The best way of adding images to your website/blog without worrying about copyright infringement

You may probably have come across a zillion blogs which emphasize the difference images can make to your blog; I respect and completely endorse their view.

You may have probably also come across a zillion blogs which emphasize the risks of using copyrighted images, and spark endless debates on ensuing legal implications; yet again I am in total agreement about the dangers they profess.

If you have good internet search skills, you may have succeeded in getting past a lot of muck which focus more on the problem than the solution; if so, you may have unearthed few select blogs which combine the aforementioned situations and present robust solutions – outlining the best ways to acquire legal images for your own blog. Given that I had thoroughly scoured the net when setting up my own blog, I must warn you that there are very few which can present a solution with utmost clarity.

If you have identified such blogs, and are now introduced to a few foolproof options of beautifying your site without any copyright hassles, you may question the requirement of these words I am spouting now. In a nutshell, this article is for people like me, who want to have the best, with minimum of hassle – for those who may not be the brightest technically, and like having their breakfasts served in bed. I am not going to suggest a plethora of options. I am going to write about the best option currently available, in my opinion, and lay out a step-by-step procedure of going about it.

First of all, the universe I will be relying on for securing images will be Flickr (no prizes for guessing that). I will assume that you require the images for a commercial website (if you don’t, it will still be a subset of my solution). Without further delay, here come the steps I have been promising:

Step 1: Go to the Flickr website, and type in the keyword for the image you are seeking, in the search-box on the top right; a host of images will be immediately thrown up.

Step 2: Just above the images, you will notice three parameters – Sort, Search and License, with respective dropdowns. Go to the License parameter and select the following option from the dropdown – ‘Commercial Use Allowed’ within ‘Creative Commons Only’. You will immediately notice a reduction in the number of images – the two-fold good news is that, unless you are searching for an extremely niche image category, there will still be several images to choose from, AND all of these images are 100% usable on your commercial website.

Step 3: Browse through the images and click on the one you deem most appropriate for your content, thereby opening it on a new page.

Before, going to Step 4, I will take a digression and introduce you to the magic wand which has made my life easier.

ImageCodr is a free online tool which simplifies the ONE thing you need to accurately ensure while using images (permitted for commercial use) from Creative Commons – attribution.

Under the Creative Commons license, Attribution is defined as: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Therefore, for an image you do not intend to modify, there are two things which need to be done to be in accordance with the attribution rules prescribed:

First: Give appropriate credit – this can be done by mentioning the user name of the image uploader, and linking the image back to the original page from where you picked it.

Second: Provide a link to the license – Creative Commons licenses are bracketed under various categories, and the image on your website must include a link which redirects to the exact license under which the image was shared by the original uploader.

Both tasks can be completed manually, but if you are a newbie at this, technically challenged like yours truly, or just plain lazy, ImageCodr comes as a boon for providing easy, accurate attribution.

Now, getting back to the Steps:

Step 4: Go to and click on the ‘Get code!’ option in the navigation bar.

Step 5: Copy the URL of the image you selected as per Step 3, and paste in the box beside Flickr URL and click ‘Submit’. The screenshot below captures the magic which follows: ImageCodr generates a snapshot of what is permitted by the image license; so in case you got Step 2 wrong, you will be immediately notified that the image selected by you cannot be used for commercial use. Even if you did get Step 2 correct, the snapshot is a useful recap of what is allowed and what is not.

Scroll down a bit and you see what we have been striving for thus far – a box with the title: Your HTML code, which changes on the basis of the image size you require for the post.

Step 6: Decide on the image size required based on your requirement, and copy the subsequent HTML code generated.

Step 7: Paste it on your page.

Step 8: Sit back and admire the fact that all details have been take care of – a CC logo, which links back to the licensing terms, user name of the original uploader linking back to their Flickr page, and a link back of the image to the original Flickr image page. Compare this with the Creative Commons Attribution requirement – pretty much takes care of everything, doesn’t it?

Besides convenience, ImageCodr, in my opinion, creates a line of defence against perhaps the only risk involved in using a Creative Commons commercially usable image. The risk is that, Flickr allows the original user to change licensing rights at any point in time, and there is no way to prove what the licensing was when you initially downloaded the image. For example, when you downloaded the image, the license may have allowed commercial use, and you could happily use it on your commercial website. However, anytime after you used that image, if the original uploader changes the license rights (Oh yes, Flickr allows users to change licensing rights at the click of a button) to non-commercial, he could question the use of his image on your commercial website, and you may not have many options to defend your case.

Since ImageCodr automatically generates the ‘CC’ logo which redirects to the license, it is in a way, a time-stamp stating that when you embedded the image, the license permitted commercial use. In case of manual addition, there could always be the allegation that the license link could have been added from any other source; impossible in the case of an ImageCodr generated code, because the image and the license are integral to each other.

Thereby concludes my quest of introducing you to the safest, most convenient and accurate method of adding images to your blog/website I am aware of (if you are not clicking your own images). Happy blogging…and stay copyright safe!! 

When to realize that you have lost…. and MOVE ON

by  levaine 

What a loser!! This is an oft repeated phrase applicable to almost every person who has walked this planet, some time or the other, in his or her life. While there will be a few rare exceptions – people born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or ones on whom the Gods have been unfairly benevolent in terms of talent and intelligence, a vast majority of us do fail, at some point or the other. The similarity between successful and unsuccessful people is that, in all probability, both categories began with a failure. The dissimilarity would be that while the former continued in the same vein, the latter, (pardon the cliché) used failure as a stepping stone to success.

While it would be too way too early to gauge my entrance into the elite group of successful people, it is fairly easy to admit that I failed at my first professional step. As a fresh MBA grad, I was picked up by one of the premier banks in the country, and after a month of training, I officially became a banker, complete with a ‘manager’ tag and a set of visiting cards proclaiming the same. Over the next couple of years, I realized that I was no good at the job, if not in the absolute sense, then definitely in the relative sense – everyone around me seemed to be performing exceedingly well. To make it worse, I stopped enjoying myself (not that I was humming a song on my way to work every day prior to that, but a phase came when I was literally dragging myself to go).

Sometime in late 2007, the realization dawned that I needed to make a choice – continue to be a mediocre banker, or move on into something I really wanted to do. The stage may seem set for a ‘following your dreams’ kind of pot-boiler movie, where the protagonist pursues one of his supreme and hidden talents, and proclaims himself to the world like a phoenix rising from the ashes. But this being real life, that too where the protagonist is from a very middle class background, the aspirations cannot be too spectacular. After deep consideration, I quit my job, and found my way into a research firm – the transition was not smooth by any stretch of imagination, and included several months living in fear of if I had, indeed, made the right decision. Looking back, I can safely say that was definitely the best decision of my professional life.

This snippet from my life, along with evidence captured on the basis of my interaction with both books and people, brings me to an interesting theory – despite the popularity of the term, a person by himself can never be a loser; he could, however, be at a loss in certain situations. The ones who are unfortunate enough to have experienced several such situations, or those who hang onto a losing situation without any signs of moving on, form the rare breed who come close to being an embodiment of the loosely used term.

Like most problem-related theories, this comes with a solution, which is by no means rocket science – caught in a losing situation, there are only two options: transform it into a winning opportunity, or move on. While the first option could be the privilege of only a very few, I wanted to highlight the precautions one ideally needs to take before choosing the more obvious option 2. The precautions, in fact, boil down to three simple questions one needs to ask before moving on:

1. Have I spent long enough to conclude that this is a losing situation?

A knee-jerk reaction to an unpleasant situation could be even more unwise. It is important to know if enough time has been devoted to the situation before analyzing the parameters denoting success or failure.

 2. Am I losing?

The most important question, for obvious reasons. Once it is established that one has spent enough time in the situation, an objective analysis is required (yes, writing down the pros and cons does help!!) for an honest answer.

3.Is there an alternative?

Moving on from a losing situation without an alternative in place is sometimes like jumping from the frying pan into the fire – having a contingency plan in place is essential to move on.

If the answers to 1, 2 and 3 are a resounding yes, then my suggestion would be to move on. There is a 4th step, possibly the most important of all, and that is – never look back and regret, it will only be a lose-lose situation. While my example has been from the professional field, I strongly believe that it can apply to any domain in life. Holding on to something, or someone, for that matter, in a definitely losing cause, would only generate a sense of depression, and of course, loser-phobia. A poor experience can never be the end of the world – the challenge is to admit that one has lost, and move on.