Commons talk:Credit line

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Page started as a result of discussion at Commons:Village_pump/Archive/2009Jun#Contributors to WC can forget about having their work credited from June 29 2009. --Jarekt (talk) 13:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is a great start Jarekt; thanks. --P.g.champion (talk) 16:26, 1 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've read the discussion and I understand the intention of this but the thing is files under CC licenses have to attributed "in manner specified by the author or licensor". Emphasis added to show the problem here. It's entirely up to the authors to specify a "credit line" if they want. If they do not specify anything, it's up to the reuser. Suggesting anything else would be misleading. (And personally, I don't want a credit line for my work. I prefer leaving the "manner" up to the reuser. I like when they mention Wikimedia Commons, but "Rocket000" is meaningless off wiki and I don't like seeing my name spammed everywhere. Especially in educational material, this stuff can be more restrictive then it seems.) Another thing you're forgetting is this does not work for the GFDL (only) and others which have different requirements. Rocket000 (talk) 03:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is a problem. I guess I only read our CC text saying "you [must] appropriately attribute it" but did not realized that it is up to the author to specify attribution string. I assumed that if he does not specify you still have to "appropriately attribute it" and this page was meant to figure out what that attribution should look like. I never added any attribution lines to any of my CC images because there was no good place to put it. We should definitely add Credit Line to Information template, but my idea of using a bot to populate this field seems like should not be done for CC licenses. --Jarekt (talk) 03:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I agree that having a designated place for it is a good idea. At least for CC images, using it for PD images suggests that it's mandatory and using it for GFDL suggests that that's all that's required (it doesn't mix well for other software licenses either). I think the best place for it is somewhere in the CC license tag or at least done in connection with it to avoid these issues. As long as it's the author/licensor that fills in what that line is (if they even want to) then everything's good. Rocket000 (talk) 05:33, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps no problem
Regarding the bot: If it were possible for the creator to manually change the bot’s version on the image page, then we can still be obeying the spirit of CC’s intentions and still save the silent majority of people a lot of work. On this issue, I think people will take the path of least resistance and if we can provided a standardised and automatic credit line ―they will be grateful for it. Does Flickr give them this choice? See example: [1]. CC don’t mention this on their case study about Flickr: [2].
Remember the saying: Rules are for the guidance of the wise, ‘tis only idiots who mindlessly adhere to every dot and iota.
Either way: I think it still vital to have some examples. I get the impression from talking to people, that they don’t write credit lines because they are puzzled or are far from clear on how to go about it. Remember, many people are put off getting involved with any ‘legal thingys’ because they are worried they might get it wrong (its hard enough to persuade some to choose a licence during upload). Also, notwithstanding that the CC licence gives them the right to specify the credit line, that should stop us (as a project) suggesting some preferred formates. It will save the silent majority from having to read all the CC documentation and then having to think about it.--P.g.champion (talk) 11:23, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about simply adding a "Suggested credit line" somewhere? This would then be acceptable for PD works too. However, there's still an issue with GFDL-only, GPL, and the like. This probably shouldn't be used for that because it suggests that's all the reuser needs to include. Rocket000 (talk) 19:14, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Suggested credit line" could be used as the field name on the upload page. That would make it clear that the credit line is not carved in stone by WC but by the copyright owner. I am almost thinking also that it would be handy to repeat this on the image page as long as it did not distract people coming to the page looking for images. Maybe we could split the page into two halves with the bottom marked “For administration purposes only”. Or better still, have it out of sight (of the casual reader) on a sub-page. We could then have all this extra technical and formatting information there. It depends a bit on whether we can get the “suggested credit line” automatically generated successfully in practice. We need more eyes to look at this from all angles. The GNU licenses I agree are a bit of a headache. I would like someone else to pitch in some ideas about those.--P.g.champion (talk) 20:43, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General comments about the summary box[edit]

I think a problem here (on WC) is that we are so close to the trees that we can’t stand back and see the shape of the whole woodland as it appears to outsiders.

I suggest the following field titles for a summary box that may go a way into removing the uncertainties by make their purpose clearer to newbies. It also has some extra fields that I think we need (the reasons are along side in italics). We could then provide a list of image pages to serve as examples.

The IPTC mentioned below stands for International Press Telecommunications Council.

First point: We know the uploader’s name because it appears in the ‘file history.’ It does not need to go in the summary box again unless the image is the work of the same.

  • Credit Line (for print): at the top so no one can miss it! © Copyright Holder's Name/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA
  • Credit line (for web page): Photograph by <a href="”>Jimbo Wales</a>, available under a <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license</a>.
  • Description: Default to the words: Please explain: Who, why, what, when, where, how.
  • Date original image was created: (the file history will have the upload dates)
  • Photographer or Artist
or Copyright owner’s name: More obvious in meaning than ‘source’ or ‘original source’ which according to the IPTC and to myself etc., means copyright holder and nothing else.
  • Image obtained from: The modern IPTC term for this is now Provider. This could be the name of a library, Flickr url, NASA etc. This field could be defaulted to the uploaders name. Its meaning is clear. It also makes it easier for other editors checking the image. If anyone still feels unsure about this field then consider: No one would consider buying an old oil painting without having good proof of its provenance. This then, would be the place for WC image provenances.
  • Fee for reuse: Copyright holder requires no fee but credit must be given in full as follows: © Copyright Holder's Name/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA. ( no harm repeating this again, just to make sure the message gets across)(also timid souls will not be put off it they have to compleate a FEE box on their paperwork and they can't see 'fee' mentioned any where -I kid you not, some of these people are not the sharpest of blue pencils).

I have also included the three fields below because I think it important to show younger users that not all these images are totally free in every respect.

  • Model release: Default to No. The availability of this field may prompt photographers to explain to benefits of release forms and get them signed and sent up.
  • Property release: Ditto
  • Permissions: This field is poorly used. The licence freedoms are given via the licence template. So I suggest listing the ‘permissions’ as they exist in the real world. Example text could be something like: personal use, educational, journalistic, remix, share-alike. (we can’t say promotional or commercial even if it has that licence because there is likely to be no ‘release’ or FOP issues if published in some foreign countries. This is up to the publisher to decide)

Many people think that because they release their works under a free licence, it can be used by not only by commercial but also by non-profit organisations. This ain't necessarily so it is is of a recognisable person or shows something that can be identified as someone personal property. By having ‘release fields’ it might help to both educate and prompt photographers to get into the habit of obtaining written releases. This is not difficult and it gives the subject licence to liven up boring conversations by saying “oh yes, and sometime I do a bit of modelling! My details are now register on San Francisco's biggest photo library.” For keen photographers this can have the benefit of finding that your models volunteer you name to people who need a professional photographer (if you always shoot on fully auto, then please ignore this tip).--P.g.champion (talk) 19:25, 2 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps on the upload page we should add the wording “The legal onus is on YOU the uploader not to claim false copyright.” We know where you live;-) --P.g.champion (talk) 10:51, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are we sure we don't take away freedom from re-users?[edit]

I totally agree that we need a credit line in {{Information}}, but from the above discussion I am afraid about one thing: That we may restrict the re-use of Commons photos more than necessary (i.e., make use more restrictive than required by license). The section 4(c) of the cc-by-sa 3.0 license gives quite a lot of freedom to the reuser and it does not have the quote "in manner specified by the author or licensor" (where does it come from, User:Rocket000 ?). It has, however, formulations like

  • reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing
  • or by other reasonable means
  • to the extent reasonably practicable
  • may be implemented in any reasonable manner

and a lot of other freedoms and requirements.

In short: We must make clear that the Credit Line is a not binding proposal but the text of the license is. (for example section 4(c) of the cc-by-sa-3.0) Nillerdk (talk) 07:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is a good point Nillerdk. It needs to be stated ‘explicitly’ that the credit line can be altered. Perhaps on the upload page under tips we could state: " You can change the suggested credit line according to the freedoms expressed by copyright licences CC-BY & CC-BY-SA. For instance, you may remove your name if you wish anonymity." I don’t know where it is wise to link to them in that information box as there are different versions for different geo/legal locations.
Also, since different media could have a different credit format, I am thinking if it might not be worth ( for those that can be bothered to fill them in) extra fields for credit lines for the other media, web pages etc. I have just added a second credit line (above) with an example of the coding, to see how it looks. Another thought that comes to me is: could we have a sort of user-sub page; where we can put all our preferred credit formates and a script so that they automatically get added in during upload. This of course complicates things enormously but I wont to explore the possibilities. How we could ease the effort of inserting the credit when doing bulk uploading is something else to explore. Any of these things that are adopted, could be added to the welcome page, so that new user can jump straight in. --P.g.champion (talk) 10:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I took "in manner specified by the author or licensor" to refer to the who not the how. That is, they can say "credit Commons" or "credit me by full name" or "say it's anonymous". It comes from the template, BTW. Rocket000 (talk) 19:03, 4 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure we understood each other. I'll try again. So: I think the field should be called recommended credit line. Why? There are two sides of this: 1) when uploading own works, the author can choose freely if he wants his real name, pseudonym, additionally sponser organisation etc. 2) when (re)using the work, the reuser is allowed to change the credit line to suit his purpose, his medium etc. as long as the binding terms of the license are observed (and as pointed out above, the reuser also has many freedoms). To have a credit line - even if it is only recommended is anyway a good idea because 1) the uploaders are forced to think about how they want to be credited (they probably forget less informations) 2) the reusers immediatly have a credit line which in most cases wont have to be altered (reuse becomes easier!) Nillerdk (talk) 20:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This page recommends credit lines to be used by authors but in case of most CC licenses once author chooses a format and adds it to his images than the reusers are required to use this credit line. However in case of PD files, all we can do is to recommend a credit line to users. Because of this it might be better to always specify if the credit line is recommended or required. --Jarekt (talk) 21:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't believe it is correct that the author can define a binding credit line - at least not with the CC licenses. Read section 4(c) of the license. Among other freedoms, the reuser can adopt the credits to his medium. In don't know about GFDL and other licenses, but I think none of our licenses can be used to literally force a certain credit line.Nillerdk (talk) 06:55, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe we misunderstood each other, but we agree. See above where I mentioned calling it "suggested credit line" (same as "recommended credit line"). Rocket000 (talk) 22:52, 7 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, I see, thank you. Suggested is better than recommended. It wasent't bad to think it over once more (-; Nillerdk (talk) 06:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How does your fuss about "recommended", "suggested" or whatever fit to You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor as requested by CC[3] ? --Túrelio (talk) 07:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, now I know where this in the manner specified by the author comes from - I completely missed that. Thanks! But: That page is only a "human-readable summery of the Legal Code". It is thus not binding! By reading section 4(c) of the Legal Code ([4]) it should become obvious that this is a over-simplification. That's where the fuss comes from. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Nillerdk (talk) 08:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, as both statements are from CC, we have a problem.
After the extreme amount of neglect by re-users, who aren't even willing to credit an image they can use for free (for examples see: File talk:MailaenderDom.jpg or File talk:LucMontagnier1995 065.jpg), I would urge CC in direction to specify the credit requirements as "in the manner specified by the author", but that's a different story. --Túrelio (talk) 08:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What problem do we have? It is clear that only the Legal Code is binding, right? The suggested credit line is going to help reusers to credit correctly and maybe it would even have helped in some of the sad cases you mention (reuse without proper attribution). Probably they were just lazy the figure out a legal way to credit you and probably they would just have copied the suggested credit line if it had been available to them. Nillerdk (talk) 09:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From a legalistic standpoint you are (very likely) right. However, as in the real world nobody (except lawyers) reads the illegible legal code, but rather the "short-form", the CC has produced a problem by this discrepancy and is clearly misleading authors or licensors, and I will tell them. --Túrelio (talk) 09:16, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well keep in mind CC originally was more free software license minded (in spirit) and put less emphasis on attribution. They even had cc-sa-1.0 but retired it because it wasn't popular with the masses (which made me give up free licenses and go PD). Share-alike conditions are mainly for the public, not the author. Even the wording has changed gradually with less emphasis on "copyright holder" and more on "author". They're trying to appeal to their target audience (and succeeding). So I can't blame them for oversimplifying things. Besides, it doesn't really matter, reusers will still credit however they wish. I can't see something that (IMO) trivial going to court. Rocket000 (talk) 09:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course, if you take the position of the re-user, then it's fine if you can do what you want, included a "credit" somewhere in the depths of your website, far away from the image you use for free. But you can't really expect sympathy for that from the authors or photographers.
However, as this is a more basic question that can't really be solved by us, it should not distract from the welcome effort about a credit line. --Túrelio (talk) 09:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is a good idea to contact them regarding their "oversimplification", but we shouldn't discuss pros and cons of the license itself here. Personally, I like the flexibility of the way to give credit. We need it very much for the other Wikimedia projects as well - otherwise we would have to put credit lines just below every photo (now it is behind a link, which seem to be ok with the license). Anyway: Did you try to read the license text? It is actually quite easy to understand. Nillerdk (talk) 09:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Don't speak for everyone. Not all of us feel that attribution is the most important thing here. Rocket000 (talk) 09:48, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ops, I always thought that was THE license not the oversimplified version of the license. Rocket000 and Nillerdk, thanks for pointing out my misunderstanding. So the full license does not require to attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor but must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means : author & sponsor institute, title, and URI (if supplied). So for example in case of my test image File:Joshua Tree - The Blob Formation 1.jpg where I added credit line: © Jarek Tuszynski / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0, I assume that reusers do not have to use the exact line but have to mention all 3 components if reasonable to the medium or means. So the line is suggested but the information content is required. Am I correct (this time)? --Jarekt (talk) 14:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, this I how I understand it. If I want to use your photo, I could also write: Photo by Jarek Tuszynski from Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 license, but the three elements must be there somehow. I think I could even hide the information behind a link (like it is a custom in all Wikipedias). Nillerdk (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure that they absolutely must include "Wikimedia Commons" unless that is who the author says to credit. But when the author's name is present then "Wikimedia Commons" becomes the source and is not required by the license. OTOH, one could argue that the author + "Wikimedia Commons" are both the ones being credited so if that's case, then you're are correct (which is also how I see it). And yes, the mention of the license is always mandatory. Rocket000 (talk) 21:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We agree perfectly. As I understood Jarek he wanted to credit Commons as "sponsor institution", and if it is so, we must do it! Nillerdk (talk) 21:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I agree too. As I noted at the administrators' noticeboard, AIUI Commons is technically just a redistributor, and therefore need not be credited unless the author has explicitly designated Commons as an Attribution Party. But I agree that mentioning Commons in the credit line, where the author is a Commons user, is at least good practice. And as Túrelio noted on AN, it may also help to unambiguously identify the author. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Audio files[edit]

I have found this credit line for audio files licensed under the Electronic Frontier Foundation open licence (almost at bottom of page).[5]

(O) Future Tribe "Gaian Smile" 2001 V.1.0
(O) Future Tribe "Imitatio Mundi" 2001 V.1.0

The use of this licence within WC is declared with the aid of template: Template:OAL The other important point is that according to the template, Version 2 is CC-BY-SA. Therefore, this will most likely be limited to audio files which have already been uploaded – at least I hope so!

Here is an actual instance (click on i button):

I feel tempted to pretend I don’t know about this EFF licence because this suggestion below is as best as I can do. Having said that, potential users will also have the same trouble, moreover the odds could be quite high that they have never seen this (O) before and may take it to be a typo error.

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (Opus 67), 1st movement: Allegro con brio, by Ludwig van Beethoven made available under the Electronic Frontier Foundation open licence: (O) Simon Schindler conducting the Fulda Symphonic Orchestra; Wikimedia Commons. 2002 EFF V.1.0

You will notice I have added an EFF to aid the viewer to recognise the licence type and as a double check that it should not be the © symbol. Also, googloling EFF brings up Electronic Frontier Foundation quite easily where as ‘(O)’ does not.

Hmtl version.
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (Opus 67), 1st movement: Allegro con brio, by Ludwig van Beethoven made available under the Electronic Frontier Foundation open licence: (O) Simon Schindler conducting the Fulda Symphonic Orchestra; <a href=">Wikimedia Commons</a>. 2002 <a href="">EFF V.1.0</a> --P.g.champion (talk) 12:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CC section[edit]

I rewrote CC section a bit. Comments welcomed. It seems to me that CC files require at minimum authors name and license info, even for files without explicit Credit line. If my understanding is correct we could populate by bot Credit line in {{Information}} template (if it will be ever added) for all CC-by files with author name / CC-by-.... and encourage Commons authors to add to it. --Jarekt (talk) 19:48, 10 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It might be best to mark such credit lines as automatically generated (and thus non-authoritative) somehow, since some authors may have already specified how they wish to be credited elsewhere on the image description page. Also, marking these credit lines as non-authoritative would let us include "Wikimedia Commons" in them without risking creating the impression that the author has explicitly designated us as an attribution party. Maybe something like:
Credit Line:Author / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-WHATEVER
(automatic suggestion — author may have requested to be credited in some other manner)
Come to think of it, with suitable changes to the parenthetical remark (e.g. for licenses with no attribution requirement), we could do this for pretty much all files. (In fact, it could almost be done just by changing the {{Information}} template, if it weren't for the pesky fact that the license information is not passed to that template. Perhaps it should be?) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Ilmari Karonen suggested, in case of empty credit line field {{Information}} template could fill the credit line automatically if we had an extra silent parameter stating to which big class of licenses image belongs: CC-by, PD, GDFL, etc. This license class parameter would not influence any thing else in the template and we could add it by a bot working with one license class at a time. Than if author fills credit line than the suggested line would disappear. --Jarekt (talk) 02:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two sections moved from the main page[edit]

An example of a possible formal description[edit]

The credit line should contain all the following elements (reading from left to right):

  1. Start with a © symbol. ASCII Character Code: &copy; The year is not needed.
  2. Either the real name of creator or his/her pseudonym.
  3. If applicable: Name of original source that this image was copied from. Examples: collections (private or public), libraries (examples Library of Congress), other image databases or organizations, (Flickr, NASA, etc.).
  4. The name of this hosting site in full: Wikimedia Commons.
  5. The license in an abbreviated form. Comment: When an image is in the public domain do we really need to state this. The benefit of stating that this is so, is to make the public aware that there is such a culturally valuable, legal freedom and right called the public domain.
  6. If the image also has a GNU Free Documentation License put its abbreviation on the end as GFDL .Comment: Is this license going to be migrated over to the CC equivalent any time soon?
  7. Between each section of the credit line there is to be a ‘space’ forward slash ‘space’ . I.e., ' / ' The reason for placing a space each side of the slash, is that there is a danger that some computers may think this is a path and display it as such.

Inserting one’s own standard credit line[edit]

Frequent uploaders can both keep track of their ‘precise’ and preferred copyright notice format and insert into the summary box permissions field or credit line (where one exists) by first creating a user sub-page.

Example: 'User:User Name/Credit'

Then enter the text exactly as you wish it to appear in the field.

You can use this image in printed and video media if you credit it like this:
© John Doe / Wikimedia Commons /  CC-BY-SA-3.0
You can use this image in web pages if you credit it like this:
<nowiki>© [ User:John_Doe] / Wikimedia Commons / [ CC-BY-SA-3.0]</nowiki>

Then every time a contributor uploads an image that s/he wishes to anotate in this way they need only add {{subst:User:User Name/Credit}} in the right place and the copyright text will be appear after the page has been saved. ( I have not tried this so I don’t know if the nowiki markup will conflict with the substitution command)

New template {{Credit line}}[edit]

I created new {{Credit line}} template which is meant to be used to add credit line / attribution line to {{Information}} template. See template documentation and any of my photographs (for example this one) for an example of how to use it.The template was written with CC licenses in mind, but could be possibly easily used for other licenses. I imagine that this template would be used by photographers who would like to exercise right (granted by the CC license) to specify how their images are credited. I would like to ask for comments and suggestions about the template before it is more widely used. --Jarekt (talk) 19:33, 24 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to do with a paper work?[edit]

Hi: i would ask, what someone has to do if he wants to use the photos with a work like a book or article? What it is 'recomended' to do, how to cite properly the autors and license, and what if someone forget do to the right thing. I don't understand very well all these license and i am a bit confused. --Mach2pilot (talk) 00:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I marked this page as {{Essay}}. It might be good to have this as a guideline, but I think there may be wordings that do not reflect the legal requirements of reusers, and thus making clear that the text is not authoritative is important. --LPfi (talk) 11:45, 13 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Completely confused[edit]

I am trying to work out how to do the right thing if I want to use a Wikimedia Creative Commons image. I've read and re-read the various pages and end up bouncing back between this talk page and the essay and an actual image file page. What one is supposed to do remains completely opaque to me.

For example, on the page,_Thasos.jpg

There is no "Credit Line" as discussed here, at least nothing that actually says "Credit Line" but in the "Description" under the image the Author name is mentioned and as source is "own" presumably that is also the photographer. On some image pages there is a URL, often linking to Flickr, but also other places.

So what am I to do? With the actual image?

Do I insert it into a web page and then under the image place one of the examples shown in the essay ala

Lokal Profil / CC-BY-SA-3.0

If there is a URL in the description field am I supposed to conclude that it is instructions to incorporate that link?

Can the credit line be a tool tip, or if not, incorporated into the bottom of the image itself (addressing formatting of the web page)?

Wouldn't this essay be much more helpful to users if it included at least one actual visual example, with an image and credit line displayed together as intended.

I'm so befuddled reading all the File Use and Licenses and talk pages, that I'm not willing to use any Wikimedia Commons material lest I be accused of breaking the rules. Since that seems to kill the dolphin, I thought I'd sign up and share my frustration.

The credit-line is a somewhat recent feature designed to ease correct crediting for re-users. Probably only a minor portion of images on Commons use this feature.
For the above linked image you simply need to credit the person mentioned in the author entry of the image description, which happens to be "Lokal_Profil", which is not a very wisely choosen username. Therefore, it might be best to use "Lokal_Profil (via Wikimedia-Commons)" as credit.
However, for CC-BY licensed images, you also have to communicate the license terms, which as best done by mentioning the license name (as you have done above) and linking either to the legal code[6] (formally correct, though hardly legible for non-lawyers) or to the license-deed[7] (a legible summary). --Túrelio (talk) 21:02, 19 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improving attribution and credit lines[edit]

I'd like to start a discussion about steps we could take to improve attribution for files reused outside of Wikimedia sites.

{{Credit line}} arose years ago from the fact that it wasn't possible at the time to automatically generate an easy-to-copy credit line (see a few sections above). Despite recent efforts, the file description page still doesn't display an easy-to-find, ready-to-copy credit line; many users still need to piece together the "correct" attribution manually from all the information present on the description page (and many fail, or don't bother).

The Stockphoto gadget implemented in 2010 by Magnus Manske was the first leap forward in the direction of better attribution. The gadget (enabled by default for all users) added 1-click reuse buttons, one of which included an automatically-generated credit line based on machine-readable data.

However, there are still issues with the current situation :

Eventually, I agree with the many comments above that we should aim to provide an always-visible, prominent, straightforward credit line in the immediate vicinity of the file. This could be built into the software, perhaps as part of a redesign of the file description page, and could be prototyped with a lightweight JavaScript version that reuses StockPhoto.

Generating a credit line automatically has many advantages:

  • The credit line can be displayed consistently on all file description pages, not just when users add {{Credit line}}.
  • It will be more visible than hidden behind a button, or under an information template.
  • It can follow Creative Commons' Best practices for attribution.
  • It will be less vulnerable to users' errors or lack of familiarity with license compliance.

Here's how we could go about doing this:

Thoughts? Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 00:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am the original author of this template, and as I recall, Template:Credit line was created to address several issues:
  • quickly create correct credit line
  • allow attribution of additional websites or parties as is allowed by CC licenses
  • allow creation of credit lines for harder cases involving multiple authors and/or licenses
If we can cover the same functionality with other means than I am all for retiring the template. Actually it is probably OK to cover only functionality that is currently being used by people using the template, which is not covered by other means, like "text" parameter in Template:Attribution or "attribution" string in CC templates (see for example "1" in Template:Cc-by-sa-2.5). --Jarekt (talk) 18:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to be clear, I'm not criticizing the {{Credit line}} template :) On the contrary, I think it filled a serious gap and I think we should build a similar solution to the problem it solved, but across most/all files, not just those that have {{Credit line}}. Guillaume (WMF) (talk) 19:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Next step?[edit]

This essay is now well developed and as far as I can see, it is very comprehensive. I think credit lines on Commons to be important enough that I would like to see this essay now become a WC Guideline. This would not only increase contributors awareness of good practice/examples etc. but maybe stimulate some discussion. Any thoughts? How do we go about putting it forward for consideration? Oh and that button. Even I didn't notice those little buttons mentioned in the post above. Maybe it should say along side: “How to use this image legally on your website or publication for FREE.” Rather verbose I know but quite clear. Then in the window that pops up . Use this file on the web. Replace with (say): “To legally comply with the internationally recognised CC Licence for FREE USE: 1st copy-and-past the relevant attribution (below) for website or print publication to your own workspace. This so that you have it ready, to be easily placed under the image -or- somewhere on the page -or- listed with the other credits appearing on the website or publication. So ensuring that you comply with the international CC Copyright Licensing Laws. Otherwise you must not use it, unless for personal private use. Then click here.” >Goes to new window with image size choice<. … “Download your preferred image size. Etc. Have a nice day. In other words, users become aware that attribution is required. Of course, there is the big problem of how to get contributors customized attributions replacing the bot generated ones (where necessary) but I trust you get my drift. I have had quite a few of my photographs published now with just the comment “Photograph contributed” . If it gets used the a second time, it simply has the word “File” underneath. One of mine which I spotted in March 2011 was used in a montage (and on a front page) and got attributed to the monkey that had put the images together in Photoshop. Here in the UK, the law courts only award damages for financial loss. As I would have got paid nothing anyway, it means I have no legal redress in that regard. What better way than to point out the Terms and Conditions at the time of down loading? The Wikimedia Foundation is apparently now sitting on assets of $60m.[8] Maybe some of that could be channelled into paying programers to take this issue by the horns. It would promote WC by the number of people that would suddenly start seeing © John Doe / Wikimedia Commons appearing under images whereever they look - instead of just Corbis, AP, Alamy and Getty. Most people -I would guess- have never hear of WC yet. At the moment we appear to be in a chicken and egg situation where I get the strong impression that many people are afraid to use us because nobody else that they see uses us. They think (and have said to me as much): "If you don't have to pay a fee that automatically mean piracy". Example: School Teacher Accusing a Student And an Open Source Software Project of Breaking The Law. Amongst those that do use us, most do not credit. --P.g.champion (talk) 05:48, 6 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CC-SA licenses[edit]

The title "CC-SA licenses" cannot be translated, the master document must be modified. --Jmarchn (talk) 23:20, 4 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]