Where's my picture?
Did you upload an author or venue photo but a short time later find that it was no longer on LibraryThing? Where did your photo go? This page seeks to explain where it went and why.
The picture most likely was flagged and quarantined. If four people flag a picture, it's removed from quarantine and LibraryThing altogether. Why would someone flag the picture? Well, there's a number of reasons. The first thing to do is to check the quarantine page and see if the image is still there. (NOTE: you can only access the Quarantine Page if you are a paid member.) If so, there's still time to fix it. If not, you'll need to check the possible reasons below and re-upload the photo after correcting the problems.
Many of the flaggers will attempt to leave a private message for you via your profile page if they flag a picture of yours. However, the volume of incorrectly uploaded photos often means that individual messages are not feasible. If you have messages turned off, then you have closed off the only avenue to inform you directly.
It's also possible to ask about your image in the author images group.
If you think your photo has been flagged illegitimately, start a discussion topic in the author images group. Explain why the flags are wrong. Picture flagging is a volunteer activity on the part of flaggers. The penalty for copyright violations is $100,000 per violation, so flagging is frequently done on a "better safe than sorry" basis. But if flaggers are wrong, they will remove their own flags if shown more information or a solid rationale.
 Reasons for quarantining
 Duplicate photo
If the same author has two substantially similar images uploaded, one of them is likely to be flagged, most likely the later-added. Having three copies of the same image is annoying. So is having an image cropped four different ways, or in both color and black and white.
 Sexually explicit
No boobs or genitals.
 Not an author image
Generally, author images should be pictures or artwork depicting the author so that LibraryThing users can recognize the author. For an institutional author, images may be of the institution's facilities, staff, logos, or other symbols representative of the author.
Book covers belong on the page associated with the book, not the author. Promotional flyers (such as for book signings) are also inappropriate. Drawings or photographs by or significant to the author and not of the author do not belong on the author page.
 Not a venue image
When uploading an image of a venue (bookstore, library, etc.) the image should be of the exterior, interior, logo (if permission has been granted to use it), or something else designed to help LibraryThing users identify or recognize the venue. If an image does not help to identify the venue, it should not be a venue image.
 Image isn't the right person
Make sure it's an image of the right person before uploading. Tito Schipa Jr. and Tito Schipa Sr. are not the same person, for instance. The famous tenor wrote no books listed on LibraryThing, while his son did. Image searches will generally bring up photos of the elder.
There is a special case however. LibraryThing cannot currently distinguish between authors with the same name. Books from all authors with that name will show up on the same page. In that case, images from any of those authors are appropriate.
 Trademarked logos
LibraryThing needs permission to use trademarked logos.
 Incorrect attribution
Generally speaking, the "Credit" field should list the photographer and/or copyright holder. Unless the copyright holder specifically requests something else, putting anything else in this field is likely to get the picture flagged. For instance, attributing a photo to "Wikipedia" or to "Flickr". Neither web site takes its own photos.
For images where the photographer is a pseudonymous account, identify the service as well as the account. Make sure to determine which account is the actual rights holder. Sometimes Wikipedia will host an image originally from Flickr or another source. In this case, the Wikipedia account is generally not the person that should receive credit. Please credit the original source.
If there are multiple people shown in a photo, the credit field can also name the identifiable people or at least which one is the author.
Some copyright holders have very specific instructions for the credit field.
Proper credit generally looks like the following:
- Joe Barfield
- Joe Tennyson / Tennyson Photo Agency
- Courtesy of Foo Agency
- Isaac Asimov and President Barack Obama (photo by Joe Barfield)
- Flickr user joebob
- Wikimedia user jaqen
 Images/photos you took/own
If you took the photo yourself, or are the copyright holder or represent the copyright holder, you must so indicate in the Copyright field when uploading. Do not assume the fact that you are the photographer or copyright holder is obvious. State that you are such and explicitly give permission for the image to be displayed on LibraryThing.
In particular, many times someone creates an account with the same name as an author for the purpose of uploading images of that author. That someone may be the author. Or that someone may just be a fan. Without identifying information attached to the account (such as LibraryThing Author status) which clearly corroborates the account's identity, the image will be flagged. Picture flaggers would appreciate if such uploaders could clearly state they have own the rights to the photo, rather than making them guess.
- I took this image and give permission to LT to display the photo.
- I work for the publisher and give permission to LT to display the photo.
- I am a P.R. rep for the author and give permission to LT to display the image.
- I am the author and I give permission to LT to display the image.
 Copyrighted images
You must obtain explicit permission from the copyright holder to upload a photo. Email a copy of that permission to email@example.com. Indicate that you have done so in the Copyright field.
- Permission received from X and forwarded to Abby.
- Permission received from Y dated MM/DD/YY, on file with LibraryThing.
- (1) Permission for LT use granted by author. (2) Email forwarded to Abby.
 Fair use
While Wikipedia and other sources will use images under fair use exceptions to copyright law, LibraryThing will not. Do not put "Fair use" in the copyright field. Get permission.
 Public domain images
Images on the web are not public domain just because they are on a web site somewhere. Under U. S. law, an image is public domain if it was created pre-1889, published pre-1923, created by the federal government or an employee thereof in the course of his employment, or has been explicitly released to the public domain by the copyright owner. Those are the major categories. For a full list, see Cornell's breakdown of public domain categories.
If the image was created pre-1889, you must document in the copyright field the year of creation and credit in the credit field the artist/photographer. In some cases the artist name has been lost in time or the exact year is not known. Documentation (usually in the form of a link to a stable trusted web site) for this information must be provided.
- Painting created ca. 1400
- Daguerrotype taken 1881
If the image was published pre-1923, you need to document in the copyright field the year of publication and the name of the publication.
- Published in Science Magazine March 1914.
- Published in The Lives of Moles by Ringo Starr, Scribner's Sons, 1915.
If the U.S. federal government created the image, document the agency and year created. A link to the source to verify will help. Please note that some images appearing on government web site can be copyrighted. This happens when the government uses an image copyrighted by someone else (for instance, under contract with the government).
- NASA image taken 1995. http://nasa.gov/article
- Official U.S. Dept. of Justice photo. http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/ls/agbiographies.htm#ashcroft
If the image has been released to the public domain by the photographer, documentation in the form of a link to a stable trusted web site showing that release is required.
 Public license images
Photographers sometimes release images under public licenses such as the GFDL or Creative Commons licenses. Such licenses are allowable. But they must be documented in the Copyright field along with a link to a stable trusted web site that shows the release. A link to the Flickr photo page that shows the photo and the license, for instance. Particularly pay attention to giving proper credit when using public licensed images. Most such licenses require attribution, and the copyright holder may require attribution to be in a specific form (such as including his/her URL).
- GFDL. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Sherman_Alexie.jpg
- Creative Commons By 2.0 Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacs_shots/3094038042/
When uploading a Flickr image, the ImageStamper service can provide a third-party record of the Creative Commons license at the time of uploading.
 Unhelpful Links
When you are relying on a statement made on a website, for example, a public domain release or a licensing statement, you must link to a page that ties the picture with that statement. A link to the picture on an otherwise blank page does not suffice.
An example of what not to do:
In this example, the person linked to the image itself. Flaggers cannot check to see that the image is actually licensed under the GFDL.
 Bad links
While links to to original sources of images are required, it's best to copy the relevant information into the Copyright and Credit fields. Simply writing "Information available at http..." is a bad idea. If the web site goes away, LT no longer has documentation of the source or permission. Images with bad links may be flagged and removed at any time if permission is not included in the Copyright field itself.
 Creative Commons NonCommercial licenses
LibraryThing is a commercial site and does not use images that are licensed NonCommercially. These images will be flagged and removed.
 Wikipedia images
While Wikipedia is an excellent source of images available for general use, frequently people who upload images to Wikipedia do not verify that images are truly rights-free. Because of this, picture flaggers pay extra attention to images sourced to Wikipedia. Do not assume that what is written on Wikipedia is true. Re-verify.
 Images from selected web sites
Do not use images from fantasticfiction.co.uk, nndb.com or similar sites. These web site do not care whether they have permission to use images. LibraryThing does.
 No Image
Sometimes an upload fails due to an error on the uploader's part, or due to LibraryThing flakiness. GIF, BMP (bitmap), and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files can't be uploaded but don't always show an error. This will result in nothing being shown, or a black square being shown. You can delete these by looking for a little 'X' in the lower right hand corner (if you were the uploader). Flaggers will flag these "images".
 Default images
If you are looking at images on the recent photos page that need to be flagged, please click through to the associated author image page and set another image as the default image prior to flagging an image. Due to a bug in LibraryThing, some pages will continue to attempt to show the flagged image.