Can you make a case for someone in your field of work to start not only using open-licensed media, but also to attribute them?

Try first to locate an online publication, blog post, article by someone who works in your field that have published an image or embedded video that have not provided any kind of credit or attribution. You may also find something written in your everyday web wanderings. Many people publish on sites like Medium using images that lack attribution.

Here is an example authored by someone who works for Medium:

No source attribution is given for this wonderful photo. But with a bit of Image Sleuthing, we can find this photo is licensed for sale through Shutterstock. It not only lacks attribution, it may not even be used here in accordance with Shutterstock’s licenses (It is possible the other purchased rights for the photo, but an attribution / credit statement would make this more clear).

Your first task when finding media without any attribution is some detective work to see if you can find where it came from, using a reverse image search tool. So if you find an image, you can either download it or use your browser’s contextual menu (control-click ISX or right click on PC) to copy the URL for the image — this is the web address for the image itself.

First try Google Image Search Click the camera icon for Search By Image. You have the choice to enter the URL for the image, shown below, or to upload the image (Learn more about Google Image Search).

Reverse image searching in Google using the URL for an image

You may not find a match, but you may find the same image used elsewhere. Or you may not find the source. It’s not perfect. You can try another tool like TinEye.

If you do find the image is openly licensed, then you can suggest a way it might be attributed. If you find no source or that the image is copyrighted, you might want to try your skills with the Creative Commons Search tools to find a suitable openly licensed image to suggest as an alternative.

These steps are not strictly required for this Quest, but they can help you make a case.

If the source you have chosen is a blog, an email contact address, or a comment form, your Quest is to compose a message that to make a case for the writer to either attribute their image sources (include an example of how they might have attributed it). Be helpful! Do not criticize them, or threaten, but encourage them to make a change in the way they write. See if you can rationalize the value of giving credit / gratitude to the person who made the image and demonstrating to readers the practice of giving source credits.

If you have no means to contact the author, you can also write your own blog post as a way of communicating you rationale.

Maybe one author at a time, we can help increase the amount of spreading gratitude for media sharing.

Example for "Convince Someone to Start Attributing":

Complete This Quest

After you do this quest, please share it so it can appear with other responses below. If your response exists at a public viewable URL, you can add the information directly to this site.

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1 Response Completed for this Quest

  • Request to Author Dave Pell (Alan Levine, @cogdog)

    Dave Pell has an audience of 90,000 readers on His posts are great, and always open with an image, but none are wvery credited or attributed. This light bulb image appears in his piece The Smart Binge, Music, and Book Guide: This image is used in many blog posts, but the source is from CamStock, a stock photo agency. It is not an openly licensed image. I did make my case in a reply, but alas, I got no… Read more »

  • Creative Commons License
    This work by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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