Look at the pup’s photo. Why so sad, Kay? This flickr photo of you I took in 2014 while visiting your human, Richard Elliot, at his home in Auckland, has just been added to the home grown collection of my flickr photos that have been reused elsewhere.
Maybe it’s boasting or self vanity, but discovering accidentally where my photos crop up on the web is something that provides some microjoy. You see that Charles Sturt University one? I thank Tim Klapdor who spotted it in a Nature article— now paywalled but I did see it! (it was taken on a long Australia road trip with Tim). And I am honored that Bryan Alexander makes regular use of my photos, that Elwood Blues photo of him was used in the launch of his substack news thing plus Bryan used the 10 photo for his blog post on the tenth year of his consulting business.
My own habit when coming across these is to add them to my flickr album, and add a comment with a link– other times I get a flickr comment from someone who has taken the step not required by a license, but one of a human gesture, lets me know.
I have a third method of finding these that may be suspect… I use Pixsy — the service well slammed by Doctorow as being the leverage tool of Copyleft Trolls. At one time a pixsy service was provided for free with Flickr Pro (apparently that partnership is severed but my account still works). However it does it, I get regular reports now pegging more than 7000 matches on my 70000+ flickr photos… none of which I would ever use their Take Action button
Every other once in a while, I poke through, just out of curiosity, and take maybe 30 minutes to find a few that I can add to my Reused Photos album. Over lunch today I started added a few and noticed I was very close to the 300 mark in that album, and it just so happened, that after adding number 299, I landed on this report:
which translates as “Is Your Dog Depressed?” No, the featured photo is not mine, but it’s there towards the bottom:
Well, of course this is nifty. I have to admit that Pixsy finds my photos in places I would never ever stumble into them- hobby sites, articles, gardening sites, catalogs, I found my old Brownie camera photo in a really neat Norwegian camera page. A photo of an old phone? It’s in an Argentinean news article about phone nostalgia.
The thing I am enjoying here is a refreshing break from current emphasis on stuff that trends, gets views, etc, I am flying out to the glorious quirky human long tail of the web.
The other thing I notice is the range of attribution styles (of course none are required since most of my photos are licensed CC0). If there is an attribution, it’s usually with my name, maybe the word flickr. If there is a link, its rarely for the image itself– a link to my flickr profile is not much use. Almost never does one see a license. So the typical attributions are far from a perfect TASL.
But that dog, at the 300th found reused photo? Not sad at all.