or perhaps the subtitle is “A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Through the Image Search”

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Jin_sama

Maybe the philosophical question hinges on how thirsty one is… welcome to what happens when the rabbit hole falls under your foot.

So I am wanting to write a blog post about last night’s broadcast of the radio stories created by my ds106 students. I cannot write until I find a creative commons image first. I had in my mind one of those 1940-1950s photos of a family gathered around the radio. I usually rely on Compfight to find ones in flickr, but its less useful for phrase search.

I wandered over to Google Image Search on gather around the radio where I get what I sought easy- among 29,000,000 results:

(click for full size image)

Let’s see what I can find to re-use. I flip open the advanced options, select “labeled for reuse”… and I get 463 results, none of which are the droids i was looking for:

(click for full size image)

Let’s see, the ratio of images licensed for re-use to total images is 483 / 29,000,000

483 ./ 29,000,000 = 0.00001665517

or make that 0.001665517%

That’s pretty low on the end of partly full.

In fact, that is crappy.

But I am curious, because many of the images on the first search look like the kind you find in public domain archives. I follow one, and end up at a page of 100.1 KRUU The Voice of Fairfield:

KRUU-LP 100.1 FM is a solar-powered, open source, independent, non commercial, listener-supported, grassroots community low power radio station, broadcasting 24 hours/day and 7 days/week since September 30th, 2006 from Fairfield, Iowa. 99.7% of the programs at KRUU are produced by some 100 volunteer hosts who create 80 shows a week. Only one program is not produced by KRUU hosts.

I love this! A “a solar-powered, open source, independent, non commercial, listener-supported, grassroots community low power radio station”!

Yet.

The only thing we know about this image it its file name is “family-radio.jpg” and the web page it is sitting in carries a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial license.

Well actually there is more information, opening the image in PhotoShop and using File -> File Info, I can see its meta data that it is a copyrighted Corbis image (actually I only did this while writing this blog post)

But I did not have that information, so I took the URL for the image from the radio station site (you may notice that the image is actually hosted on another web site, http://fitsnews.com), and plugged that into the Google Image search (click the little camera, and you can use the URL for any image):

And now we find that image im many places..

First off all, what the search returns a guess as to the topic- just from the image, it matches it to a guess of “radio drama”. It finds similar photos in image search. AND it returns places the same image is found.

And there are a bunch of sites using this copyrighted image without permission or attribution.

I am not hear to call out people. In fact, an upcoming blog post is how I played loose with some copyrighted content and are having to redo some old work. I am guilt myself of pilfering from the ease of Google Image Searching.

But folks, this is rampant. The use of materials for which people have not granted their use is widspsread. Do we chalk it up to ignorance? negligence? laziness? We could do that. We could lay it at the feet of a lack of more media to choose from.

Like Pogo knows, the problem is us.

We have to do better at (a) being vigilant on using media that is clearly licensed to do so; (b) being equally vigilant on stating clearly and linking to the source of our media; and (c) being sharing enough to add what we can to the open licensed space.

And educators? Y’all should be modeling all three. Give me your excuses/rationalizations for not?

(I might say Google could go much farther in educating all the people that use their image search site; the fact the the option to filter by reusable license is bured 2 screens down is a bad sign).

What to do? Well I followed the link from the search result to the Wikipedia entry on radio drama from where I found two potential images in the Wikimedia Commons, one of which I shall use:

Wikimedia Commons public domain image

For me there us even more serendipity, because the caption reads:

“Kathleen Wilson of Arizona FAP directing radio program written and put on by children of Junior Artists Club” “” Kathleen Wilson oversees a radio program written and performed by children at radio station KTAR (AM), Phoenix, Arizona, which was at the time owned by The Arizona Republic newspaper. The photo shows Wilson and girls gathered around a table with a microphone.

It’s an archival photo from a radio station I have listened too before in Phoenix!

Wow, what a long trip to get this image. But, we gotta keep that glass half full (Or more).

And I quote myself:

We have to do better at (a) being vigilant on using media that is clearly licensed to do so; (b) being equally vigilant on stating clearly and linking to the source of our media; and (c) being sharing enough to add what we can to the open licensed space.

This ought to become the reflex.

The post "Reusable Imagery: Half Empty or Half Full?" was originally zapped with 10,000 volts and declared "It's ALIVE" by Dr. Frankenstein at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2012/10/reusable-imagery-half-empty-or-half-full/) on October 23, 2012.

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Reusable Imagery: Half Empty or Half Full? by CogDogBlog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.