Do I need to attribute public domain photos?

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  1. Sam Montana profile image62
    Sam Montanaposted 4 years ago

    Do I need to attribute public domain photos?

    Hi, I am new to Hub Pages from Squidoo and I have a question. I was reading about the proper way to attribute photos here and I read that if you are an apprentice, you still have to attribute photos that are public domain, so they can be verified. How do I find out if I am an apprentice or not and do I have to attribute public domain photos such as from Pixabay?

  2. profile image0
    sheilamyersposted 4 years ago

    Hi Sam. I've never heard the term "apprentice" used here, but I think you're referring to what used to be called "boot camp". Until you publish five featured hubs, HP looks a little closer at your hubs. I think they do that hoping people get in the habit of developing better hubs. If you have five featured hubs, you're out of "boot camp".

    There are three ways to attribute public domain graphics. 1) Simply write "public domain". 2) Type in the name of the website from which you got the picture. Ex: I use some clip art from so I type in the source box. 3) If the site mentions who originally took the picture or the artist of a painting, type that name in the box.

    I prefer to add the name of the photographer or artist if I can locate that information. Also, read through the TOS of the site you get the graphic from because some do request that you link back to their site.

    1. Sam Montana profile image62
      Sam Montanaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for the answers. I read about this in the Learning Center "A Guide to Proper Image Use on HubPages." I know that when it comes to proper attribution, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  3. Tolovaj profile image87
    Tolovajposted 4 years ago

    There is no need to attribute them in form of backlinks (these can actually hurt your rankings), but it's good to explain your graphic material is public domain (and maybe why) and where you have found it. In most cases I write something like: all used images are public domain, because they were first published before 1923 and their authors are dead more than 70 years.

    Public domain can be pretty complicated. Rules in EU, USA and Japan can vary and there are also additional rules of reciprocity, works being already in public domain, but falling later out etc.

    I am not sure about the apprentices. I believe this aims at hubbers with less than 5 published hubs, but now all published material is checked by real people anyway and I never noticed a difference between my first five and next three articles.

    Hope this helps:)

    P.S I see sheilamyers already answered while I was typing. She is more experienced in this platform, so I would trust her advice:)

  4. RachaelOhalloran profile image83
    RachaelOhalloranposted 4 years ago

    Sheila's advice is spot on. HubPages is not referring to just boot campers but everyone. Any photo which is from public domain simply gets the source name where you learned it was public domain. This is not to be confused with the website "publicdomainphotos dot com" which is site similar to Pixabay and other photo sites. Pixabay is not public domain. For anything you use from them or any other photo site, it is part of their TOS that you must attribute and/or provide a backlink to them. 

    HubPages prefers everyone to attribute pictures with a source URL and a photographer's name (if available). But, they never said it had to be a LIVE link.

    HubPages has a limit of 3 URL's from the same site which can be used per hub.  So if you used any one site for 3 photos, you have used up your 3 URL's. You wouldn't be able to insert the same URL link within your hub narrative, text capsules, links capsules, or further reading, etc in addition to your photo capsules,

    The way to get around that is to make as few of the links LIVE as possible. You do this by strategically placing links in Source Name or Description box because neither will light up as a blue (LIVE) link, therefore not counted against you. You will get a notice at the top of your hub that they won't publish it if it has more than 3 URLs to same site and will highlight them to show you where they are. To get published, you have to limit it to the 3 LIVE links per site. 

    So, put URLs in the Source Name box or in Description box - neither will be a LIVE link and won't be counted against you, Any URL that does not light up in "blue" is not a Live link.

    It is in your best interests to always list the site and photographer to avoid being slapped with a copyright infringement notice, or a violation of TOS of another site. I always like to know I'm in the right, before I go up against the big boys fighting TOS or DMCA. lol

    P.S.  I learned the above about URLs from Writer Fox. Anything he tells you in the forums, soak it up. He's a great teacher!


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