#8 Used Someone’s Work Be Nice Link Back

#8: Used Someone’s Work? Be Nice, Link Back

The internet is about links. I mention my friend’s work in a post and link to his website, while he links to my Youtube video; we engage in mass linking. 😀

You don’t really need permission to link to another blog or website in your content.

Why, because it sends traffic to them. Likewise, if someone links to you, it might send traffic your way. In fact, you’ll know it because most blogs have trackbacks.

It’s essentially an "acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is sent via a network signal (ping) from the originating site to the receiving site. The receptor often publishes a link back to the originator indicating its worthiness"

From Wikipedia

But you do need permission when you use other people’s content such as images, copy, and video (most folk are happy for you to embed their YouTube video; it’s remixing the video that’s tricky).

So what to do?

Ask for Permission!

Sounds obvious, but not everyone does it.

Most people would give permission to use their images, videos or whatever. Just be upfront about what you want to use it for it, and always tell them that you’ll credit them (see below)


Use Stuff Licensed Under Creative Commons

Some background: Creative Commons is a set of licenses that let us create online content whilst giving credit to the content creators. There are six types of licenses that folks can use. Some licenses are more restrictive than others – just be aware of the content’s license before you use it.

#8 Used Someone’s Work Be Nice Link Back - Use Stuff Licensed Under Creative Commons

Screenshot of Creative Commons Search

Photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and Picassa have search options where you can look for Creative Commons Licensed images.

For other forms of media, the Creative Commons Search is a handy search tool that “offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations.”

Oh yes, don’t set an image using someone else’s URL. It imposes extra load on their server and that’s bad form.


Don’t Copy Wholesale, Quote Instead

Writers hate it when others use their work wholesale. And it doesn’t speak much of the user’s integrity either. What you can do is to quote them.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Use block quotes
  • Rewrite the quote but keep its meaning

Artworks and images are tricky. It’s hard to quote an artwork. Your best bet is to ask them for permission.


Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Link back to the creator’s site or source. Acknowledge them with a credit line (e.g. photos courtesy of XYZ or see below). If possible, leave a comment at the original source thanking them for their help. I know that they’ll be thrilled to receive comments, and it’s only good manners to send traffic their way.

When it’s published, always send them a link to your content. It doesn’t cost anything except a few minutes to write and send that email. After all, they might link to you and send traffic your way.


A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips

Tip categories: Create, Source, The Truth, Spread & Be Nice.
Got an idea, opinion or critique?
Please share it with me @skybe077.


Credits: Featured image from rubybgold
Other images from screenshot

2 thoughts on “#8: Used Someone’s Work? Be Nice, Link Back

  1. That was really enlightening! thanks for all the useful tips..i want to get content and photos with permission to avoid copyright issues, i just don’t know what are the unspoken rules or spoken rules..

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