Of all things, this story begins in Facebook, I place I scan but do not “like”. In the stream, one of my Australia friends shared a link to a story about coeliac disease, not something I usually read much about.

UPDATE: Attribution won, see below.

Look what I found in Facebook!

Look what I found in Facebook!

But I know that cutting board, knife, and lumpy loaf of bread. That’s my flickr photo.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Curious to see my photo in a news story from Australia, I followed the link to An ABC News Australia story by Samantha Donovan– Melbourne researchers discover coeliac disease trigger. And sure enough there was my photo on the bottom left (screen shot here on case they take the story down)

That's my load of bread in your news story, ABC! Click for full size

That’s my load of bread in your news story, ABC! Click for full size


I looked high, I looked low, I clicked the photo link, I looked at the photo caption…

Yep, that is my lumpy bread load

Yep, that is my lumpy bread loaf

yet nowhere do I find an attribution credit for a photo licensed under Creative Commons as BY-SA; to make it easier for ABC News to understand, that stands for BY attribution and SHARE ALIKE:

Attribution “” You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

And what does attribution mean?

If supplied, you must provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. CC licenses prior to Version 4.0 also require you to provide the title of the material if supplied, and may have other slight differences.

Now I know that many times individuals use images and do not follow through. I am not asking for anything from ABC, I want them to use my photo, but I except them to do the right thing.

If major news publishers cannot adhere to the princoples of Creative Commons, what kind of example does that set? Is that responsible.

Frack no.

At the bottom of the page it reads ©2010 (that is current) linked to http://www.abc.net.au/common/copyrigh.htm

All intellectual property rights in the content, software and systems owned by or licensed to the ABC on any ABC Online Services, including logos, images, names, designs, trademarks and copyright (ABC Content) are reserved to the ABC and its licensors.

Such content is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Unless specifically noted in the House Rules for a particular service, you may not otherwise reproduce, republish, modify, adapt, translate, prepare derivative works from, reverse engineer or disassemble ABC Content, without obtaining the ABC’s prior written permission.

You agree not to remove, obscure, or alter any ABC copyright notice or trademark on any content you access and use. You also agree not to use ABC Content in a way that implies endorsement by the ABC or any person included in the materials.

The ABC is releasing certain archive materials through special initiatives including the Open Archive Project and Pool. Further information on Open Archive Project, ABC Archives and ABC Pool is available online.

If you are interested in using ABC Content other than for personal, non-commercial use, please contact ABC Library Sales for further information.

Entitlements under Parts VA, VB and section 183 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) are reserved to the ABC. For educational institutions: Visit www.screen.org for information about Part VA (download of audio-visual content) and www.copyright.com.au for information about Part VB (copying text/images).

ABC News has taken a Creative Commons license image of mine and copyrighted it as their own. This is not only wring, I might guess, illegal. Under the Conditions of Use link it gets more fun:

All intellectual property rights in the content, software and systems owned by or licensed to the ABC on any ABC Online Services, including logos, images, names, designs, trademarks and copyright (ABC Content) are reserved to the ABC and its licensors.

They have just reserved for use to ABC something they do not own.

This may be a simple editing mistake. But its now, I’ve bee going through the archives of World Today and have found frequent use if images lacking attribution or credit.

I am not wanting my image taken down, I want attribution put up. They have someone else’s photo there as well.

I did write them a message via their contact page. My terms of retribution are that they should write a news story on the importance of proper attribution of Creative Commons license images. I only want them to act as responsible publishers and take on the mantle of responsibility of being a source of educational information.

If ABC News, a national news agency, cannot bother giving credit, why should us individuals bother? Because it matters.

They can and should and I hope will do better. There is no excuse.

UPDATE May 2, 2014 ABC News has responded via email

I write from the ABC Radio Current Affairs department. I apologise for the use of your image without attribution. It was a mistake and has now been fixed. Thank you too for your idea regarding a story on copyright issues surrounding the Creative Commons licensing. I have passed your suggestion along to our editorial team for consideration.

My flickr photo now at least has attribution on the story in the form of text on the image hover, the caption, and even the file name



Should I quibble about a lack of link to the original nor the CC license, or call it a day as One Small Victory for Attribution?

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com 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. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Related — I think this “Comprehesive Attribution Statement” Lumen uses is quite nice, and could form the basis of some standard practice:


    I doubt it’s the case in this instance, but many times the attribution gets lost in editing, or when syndicated content gets pushed to a system with a different metadata system. Simple end of document crediting acccording to an accepted format might be best. I even wrote this little dokuwiki tag to make it easier: http://screencast.com/t/cW9xkzwjOq5t

    1. Thanks got the Lumen Learning link; that must be one of the most clear strategies for managing references to content, and just the sample wording alone is valuable.

      I do expect that an editing oversight is possible for ABC except the same was true for all their archive posts of World Today. They are really transcript archives of radio shows so it’s most likely template driven, but the images seem added to the entries.

      I await their response but there is no reason for letting said practice happen.

      And to a hammer every edit is a Docuwiki plugin 😉

  2. One of my shots was used by a local park. It wasn’t attributed. I wrote an email just asking them to attribute and they apologized . . . and then deleted the photo.

  3. I think you can let the link to the original piece go. Technically, CC-BY-SA says to link to the original if it can be done without undue burden, and it may be the case here that the CMS does not support it, hence presenting a burden (broad braod interpretation here, but I think defensible).

    Nice work though. 😉

  4. Nice work in getting the ABC to respond, and in a positive manner no less! Back in 2010 I sent a similar letter to the editors of the Sydney Morning Herald regarding images that they used in covering a story but never heard anything back from them. Unlike you, I didn’t take screenshots as evidence of their malfeasance. Live and learn…

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