Creative Commons Licensing Question

I want to use an image of a public figure that I found on wikimedia for a npo website I do. The licensing says:

You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Where it says attribution for the source it just lists the person’s name. Does that mean I can use it if I put a watermark on the bottom of the pic with the author’s name and add it also to the alt text?


CC is generally used by people who deliberately want to share their work at no monetary cost. Giving them credit however you can is what’s expected, unless they specify a particular crediting method. You should be fine… it’s hard to imagine someone taking you to court over “I put my picture on Wikipedia under a CC license, somebody used it and ONLY WATERMARKED ME AND PUT ME IN THE ALT TEXT!”

Generally, “do your best as appropriate to the medium” should be fine unless otherwise specified. See the Creative Commons attribution best practices page for examples.

PS - You can also just ask the creator of the image on Wikipedia directly.

Thanks. What I ended up doing was to copy the whole CC BY attribution and putting it in the ALT and TITLE text. The image is only 129x109 so there’s really no room other than maybe the photographer’s name to put on the image.

IANAL, but I think the attribution needs to be visible on your page, not hidden away in the HTML in ALT or TITLE attributes that most people (including those who might copy the image from your site) will never see. You can put such information there, but I am fairly sure it is not sufficient, and I doubt whether it is truly necessary.

Also, I am pretty sure it is an absolute no-no to alter the image in any way, including watermarking.

The attribution should be in a visible caption to the image, ideally including a link to the source.

This has a CC BY License and this it what it means:

And this is what I put in the ALT and TITLE: