and paste it in my blog entry. Check this out:
Same image as before, but now I get a clickable link to the Creative Commons license, a clickable link to MikeBlogs Flickr page, and a visual credit for MikeBlogs. No hovering required, and anyone who has thoughts of using the image knows that there’s a Creative Commons license covering it.
An even easier way to use ImageCodr is to drag the bookmark to your bookmarks toolbar. When you’re viewing a Flickr image you want to use, click the bookmark and it takes you straight to the ImageCodr page with the html to use for your blog post. It saves the cut/paste step.
But what if the Flickr image doesn’t have a CC license? Using one of my images, I gave ImageCodr a test:
You have no idea how happy this makes me!
Was this all as clear as mud? Feel free to ask any questions. I’m no expert, but I can usually find an answer.
Finding appropriately-licensed images to use is not that difficult at all. Just a few extra steps is all it takes. I hope you’ll join me in taking those steps and encouraging others to do the same!