On language, HTML, ethics and crediting copyright images

This is such a fun place!

My need: publish content which includes copyrighted images, where the image terms of use requires me to include credit to the copyright owner.

But I couldn’t find a standard HTML / CSS representation for this concept – associating a credit with an image (or any other resource).

Perhaps, much like language may shape thought, standard HTML have a role in shaping the ethics of the web?

The closest standard I’ve run into is rel=license, as documented by the microformat folks:

<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" rel="license">cc by 2.0</a>


However, as specified in the issues list for rel=license, it is a page-wide mechanism – it does not cover the use case where the license is associated with part of a page, such as an image or embedded object in the page, or a single news entry on a news page.

So unless there is already a standard of common practice for this, I will need to define my own representation for this.

The data needed for this is:

  • The image (or, more generically, the resource)
  • The credit text
  • Optionally, a link as required by the copyright owner

<img name="image1" src="image1.jpg">

<a idref="#image1" href="http://www.gettyimages.com/" rel="attribution">Image copyrighted (c) by Getty Images</a>

If the same copyright message applies to multiple images, idrefs can be used instead of idref.

Any thoughts on this?

If you know of standard representation for this use case that I may have missed, please let me know through a comment.