Showing posts with label copyright-friendly images. Show all posts
Showing posts with label copyright-friendly images. Show all posts

Monday, August 3, 2020

Don't Fall for This Image Attribution Scam

Anyone who has followed my blog for a year or more knows that I am nothing if not vigilant in promoting the use of public domain imagery in blog posts and other multimedia projects. To that end, I have used Pixabay for years to locate images to use in my blog posts. Pixabay clearly labels all of the images they host with "Free for Commercial Use. No Attribution Required." That's why this morning I was taken aback when I got the following email:

Hi Richard,
You are using my client's image (attached below) in one of your articles We're glad that it's of use to you :)

There’s no issue if you've bought this from our market partners such as Shutterstock, iStock, Getty Image, Pexels, Adobe, Pixabay, Unsplash, etc.,

However, if you don’t have the proper license for the image then we request you to provide image credits (clickable link) on your article. Or else this will be against the copyright policy.

Unfortunately, removing the image isn't the solution since you have been using our image on your website for a while now.

Feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

Rodney Sherwood
Content Head
Anti Spam Reporter
There are a few things in this email that triggered my Spidey senses to a scam.

1. No mention of the actual client.

2. "Rodney" represents an "anti spam" firm. Any legitimate copyright protection claim/ DMCA claim would at least be formatted with link to the original image source (a requirement in making any defense of your copyright, something I know from filing dozens of DMCA notices over the years) if not filed by a law firm specializing in intellectual property.

3. "Rodney" cites Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash as one of his company's "market partners." A quick search of his website makes no mention of those partners. Furthermore, Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash are quite clear in saying that attribution is not required.

4. This key tip-off was "Rodney's" failure to mention the website that he wants me to link to.

How I responded.
1. Just to be sure I was in the right, I did a reverse image search and landed back on Pixabay where I confirmed that I had the rights to use the image.

2. Took a screenshot of Pixbay page that hosts the image.

3. Sent the screenshot to "Rodney" and told him to take his spam elsewhere.

How you should respond.

1. Double-check that you have rights to use the image in question (a quick reverse image search is the easiest way to do this).

2. Mark the email as spam and delete it.

What's the purpose of this scam?
The purpose is to try to get website owners to link to a specific page or site in attempt to increase the number of pages linking a site. It's the same reason why the comments section of blogs get spammed with ridiculous links.

Good Places to Find Copyright-friendly Media
Back in May I published an updated guide to finding copyright-friendly media for classroom projects. You can find it here on

Thursday, December 14, 2017

PikWizard - Another Place to Find Free Images

PikWizard is a free site that offers thousands of high quality images that you can download and re-use for free. PikWizard provides clear guidance on how you can use each picture that you find on the site. You will find that guidance posted to the right of any picture that you select from search results. PikWizard also provides clear directions on how to give credit to the photographers whose pictures you use.

Applications for Education
PikWizard could be a good site to bookmark for the next time that your students need to find copyright-free images to use in slideshows, videos, or other multimedia projects.

On a related note, if you're a Google Slides user, the Unsplash Add-on provides the easiest way to add copyright-free images to your presentations. Click here to learn how to use the Unsplash Add-on.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Noun Project - A Library of Universal Icon Clipart

The Noun Project is a great collection of clipart of universal icons. I looked at the collection eighteen months ago. This morning a post on Cool Infographics got me to look at the Noun Project again. The catalog now contains twelve categories of public domain, Creative Commons, and royalty-free icons. Learn more about the Noun Project in the short video below.

Building a Global Visual Language from The Noun Project on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
If your students need simple images for illustrations, diagrams, or multimedia projects, the Noun Project is a good resource for them to browse through.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Image*After - More Than 27,000 Free Images

Image Source
Image*After is a repository of more than 27,000 free stock images and textures that can be downloaded and reused for noncommercial and commercial uses. The images and textures in the galleries have been donated by amateur photographers and artists. You can search Image*After by image category, image size, and base color. When you find an image you like you can either download it directly to your computer or clip it to a temporary online account while you browse for more images.

Applications for Education
Image*After could be a good resource to have bookmarked for the next time your students start developing multimedia projects.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ImageBase - Hundreds of Free Stock Images

ImageBase is a personal project of professional photographer David Niblack. ImageBase contains more than one hundred pages of images that Mr. Niblack has released for free reuse and redistribution. In fact, the top of the ImageBase site says "treat like public domain." In addition to the hundreds of images that are available, ImageBase also offers nearly one hundred free PowerPoint templates.

I saw ImageBase posted on Twitter, but I forgot to note who shared it. If it was you, please let me know.

Applications for Education
ImageBase and sites like it are excellent resources to have your students use when they're creating multimedia projects. By sending students to sites that host public domain images or that release the images for free reuse, you remove the worry that students might violate copyright. Of course, you still want to have the conversation with your students about the difference between public domain, Creative Commons, and Copyright images.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
7 Places & Ways to Find Copyright-Friendly Images
Two Good Free Guides to Digital Photography
4 Ways to View the World in Panoramic