[open-science] Annotating Open Images with licence and authorship to prevent copyfraud

Song, Stephen stephen.song at gmail.com
Tue Aug 6 13:13:59 UTC 2013

Hi Peter,

On 6 August 2013 08:06, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> This is a suggestion for a very simple but effective tool/service to
> address copyfraud (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud) in images
> (especially, but not specifically, in STEM). I and others (e.g. Wikimedia)
> have suffered from having  CC-BY images "copyrighted" by a third party (
> http://blogs.ch.cam.ac.uk/pmr/2012/06/13/springergate-springer-replies/and earlier). If the images were indelibly stamped with licences and
> authorship copyfraud would be very much harder. I suspect this would also
> be welcomed by authors themsleves as it promotes their authorship.
> At hack4ac http://hack4ac.com/ I suggested a simple project/service to
> add Open licence and author information into images. This was later entered
> as a developer challenge at repository Fringe (
> http://rfringe13.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2013/08/04/developer-challenge-the-results/). Independently Chris Gutteridge took the idea and created an ePrints
> plugin (and did it better than my code!) - our teams both won prizes. I
> also talked with Open publishers including Mark Hahnel (Figshare) and Brian
> Hole and they were interested in seeing the idea developed further,
> possibly including implementing it.
> Neither ChrisG or our team (Cesare Bellini and me) are going to take this
> further ourselves but the response was sufficiently positive to see if
> OKFNers are interested in seeing it happen.
> The actual code is very simple (it took me about 10 lines of Java, Chris
> used ImageMagick I think). It writes a licence (e.g. "CC-BY") and
> optionally an authorname into the pixels of the image (either overwriting a
> small area or transparency/blending). Options would include writing at a
> chosen corner / side or adding a small border (which wouldn't affect the
> image but would be easier to remove by cropping).
> A tool could be used at many places:
> * in the software that was used to create the image (e.g. ImageJ - a FLOSS
> image manipulation tool for science)
> * when the image was uploaded to a repository. Especially when done before
> sending images to a publisher
> * added by publishers who promote the value of Open licences
> * retrospective addition to Open images (e.g. on CC-BY publishers sites or
> Wikimedia). This would require the host to cooperate
> I don't know whether this is in scope for
> http://www.meetup.com/OpenKnowledgeFoundation/London-GB/998522/ tonight's
> Open Data maker session - I shall be there.

Worth having a look at Jonas Öberg's efforts in this direction at

Cheers... Steve

> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069
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Steve Song
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