What's the best form of attribution when using images from the Internet?

Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 15:07

About the SPLC

The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student free-press rights and provides information, advice and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them. Ask questions, get help and learn more about their site SPLC.org, or click the links above or below. Full story


Is there a standard, proper attribution for Internet photos, such as those obtained from GIS (i.e., is "Courtesy Google Images" acceptable?)
First, it is important to remember that providing attribution is not a lawful substitute for obtaining explicit permission from a copyright owner. If someone else created or owns the photo (or other copyrighted work) you want to use and you can't make a reasonable Fair Use argument, you must obtain permission prior to your using it. Simply including a photo credit, though always important, does not change this requirement.
That said, if you have determined that you are legally permitted to use a photo, you should credit the photographer (or photographer's employer) rather than simply "Google Images." Only use "Courtesy of ___" where you have actually contacted the photo's copyright owner and obtained permission. Otherwise, a standard "Photo by ____," "Source: ___" or other consistent attribution is best.
For more information, check out the SPLC's Student Media Guide to Copyright Law.


Recommended: Articles that may interest you


log out