I thought it would be useful to do a short post about Creative Commons, what it is and why I use it.
Creative Commons (CC) allows others to use the photos that I’ve taken without the need to ask permission. It also allows me to place restrictions on how the photos are used, should I wish to do so. The only requirement that applies to all of the variations of the CC licence is that attribution is given. That is, if you use my photos then you must credit me.
By default I share my photos under the “Attribution-ShareAlike” variation. This means that not only can you reuse my photos as they are, but that you are free to use them as a basis for other works – so long as you then share that work under the same licence.
I have considered the use of more restrictive licences (and occasionally need to use such) but this version has been pretty much problem free since February 2009 when I started using it.
Why do you even bother sharing your photos? It’s effort right?
To my mind there is little/no point in taking photos if they don’t get seen. I’m old enough to remember when photographs were printed on paper. I have a large collection of them. They’re in the Boots cardboard folders, in a box, under the stairs. Sad!
Why don’t you charge for them and become rich?!
Because as soon as you get paid for something it becomes a job. You have to deliver something of value in exchange for the money that you get paid. I enjoy photography as a hobby.
What are the rewards for the effort involved?
First, I get into places for free! I used to attend ThinkVisibility for free because I took photos at the first one. I now get to watch loads of roller derby for free, and stand in the middle of the track whilst doing so. It’s great! (When I say ‘free’ here I mean that there is no exchange of money in either direction. I don’t buy a ticket to get in, but I don’t get paid for the hours of work sorting through, tagging and titling photos.)
Second, if people are happy with the photos I’ve taken then they use them. People generally don’t like having their photo taken. It’s such a compliment when someone chooses to use one of my photos as their profile picture on Facebook.
Third, as people like/share my photos then I get a reputation and a portfolio and so I get to take more photos.
Do you have a preference for attribution?
The best way that people can give credit is to link back to the photo on Flickr. When people follow that link they will discover other photos. Flickr provides statistics on the number of views. It’s satisfying to see a peak following an event: