Image License Metadata Support with WordPress wpCLink Plugin

IPTC image license metadata for Google Images is now supported by the wpCLink WordPress plugin. The plugin does far more…

IPTC image license metadata for Google Images is now supported by the wpCLink WordPress plugin. Image credits based on creator, credit line, copyright notice fields have been available in Google searches since the autumn of 2018. Licensor URL and web statement of rights will be in beta later part in 2020. When the fields are filled properly Google will place a “Licensable” badge in its image previews. It will also provide links for contact or check-out pages and for license details.

The plugin does far more than filling the five required fields. The metadata also gets registered and tracked, with persistent and content-based identifiers, which remain immutable even if the metadata gets erased from the image. There are over fifty metadata fields embedded in an image, and recorded in the registry automatically when the image gets registered, made licensable, and licensed using licensing tools provided by the CLink platform. Licenses can be requested from the licensor URL, images get delivered directly to the licensee’s site. Meanwhile, the electronic records of the transactions are provided for both the licensor and for the licensee.

CLink licenses are interoperable with the Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS). Over half of the metadata fields written to the image are defined by PLUS.

Users can also rely on their own licenses or licensing tools and enter the licensor URL and web statement of rights through wpCLink. License transactions will not be facilitated by the plugin in this case.

The plugin supports the announced two announced options for the licensor URL. Users can select a generic contact or an image specific page. In the latter case, the check-out page is generated dynamically. Those don’t rely on the pages provided by WordPress media library, which are often redirected to the attached posts or pages to avoid duplicated indexing by search engines. The approach taken by the wpCLink circumvents those potential issues and also allows the use of license specific pages.

The licensed image retains the original licensor URL – and the corresponding contact or check-out page link – both on the image and in the registry records of the corresponding creation and rights. When Google indexes a republished image as licensable the licensor URL will be pointing to the page set on the original image.

Besides the embedded IIM and XMP fields of the image, the licensee’s site receives the metadata also through a secured link. This ensures that the metadata on the licensed image survives even when the image processing engine (e.g. GD) on the WordPress host removes it. The plugin re/writes the metadata after the delivered image is processed.

Images maintain a complete “chain of title” in their lifecycle when tracked through the CLink platform. This capability has been available for HTML posts and pages since the end of 2019.

This year new identifiers systems were implemented to the platform. In addition to Handles, content-based identifiers, named ISCC were added. These identifiers compatible with all media types, and can be generated by free tools, such as web, desktop, and embedded applications. The registry can be searched by ISCC to locate content, related creators, and rightsholders. Furthermore, users now can also add ISNI, ORCID, and PLUS identifiers to their records.

The feature sets of wpCLink are invoked by “one button” operations. Though, “under the hood” of the platform, there are powerful components, including a Digital Object Architecture based registry, and an interoperable identifier and metadata framework of the Linked Content Coalition.

The plugin is free for personal, non-commercial use on one domain. It allows one registration a day, though unlimited during the beta-phase. It is available from the WordPress repository.

The Premium Edition with unlimited creators, bulk upload, Memento compatible archive options are slated for the first quarter of next year. Interested readers can find out more by contacting us at

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