Thursday, February 24, 2005

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Ever since my daughter constructively criticized this blog for being deficient in the graphics department I have been trying to illustrate each post. Flickr has made the process almost easy. I think the blog is now richer for the visitor, and my limited HTML skills have improved. However, I have been vexed about how to deal with the moral and legal issues involved. You see, most of these graphics - photos mainly - do not belong to me.

The ability to copy the work of others and use it without the owner's permission has never been easier. Once in digital format and served on a website these graphics can not only be seen by millions, they can be copied and reused for almost any purpose. Along the way the name of the copyright owner is easily lost, as well as any artistic intent.

Although I am not an expert in copyright law and the associated philosophical issues, I have given the issue some thought and do not claim complete ignorance. While this post does not intend to explore or justify my graphics decisions, I am advising my readers of a change in how I am doing things.

Each post that has graphics contains HTML that directs your browser to "lookup" and "paste" a graphic from the Flickr site to your screen. That HTML also can contain information about that graphic. Specifically, if you click on a graphic you can be sent to another web site. And if you place your cursor over a graphic - no clicking - you can see a popup text box. In the standard HTML provided by Flickr the click is back to their site and the text says "Photo Sharing."

I am now modifying the code so when you click on the photo it will take you either to the site the graphic illustrates or to the source of the graphic, sometimes the same place. The popup will contain the word "Credit:" and then the name of the owner of the graphic, as best I can determine. You can practice here.

Test Pattern

This is not a solution to all of the issues involved. But I trust it will make more clear the source of any graphics contained in this blog and honor their ownership.

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