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You’d Think a Big Site Like GigaOM Would Be Better at Creative Commons

cc licensed flickr photo shared by kisses are a better fate than wisdom

I’m just a little pup on the web. A one dog show. I’ve got no ads on my blog, no sponsors, no income here. I pay for everything myself.

But I sure as hell take the steps to provide attribution credit for images I use here. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right behavior to model. It’s the golden rule. It’s easy.

Perhaps if you are an outfit like GigaOM you don’t have to bother with such trivial annoyances.

Tonight I came across their post on Open vs. Closed: In the Ongoing Battle Over Control, How Much Is Too Much? and right away I recognized the left side photo in the collage they used:

or you can find directly on their site at

I recognized that one right away as a creative commons one I’ve seen pop up on searches I have done before. Sure enough, one 15 second dip into CompFight, do a creative commons tag search on “road horizon clouds” and its the first one up– in fact here it is:

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Stuck in Customs

Wow, there I go attributing again. I cannot help it.

So I went back to the GigaOM article and scoured the post looking for credit. Nothing. No link, no text credit. This seems to be at odds over the BY NC SA license on the source flickr photo.

GigaOm has provided neither attribution nor is it sharing in a like manner. It would have been easier to find if I had used TinEye (AMAZING tool) :

The blue lock is more elusive- I could not locate it in TinEye or flickr. Who knows where it came from? Is it licensed? Was it found on Google Images? You cannot tell.

So maybe it was just an oversight. I’ve made bigger mistakes myself. I informally scanned 15 GigaOM posts and found maybe 60% did have an attribution at the bottom of the article. But quite a lot do not.

Maybe I am nitpicking, but if me as a solitary little blogger can manage to attribute every photo I use, I expect a little better from the big dogs.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by claudiogennari

I’m warning you, world, attribute like a good citizen, or be wary for a dog looking over your shoulder!

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Alan, looks like it’s hit or miss on GigaOM (and the rest of the network). Many articles do a reasonable job of providing attribution for images from Flickr, others don’t. It’s probably left up to the article’s author.

    In this case the author didn’t provide attribution.

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