Copyrighted images with wrong licenses showing up in searches filtered by CC License

Platform: Web

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Replicated in Chromium 80.0.3987.100, Firefox 73.0, Chrome 80.0.3987.100.

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: Search pages filtered by license, e.g.:

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/49883-Betula-papyrifera/browse_photos?photo_license=cc0

Description of problem:

Images with the wrong license are showing up in the search. For example, the page above returned a search containing this image:

https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/30899473

and numerous other ones. In this case, that one has a CC BY-NC license, but I had searched for public domain (CC0) license. These licenses are not in any sense interchangeable as CC BY-NC has far more restrictions on the image’s use.

I use this feature frequently to locate reusable (i.e. open-licensed) images.

This is concerning to me though because it could give people the wrong impression that the images are licensed with a particular license, such as public domain, when they are not and this could lead to people unintentionally committing copyright violations.

Has anyone else encountered this? Until this is fixed I would caution people to make sure to actually check the copyright notice manually on any image before using it, because it merely showing up in a filtered search is apparently not a safe guarantee that it is licensed using that license.

Here are two screenshots:

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FWIW, the observation this photo is used in is CC0. So I suspect photo_license is looking in the wrong place?

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Ahh, this makes sense, great observation…hopefully this will make this very easy to fix, I bet they’re probably just pulling the field from the observation and not the photo, in the search, and it probably hasn’t come up very often because it’s probably pretty infrequent that users specify different licenses for the observations vs. the photos.

Made an issue here: https://github.com/inaturalist/inaturalist/issues/2592

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