Compliance Web

A Picture Credit Page? Really?

pathways in a forest

I don’t buy images. Nev­er. I take my own pic­tures. Or I use free images released under a Cre­ative Com­mons License. Or in the ‘pub­lic domain’. Some image data­bas­es offer their pho­tographs under their own licens­es, equiv­a­lent to the free licens­es, as long as I do not make their images pub­licly avail­able through anoth­er image data­base. I accept that as well. And as open-source licens­es do, too, some ‘pic­ture’ licens­es impose cer­tain duties on me. Thus, I need a pic­ture cred­it page:

For exam­ple, some­times I have to say where I got the image, who its pho­tog­ra­ph­er is, and what license it is under. The right place to ful­fill such con­di­tions is a page for image cred­its1:

[ en | de ]


A Table For Image Credits

  • Cre­ate a page ‘Image Cred­its’ and include it on your site like your imprint
  • Install the plu­g­in TablePress.
  • Cre­ate a table with the 4 columns ‘Pic­ture’, ‘Down­load & Licens­ing’, ‘License’, and ‘Attri­bu­tion’.
  • Include this table in your page Image Cred­its by using the TablePress short­code.

A New Image Reference

  • Add a new row to the image ref­er­ence table.
  • Con­cern­ing the first col­umn ‘IMAGE’
    • open the media library, click on the new image and remem­ber its ID, which is dis­played in the brows­er URL.
    • enter the already-known short code wrong image data.
  • In the sec­ond col­umn, link an appro­pri­ate text to the same image in the data­base. If the tar­get page does not con­tain a licens­ing state­ment, add a sec­ond link in the same col­umn that leads to the licens­ing state­ment of the pic­ture data­base.
  • In the third col­umn, link the license name to the license text, prefer­ably in the ver­sion from the image data­base.
  • In the fourth col­umn, enter all the infor­ma­tion that the license requires.


First things first: The Word­Press plu­g­in TablePress is active­ly main­tained and is — accord­ing to the file readme.txt — GPL‑2.0 licensed. So this is a ‘flaw­less’ piece of Open-Source soft­ware.

Final­ly, the more com­plex aspects: Why do we need an image cred­it at all? For­mal­ly, we don’t! We just need to ful­fill in some way every require­ment of the license that has been linked to the image we are using. But the license com­pli­ance itself is non-nego­tiable for the sin­cere user: either she respects the terms of the license, or she does not use the image.2

That’s why I make things sim­ple for myself: I enter every image into my table for image cred­its accord­ing to the marked pat­tern. Even those, where I am free to say noth­ing — like with PxHere pic­tures. And if I fol­low the pat­tern, noth­ing slips through my hands either. Hope­ful­ly.

To that end, I’ve writ­ten myself a set of short codes that make it a snap to add a new image to the table. I will glad­ly pass on these codes on request.

And how does this …

… sup­port our migra­tion to bootScore? Well, once start­ed with improv­ing the image han­dling, a web design­er will also notice the blurred ‘fea­tured images’ of bootScore. She will try and refine solu­tions. And she may also tack­le them with new HTML‑5 tech­niques. Because with that, a fanci­er image strat­e­gy com­bined with an inte­grat­ed license ful­fill­ment process and its own logo will real­ly make sense. How­ev­er, pic­tures bring col­ors to read­ing. So they should be inte­grat­ed into a cus­tomized col­or con­cept. This post also con­tributes some­thing to this top­ic.

  1. BTW: In the Euro­pean legal space, there is no such thing as ‘pub­lic domain’. But we can usu­al­ly use the images pub­lished in this way in Amer­i­ca []
  2. I have already writ­ten about image trolls and their ‘busi­ness mod­el’ []
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