How To Credit An Image

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about how to credit images on Squidoo Lenses and when I realised that my next “spot” on Giant Squid Open Mike was coming up, I suggested to Joan and Kate that we discuss that very topic.

So when I started putting my notes together for the show, I tried to focus on what I see are the five main mistakes that Squidoo Lensmasters make when they are using images on their lenses. And yes, this also crosses the boundaries into Copyright Infringements, which is another big topic on Squidoo.

These are the five main problems I spot on lenses:

1. New Squidoo members frequently (and mistakenly) believe that just because an image or content has been published and is publicly available to view, they can freely copy it for their own use

2.  Sources are credited, but there’s no clickable link to the source

3. Images are used under a Creative Commons License, but contrary to Creative Commons Conditions of Use of that image, the Terms under which the image is used have not been specified

4. The assumption has been made that just because they could not find anything to say they CAN’T use the Image, then it is OK to use it. IT IS NOT. If you are going to make assumptions, then assume you CAN’T use the image, unless there’s some specific that says you CAN.

5. Image users claim it is copied under “Fair Use” – when they don’t really know what they are talking about – and I am not saying that I know any more than they do – which is why I never try to convince myself it is OK to use something under Fair Use!

As many Free Publishing Platforms, including Squidoo, try to anticipate Google’s next move regarding the legitimacy of the content being published on these sites, it seems to me that with the introduction of the new duplicate content filters, Squidoo HQ is now also being a lot stricter regarding image use.

But because this information is being disseminated very gradually, perhaps with a brief mention in an HQ Blog Post, it is very difficult to be sure what the exact requirements are going to be.

There’s been a lot of debate reagrding use of images on Pinterest and from that debate other fires have been stoked. Suggestions have been made that although it is not a legal requirement, even Public Domain Images should be specifically acknowledged as such and even credited to the source.

And although I am aware that this has provoked some adverse reaction, I have to say that surely if we DO credit everything, then this leaves our visitors (and HQ) in no doubt that we are using images that do not violate copyright. Although I have to say I have actually spotted some links that seem to be on the page to deceive, rather than reassure – but these are in the minority.

Going back to those five common mistakes I outlined earlier, if you are not sure what I am talking about and you need more help to make sure you do not unintentionally violate copyright when using images, then I made a Squidoo Lens: How To Credit An Image, which not only answers these questions, but I also show you how to build the HTML that will make sure your credits are clickable.

And if you wnat to hear the discussion that Joan and I had on Giant Squid Open Mike, an archive recording of the 30 minute show is here: Joan and AJ on Giant Squid Open Mike

And here’s the  Credit for the Featured Image:

Image: Papilio Rumanzovia Butterfly released into the Public Domain by Gazel on Pixabay


About AJ

I am a wannabe writer, who for five and a half years was very active on Squidoo. I left the site in November 2013 for many reasons. I am now focussing developing my own sites and I will share my journey on my own blog.


  1. Great information on the common mistakes made on giving an image proper credit.

    On the Fair Use license, my interpretation is that if you are using the image in a paragraph to help educate or give an example of something and you are not trying to sell the actual item in the image or the image that is a “Fair Use” rationale. For instance an original book cover of a book that was first published in 1950. That book is out of print, but it has been republished by another publisher with a new cover. You might be selling the new book in a different paragraph but you are not trying to sell the old book or the image of it.

    This comes up a lot when writing about collectibles and there is a need to show what a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd issue of an item looks like. You aren’t selling the items but rather informing your readers of what to look for.

  2. Bev, I should have remembered that you know far more about Fair Use than I do :) Thank you so much for adding this and I will add this explanation to the lens – with a credit to you of course!.

  3. Sharp! I like your lens. Good examples and good way to explain them. I agree, it’s a good thing to put a link for pictures in the public domain. That also gives an incentive! More public domain pictures will be provided when they link back to a body of your work. That let’s you sell other pictures.

    Not a photo-artist but…

    entrepreneur! and future squid’angel

    blessings & thanks,

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