A change in Creative Commons license for my photos

Published on 24 August 2011 in , , ,

I recently made a small but significant change over on flickr. I changed my Creative Commons licenses on all my photos.

I’ve been a big fan of the concept of Creative Commons and whilst I haven’t used it for any of my writing (with the exception of anything published on Transdiffusion where we use it for most of our articles) I’ve always made made my photos available under Creative Commons.

As well as that I’ve been a big user of Creative Commons photos on this blog, using the photographs of others to liven the place up. It’s great. People can use my photographs; I can use theirs. Brilliant.

So what have I changed on my own?

When I first started using flickr in 2005 I decided on the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-a-like license. This licence means that someone using my photos needs to credit me, not use it in a commercial setting and if they use my work in their own and they want to distribute it, they have to use a similar license.

Crediting is simple enough – I think when you use someone else’s work, you should credit them.

The share-a-like bit is simple enough too. If someone has been nice and let you do stuff with their work, I think it’s a bit mean spirited not to allow someone else to do the same with your work.

And the commercial bit? Well I didn’t like the idea of people essentially making money off my work and me not getting anything.

It’s the commercial usage that I’ve decided to change my mind on. From now on all my photographs can be used in a commercial setting, as long as the other conditions are adhered to.

Why the change? Well basically cos no one’s ever offered me money for my photos. A few people have asked me to allow usage for free (cheeky gets!) but never money. So I’m not exactly denying myself an income stream here.

In contrast I like it when people use my photos. It’s nice! This is why I always try to leave a note on someone’s flickr page when I use someone else’s photos – it’s nice! And if I allow commercial organisations the ability to use my photos, more people may use them meaning I can get a nice glowing feeling from seeing them in strange and different places.

True it means that commercial organisations get free access to my hoards of scenic landscapes, as well as true photographic classics such as Mr Bendy Legs and Pretentious Attempt At Art #2, thus potentially denying proper photographers the ability to make money, but frankly they’re doing that anyway. Although whether there’s much demand for cool sunsets, well that’ll just have to be seen…

Sunset through some trees