January 27, 2014

Do Your Attributions for Photos with Creative Commons Licenses Include TASL?

Photos with Creative Commons licenses are very helpful to illustrate information we want to share. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution. (Some Creative Commons licenses have additional requirements.) Do your students know what to include in an attribution?

The Creative Commons Wiki (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Main_Page) provides information that helps us write appropriate attributions. (See Best Practices for Marking Users at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Marking/Users) Whatever format we use for our attributions we should include the title (if provided), author, source (usually the URL), and license (provide a link to it).

The wiki article on best practices shares an "ideal attribution" as well as some that are not so ideal. An easy way to remember what to include is the acronym TASL. So, examining the attribution on the photo I am using (see last photo in this column) for this post you will find:
  1. title: Copyright License Choice
  2. author: Open Source Way
  3. source: the specific photo is linked to the title and the author's photostream is linked to the author's name
  4. license: CC BY-SA 2.0 by the title of the license and linked to the license
That information is easy to find and--because you know what information to include--the attribution is fairly easy to write. There are, however, some ways to automate the attribution process.

ImageCodr.org helps you find Flickr images with Creative Commons licenses. It also provides the embed code to post the image and the attribution. See the example below.

Wylio.com also helps you search for Flickr images with Creative Commons licenses plus provides the embed code to post the image and the attribution. See the example below.
'Copyright license choice' photo (c) 2010, opensource.com - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Compfight.com is another site that helps you to find Flickr images with Creative Commons licenses. This site helps you to download the photo and it provides an embed code for the attribution. See the example below.
Photo Credit: opensourceway via Compfight cc

I usually search for Flickr images via the Creative Commons site. I find embed codes so I can post the image and the attribution is not automated. Occasionally I download an image and post it rather than embed it. See the example below.


The techniques that we teach our students to use for attribution may vary based on the students' ages. However, I think it is important to keep the TASL acronym in mind. Using sites that automate the attribution process can make it easier for students to post appropriate attributions.

I have emphasized the acronym TASL to help us remember what to include in the attributions we write. The article about best practices in the wiki mentioned in this post provides additional information and examples of attribution formats. I think the article is very helpful.

[Thanks to TeachersFirst and to Richard Byrne of FreeTech4Teachers for information about ImageCodr.org and Wylio.com found when searching for Creative Commons and/or attribution on their sites.]

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