Creative Commons and Flickr – a solution found!


I’ve written before about the amazing collection of Creative Commons images that are available on Flickr, which are perfect for students (and teachers!) to use when creating any sort of visual content.  It is so important that as educators we model the use of Creative Commons licenced materials, because even though we do have some flexibility in education due to various copyright exceptions, if students wish to publish their work publicly these exceptions do not apply.

You can read more about Creative Commons if you are new to this term on this previous post on the ResourceLink blog.

Unfortunately, the solution which is described in this earlier post, using Greasemonkey to access Creative Commons licence information came unstuck late last month, when Flickr updated their image pages, which ‘broke’ the script.

As Cory Doctorow writes in this article about this issue, having no easy access to this Creative Commons licence information is extremely frustrating; such a wonderful range of images, which are so very difficult to attribute puts users off, and certainly sent me off looking to other sources for images when I was putting together some presentations last week.

The solution Cory suggests, using the Attributr script available through Github is terrific, but not for the faint hearted. It isn’t easy to navigate Github and get the script working; in fact, after reading this Lifehackr article about Github, I decided to look elsewhere for a solution.


Thankfully, Alan Levine, the creator of the original Greasemonkey script that I blogged about earlier, has again come to the rescue! He also has used Github to create a bookmarklet, but the difference is he’s designed it in such a way that it is really easy to use.

Simply go to his page (click the screen grab image above to access it), click on the Bookmarklet button and drag it up to your bookmark toolbar.

Now, when you go to any page on Flickr which has a Creative Commons Licenced image on it, click on the bookmarklet button, and a window will pop up with all of the attribution information you need! Too easy!

It looks just like this:

This means once again it is so easy to attribute creative commons images found on Flickr – and this is thanks to the work of others sharing their scripts and work generously under a Creative Commons Licence which allows us all to benefit from their technical skills. So thank you Cory Dodt (even though I found your solution too complicated for me) and thank you Alan Levine (Work found at / CC BY-SA 3.0) and thank you also to all of the other creators who share their work via Open Source or under a Creative Commons licence; together we is bigger than me!

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

5 thoughts on “Creative Commons and Flickr – a solution found!

  1. Thanks for the nice words, Kay (and yes, you can has turn now, dog photos are always a winner, but a Dalmatian is special).

    You don’t need to get all githubbed to use Cory’s script; the bookmarklet code is provided all in which you would probably want to run through something like to take out all the white space, and that is what you copy into a bookmark.

    There are different approaches; for Cory’s you would still be downloading the image and uploading to your blog; the attribution you get would provide everything needed for a solid HTML caption with license info. Mine was meant also to grab the code to embed the image itself (which has some pitfalls because it sits on flickr’s site, my old posts have missing images when the photo owner takes them off of flickr). It’s 0.5 dozen 6 of the other.

    • Thanks for that explanation, CogDog (Alan?) – now I see what you mean about how to use Cory’s script. It just seemed a bit confusing without having that extra information. Glad you liked the post – I love using Flickr CC, and your tools always make it so much easier.

  2. Pingback: Creative Commons and Flickr - a solution found!...

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  4. Pingback: Remix, Reuse and Re-energise using Creative Commons and Open Education Resources. | LinkingLearning

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