Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2014


Simplifying reuse with metadata support in ODF and plugin APIs

Reusing images shared with Creative Commons licenses would be much easier if we could use tools that keep track of the attribution and license metadata for the images. This talk shows how this can be done today with a set of plugins to Firefox and LibreOffice/OpenOffice, and what could be done better with improved support in the plugin APIs.

It is common to use images from e.g. Flickr to make a presentation or a document more engaging. Photographers can license their images with one of the Creative Commons licenses to allow this reuse, but they require that you credit the original creator by providing an attribution, preferably with a link to the original image, and the license information. This is typically done in the image caption in a document, or on an attribution slide towards the end of a presentation.

The information required for the credit is sometimes available as machine-readable metadata, e.g. embedded as XMP in the file itself or as RDFa on the source web page. Tools can extract the attribution and license properties from this metadata and automatically insert credits in suitable places. Support for metadata is not very widespread today, but would make it much easier to reuse images by drastically reducing the effort for providing the required attribution.

The plugins and libraries developed by Commons Machinery support using RDFa metadata on copy-paste. When an image is copied from Firefox using the plugin, both the image and the RDF triples are copied to the clipboard. The LibreOffice/OpenOffice plugin pick up the properties together with the image when it is pasted to automatically generate a correct attribution. The talk will explain how this works, and suggest improvements to the plugin APIs and to LibreOffice/OpenOffice to make this metadata even more useful in ODF documents.


Peter Liljenberg