Like many librarians I often turn to Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr for use in my presentations and blog posts. Flickr makes it incredibly easy to search for photos with a Creative Commons license. Unfortunately it also makes it ridiculously easy for users to change the license on all their photos at any time with the click of a button. There is no way to prove the license at the time of use. I have been slowly weaning myself away from Flickr photos instead taking my own or sometimes paying for them. Although I have never heard of what happened to me this weekend happening to anyone else I think I’m going to push harder with that move.
On Saturday I received this message through my Facebook fan page. I am removing identifying info from the message as the purpose of this post is to be informative not inspire a witch hunt.
The photo of the man holding an iPhone you are using at [redacted] is not authorized for your use. It is a copyrighted photo by me and I am requesting that it be removed. Thank you for your attention to this matter. My orignal photo is here: [redacted]
I was a bit taken aback by this for several reasons. First, I only use CC licenses photos. Second, the sender does not indicate that he changed his license but rather implies I violated his current one which is strict copyright. Third, unfortunately though I know I only use CC photos I have no way to prove that it was CC when I used it. Flickr keeps no record and I can’t imagine how I could possibly keep records myself. Fourth, the slideshow in question is over 3 years old.
So I responded:
thank you for letting me know you’ve changed the Creative Commons license permissions for your photo. This is an incredibly popular and important presentation for librarians is there any chance you would be willing to let me keep it in old presentations archived around the web? Of course I won’t use it going forward.
To which he responded:
My previous Creative Commons licensing did not include commercial use of
the photo. It would appear that your site is commercial in nature. Although
this presentation does appear to be made available for no charge.
As long as the slide show is free I am ok with my photo being used.
Ok, at least here he is admitting he did change his license. However this response also confused me because I would never consider this blog commercial. I don’t even have ads, though I have considered them. The donate button doesn’t even bring in enough to cover the cost of hosting the site.
You know I’ve never had anyone say that my site is commercial in nature. I am a librarian and write the blog for free. I don’t even have ads I have a donate button which I assure you does not even cover the cost of hosting the site every year.
The slide show in which I used your photo is freely available on Slideshare and YouTube at no cost to anyone who wants to view.
Again thank you for letting me know you changed your license and thank you for permission to continue using the photo.
I haven’t heard back so I’m considering the matter settled. I am however concerned about this type behavior.
I’m not entirely sure what happened here. I think perhaps the default setting on Flickr is a Creative Commons license. I respect the right of anyone to change their license at any time. I am not sure they can apply that change retroactively though. I am confused by his efforts to track down a three year old slideshow. I am confused why he chose to contact me through my Facebook page rather than my email which is listed on the site. I am confused about the perception that this site is commercial. Since he freely discovered the slideshow and video is is pretty clear that the slideshow is available for free, so I’m confused about that bit as well.
I think people may not understand what they are agreeing to when they upload photos to Flickr. I may start just searching for photos licensed to use commercially in presentations (although I still do not think my presentations qualify as commercial use). It was suggested on Facebook when I posted about this there that I claim fair use. I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable with that option. While I don’t want to be bullied neither do I want explicitly ignore the wishes of the photographer. And I certainly can’t afford a lawyer.
Flickr and the Creative Commons license are a wonderful combination just as long as both parties fully understand what they are getting into. Maybe this is just a fluke. Has anything like this happened to anyone else?
Edited 3:40 Central Time January 27, 2012
Well this may clear up some confusion. Apparently he thinks Slideshare.net is MY website. See correspondence below.
Your site is commercial because you offer a “pro” version for a fee. How is that NOT commercial? Not to say “commercial” = “profitable” but if you charge money for your services, that’s commercial and puts you in violation of creative commons licensing which prohibits commercial use. You may offer free slideshows, but this is in support of the commercial enterprise.
At first I was like – Pro version? What the heck? Then I started looking around my site and finally remembered that slideshare does offer a pro version. Ah ah! He thinks that I am somehow affliated with Slideshare. Oh my. My response
I think you are confused. Slideshare.net is not my website I am not affiliated with it in any way other than as a user. Slideshare it is a service that allows people to upload their slideshows for free. (yes they have a pro version but I don’t pay for it so I don’t know what that entails.) Think of Slideshare as YouTube for presentations. It allows users to upload and share, for free, their presentations. I am one such person. I am a user of Slideshare just like I am a user of Facebook. Just like you. I am not affiliated with Slideshare in any way. Just like I am not affiliated with Facebook in anyway yet use the site and service.
Hope that helps clear up the confusion.
Thank you again
Hopefully this helps him understand Slideshare. Though perhaps I should have used Flickr as the comparison as he uses it and it also offers a Pro version.
73 thoughts on “The Danger of Using Creative Commons Flickr Photos in Presentations”
Thanks for the informative message. The default setting is not CC licence on Flickr, so for the original posting of the picture, the uploader must have specifically chosen the CC licence. Indeed retroactively changing your licence seems impossible, but the burden of prove would be on the side of the user. May be in the Flickr logfiles the change could be traced.
Similar discussion – with useful comment on Flickr groups is here:
Thanks for correcting me its been so long since I created my account I can’t remember the default. That does make more sense.
I used @cogdog’s attribution tool for Flickr http://darcymoore.net/2011/04/22/flickr-cc-attribution-and-other-online-helpers/ and am not certain what happens if someone changes their license. The code, to copy and paste to the blog post, only appears in the Firefox or Chrome via Greasemonkey tool if the license is one that permits sharing. I have many CC licensed images at my blog but increasing try to use my own photographs wherever possible (which are all available for sharing): http://www.flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/
Default license on Flickr is All rights reserved. It is quite easy to change the license on a photo on Flickr; whether it is legally binding after the fact is a matter for the courts. As you said, proving the license at the time you used it is next to impossible. Perhaps a screen shot of the page including the license at the time you use it but that seems like a lot of trouble.
I have not had this problem but then more people use my photos than I use others. I do use quite a few for desktop backgrounds but considering no one but me really ever sees them I consider that fair use. I also keep a copy of the link in with the image [via Finder on Macs] so I know where and from whom I got it if the need ever arises.
I think you’re right trying to take (and organize) screenshots of all the photos I use would be way too much work. I do put at link to the photos in the slides
Yeah Flickr doesn’t apply Creative Commons by default.
Have you looked at some technical metadata of the images, there might be some information regarding immaterial property rights (IPR) and timestamps in the EXIF metadata?
It is worth noting that CC licenses are not revocable.
Thanks Fi. Though it would still fall on the user to prove the license at the time of use and that is more complicated
Thanks for your enlightening blogpost. I use CC photos of Flickr often for my library and Toastmasters. However, I have annotated on the photo with flick account information rather than a separate slide with credits. Do you think it would make it clearer for folks that I am attributed the rightful use of owner of the photo? I would love your opinion. Thanks!
Over the years I have done both – a link on the slide and a final slide with credits. I’m not sure which is better or clearer to the audience. I think of them of two different forms of attribution – sort of like end notes vs. footnotes just a different style
As to whether CC-licenses are revocable or not would require a test case in court. I do appreciate that Creative Commons tries to spell this all out in advance–but who reads licenses?–but the final word would have to come from a court. As I am sure you are aware, Bobbi, recently the Supreme Court took some materials out of the public domain and gave the copyrights back to the former owners. If THAT can happen then I have no doubt that the intention of the Creative Commons could be overturned by a court.
I had meant to mention earlier in regards to whether your site is commercial or not is a highly contested one within the CC-NC community. You have amazon (I assume affiliate) links which means you do generate money from your site. Now, I doubt that adds up to much as I imagine your donation button probably doesn’t even cover your hosting and such. But to some in the community that is all quite irrelevant. There was a big brouhaha over this a couple years back and CC did a fairly in-depth survey and study of the various clauses around their licenses, but most importantly what people consider non-commercial to include and not include. The spread on that is as diverse as any can be, which is why nowadays many folks who support CC-licensing say to never use NC licenses.
Im my opinion your site and your presentations are non-commercial. But others can easily, as could I, make the opposite argument. Just something to be aware of around CC NC licenses.
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Excellent points Mark.
I remember part of that commercial/non-commercial discussion. One example given was that of an indie art film festival that refused films released under an NC license. The film makers were puzzled by this, because they saw the festival as pretty much the antithesis of a commercial festival, but the organiser – the person paying all the bills – knew how much money was going in and out. He saw his venture as decidedly commercial, even if it did not give that impression on the outside.
In fact, giving the impression that you are not in it for the money can be quite effective if you are marketing to people outside the mainstream.
Three things I want to comment on:
1) Commercial and non-commercial are very difficult to determine. As such, I make a point of never using photos that have a non-commercial license. Too much hassle. (I also now do not use photos with a share-alike provision. Same reason, too much hassle.)
2) People don’t read the Creative Commons licenses. That includes people who are offering their photos (and other material) for use, and people who are using the photos (etc.). That’s a massive problem because in many cases neither side really knows their obligations or what has been agreed to.
E.g. every CC license has attribution as a requirement. Yet I often find photos that don’t specify how the photo should be attributed. If it’s on Flickr I would then link to the photo page and mention the user name (and/or real name) of the person. Quite often though, I see bloggers and others who just say “from Flickr” or similar.
E.g. Every CC license (iirc) requires that you link to the license text (or to include the full text). Guess how many times people don’t do that…
Umm, Bobbie, you don’t appear to be following the license for the image on this page… ^_^
3) Assuming you did take the trouble to record that the particular license applied to a particular photo at a particular time (via, e.g. screenshots), I doubt that a court would overturn that license. Even if the person who licensed the image originally didn’t realise that it wasn’t meant to be revocable.
This is a great post!! I really like your longer term more viable solution being to build your own library. I often get asked about the images I use in my presentations, especially since I do not list any references, and I proudly share that ALL the images are mine. It takes time to build a reasonable library, but the journey and creativity is part of the fun. This is also why I encourage folks to do a Project 365, which by nature will help you build a library of stock images. The other item I’d like to share is that unless a Copyrighted image has been registered with the US Copyright office, the author/photographer will not have much legal ground to stand on. Simply putting that little C watermark on an image is not enough. I do take the time each year to register large blocks of my images with the US copyright office.
There’s a really simple solution to this dilemma – Imagestamper http://s1.imagestamper.com/login.jsp
With one click on a toolbar button you can record the CC details including date, licence version and timestamps when you accessed the image on Flickr http://goo.gl/sOjqu
Hope that helps. Theo
Thank you for the suggestion Theo very helpful!
There are 2 options that could have been used here to keep a record of the licence at the time of usage. Firstly I use a service called Xpert from the university of Nottingham, which attaches the licence to the image in a black bar at bottom of image.
Secondly if I have found an image via Flickr, then I use a website called imagestamper which records the licence for each image I use at the point in time that I have used it.
Thank you for the suggestions Dave
This is indeed an issue with images and other ‘shareable’ information, not just from Flikr. If the image you use has been imported to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia you will find a certification of the licence and the date it applied, which you should be able to rely on.
On the commercial/non-commercial issue, the issue is not so much whether you’re directly trying to make a profit from use of the image, as whether the use is directly or indirectly used in connection with a business or profession, or money-raising activities. I don’t know enough about your situation and blog, but if you were a professional librarian, and the presentation that the image was used in was in some way (even if indirectly) promoting your professional activities (typically with a blog, raising profile within the industry), or used to promote the library, then that would clearly be commercial use, and CC licences would not cover you.
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Simon’s opinion here is profoundly uninformed. Bobbi’s use of the image is well within the sphere of non-commercial use. For example, most libraries have educational public purposes, and their promotion would be inherently non-commercial. Her blog posts similarly have an non-profit, educational purpose. Also, most affiliate links generate revenue that is de minimus, and thus do not affect the determination of NC-ness. I am not a lawyer, so do not rely on my opinion, but I’ve hired expensive ones, and I know this shit.
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You may not be a lawyer – but I am.
I am not passing judgement on whether the blogger’s use of the image in this particular case is commercial on non-commercial, as I already said, I don’t know enough about Bobbi’s background, and I haven’t followed the blog etc. to know about the use made of the image.
What I am saying is that, if one is making a living from a profession – such as a librarian – and the image is used in the context of one’s profession as such, for example a professional blog, then the use would be commercial. It doesn’t really matter what your profession is – banker, lawyer, teacher, artist, librarian, photographer – if the blog is part of promoting your position in that profession i.e.. a form of marketing, and you make your living from it, then it’s commercial.
Is there case law to cite, or is that just language a lawyer would use to intimidate a litigation target?
“is that just language a lawyer would use to intimidate a litigation target?”
There is no litigation target – you seem to be implying that I’m preparing a case against someone here. There is no skin off my nose if people abuse copyright. Quite the contrary, I just made a few hundred dollars because a musician used one of my images on his blog without permission. That’s fine by me. But I think people should be aware of the risks and have fair warning.
There is a fair (brief) summary of when a use is non-commercial here: http://www.thehelpful.com/creativecommons/what-is-commercial-use.html. That is a pro-CC article, so not trying to scare anyone, rather trying to encourage their use.
If you use images to further your profession (and I believe being a librarian is a profession, assuming one is drawing a salary and not doing it as an amateur) that is clearly commercial.
The Creative Commons organisation themselves are frustratingly vague about their own definition of “non-commercial”, but they commissioned a survey about it to catch a range of opinions from both users and licensors of how they would view the meaning of it in practise. It’s not only a legal issue, this ties in with public perception, both among users and licensors, and for that matter the legal definition of ‘commercial’ is going to be strongly influenced by the way the term is understood in practise:-
Click to access Defining_Noncommercial_fullreport.pdf
Read from p.57 onwards (use by an individual). A “professional, does not make money from use” is firmly in the “commercial” use, according to both users and licensors:-
“For example, if the individual in question is… a professional using the work in her/his professional context, users rate the use as strongly commercial. However, if users know the professional makes no money from the use, then the rating is significantly lower, though still more commercial than noncommercial.”
Likewise, us by a not-for-profit organisation such as a state run library is still seen as strongly commercial by both users and creators:
“In this exercise both creators and users regard use by the government or a state run entity as commercial (ratings of 64.4 and 74.3, respectively), with only a few respondents in each group rating such use as “definitely” noncommercial (4% of creators, 9% of users).”
So, according to Creative Commons own survey – use by an individual on a professional blog = commercial.
Use by a state run entity for a charitable purpose or social good = still commercial. The latter only starts to drop into ‘non-commercial’ if it’s a private not-for-profit for charitable purposes, even then only just, maybe.
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Simon, if you are in fact a lawyer and are intending to provide legal advice, please follow up with with your full name and who you practice with (the name of the firm, their location and contact details).
Posting under a random first name and claiming to be a “lawyer” is really not professional. If you are in fact a lawyer, you should have no problem standing behind your words and letting us know who you are and who you work for so that we can then confirm your advice.
I didn’t post my biography here because there’s no need for it. However, if you want it, there’s a brief biography of me here: http://www.epuk.org/Opinion/994/stolen-photographs-what-to-do
The confusion around Slideshare is interesting. Did the original CC licence permit you to upload the photo to a commercial third party service, even just as part of your presentation? After all, Slideshare still make money from people using the site for free by advertising against uploaded content. Would that rule out using Slideshare for presentations containing non-commercial CC photos? It might do, I’ve no idea.
I tend to follow Michael’s first point – stick to photos with a commercial licence (or do what you suggest and use your own photos). Even for things I put on my personal (industry-focussed) website, I’m open to the inference that I’m advertising myself for paid training/consultancy/speaking gigs.
Since I discovered the photo on Flickr which is a third party service that is commercial and offers similar pro version to Slideshare I would think posting to Slideshare would fall under share-a-like
The CC licences allow passing on of the image or whatever under the same conditions you are licenced to receive it (generally everyone is licenced to receive it) and use it, with the same conditions applied onward.
This is intrinsic to their purpose.
While it may be a PITA, checking the EXIF tags for copyright information or lack thereof can provide you additional information or clues. If someone has embedded their licencing information in the image metadata you can be assured they’ve given the matter some thought.
And use imagestamper if the exif data is silent on this point.
I thought I might explain a bit further why non-commercial CC licences wouldn’t permit use on a blog linked to professional activity. It’s a common misconception that ‘if I’m not making money from the image then it’s not commercial use’.
Most of what we might think of as archetypal commercial use of images is typically in the form of profile-raising rather than directly making money from the image (unless you happen to be in the business of selling images like a stock library). A large billboard for Hershey bars above the freeway, or a TV commercial, don’t directly make money for Hershey, there is no ‘click-through’ sales button next to the commercial – they are intended to raise the profile of the Hershey brand in people’s minds. It’s a very indirect form of commercial use – but a photo blown up on a billboard is clearly being used commercially.
A professional blog is similar – it’s a kind of advert or profile-raising exercise for the person’s professional life, from which they earn a living. Just like a TV commercial. A profession is a business. Whether or not there is any direct profit made from e.g. running a blog doesn’t matter.
It’s why the Creative Commons license doesn’t define ‘commercial’ as ‘making money from’ or similar, it defines it as “directed towards commercial advantage or private monetary compensation”:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/legalcode (see clause 4b)
The words ‘commercial advantage’ are used precisely because most advertising is aimed at profile-raising for a business/profession.
BTW, there was a comment above to the effect that, for an image which is not registered “the author/photographer will not have much legal ground to stand on”. This is misleading – while it’s true that the procedure for claiming damages is different for a registered image and that the owner is likely to be able to claim more substantial statutory damages, non-registered images are also protected by copyright law (and whether or not they have a copyright symbol on or near them), and open the user to damages for unauthorised use.
You might find the Ganfyd Licence, which is intended to allow any registered medical practitioner (doctor) to copy, display, disseminate, _and edit_ the collaborative textbook material on http://ganfyd.org
We obviously used CC as a model, although it is _not_ a CC licence.
Our intention was not aimed at commercial or not, but at assurance that anyone who edits the material is qualified to a particular level. I rather think there is scope for other professions to generate a family of such licences.
It strikes me as ridiculous for anyone who posts pictures on the internet,including news agencies,to think that those pictures will not be copied and used in many different ways, with or without attribution. So what is it with all of this licensing business which is spreading to all manner of things like a wild fire on a windy day?
Will the “it’s mine” mind set even spread to the an attempt to copy right ideas? It has, but not seriously as a legal or financial issue.
Imagine two kids in grade school. Fairly close in time they spot a counterfeit bill on the pavement. The kid who gets there first. “it’s mine.” The second kid, “I saw it first.” Who wins? Who loses?
Turns out the bill was printed on a copy machine. Answer: Eliminate copy rights on ALL digital images. The internet is a Commons of Information. Let’s not legislate it to death.
At the risk of stating the obvious, without copyright the internet couldn’t function – not effectively at any rate. Corporations and individuals can’t share content unless they know they have a reasonable amount of control over how content is distributed. If we all had he right to copy and mirrow the CNN’s website however we wamted, then CNN wouldn’t be able to post content. If my clients could use digital files however they wished without a licence, then I couldn’t give them digital files. If I could use your family photos from Facebook to do whatever I wanted with them, that would make sharing family photos on Facebook difficult.
The BBC has a wonderful programme of documentaries, films, dramas available online, if the internet were a copyrit free zone, these simply couldn’t be offered. You wouldn’t be able to watch films through subscription services. The internet would be pretty much dead.
As I say, apologies for stating what ought to be the blindingly obvious, but it seems to get forgotten too often.
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apols for typos – can’t get the hang of the ipad keyboard
As always, dear Bobbi, you bring stuff out that I’ve never thought of!
Imagine revoking a CC lic – ohmyword! [clutches pearls] perish the thought!
But srsly, if you’re weaning yourself off Flickr CC what are you using as an alternative for those of us who strive to make our presos on Slideshare (!) graphically delicious!?
I mean, I’ve splurged for iStock photos before but Flickr CC is my bread and butter source! Oh and I do pay for the educators PRO version of Slideshare & am very happy with it. Customized profile page & bigger uploads! Yum!
The Daring Librarian
I’m working to create a collection of photos but that takes time. I’ve been using iStock but here are some others I’ve bookmarked https://delicious.com/librarianbyday/stockphotos
Oh those I use Morguefile increasingly, because they’re licensed for commercial use, so I don’t need to worry about all this stuff so much…
p.s Can’t believe you’re the CEO of Slideshare, Bobbi! Kept that one quiet, eh? 🙂
Thanks for the recommendation of Morguefile I’ll check it out!
This is a topic I recently wrote about (not published yet, sorry. watch go-to-hellman.) A few points:
1. CC licences cannot be revoked. They are conveyed to the recipient when the covered work is copied. The time of use is immaterial.
2. To be durable, the receiver must be able to prove a chain of conveyance, which can be difficult. To defend against an infringement claim, you need to be able to document that you were offered the work under a CC license, and that the offerer was either the legitimate copyright-holder at the time of conveyance, or can similarly prove conveyance of a license. With Flickr, the main danger is that a user has uploaded images that belong to someone else.
3. CC copyright trolling scams have been reported by photographer Dan Heller http://danheller.blogspot.com/2008/01/gaming-creative-commons-for-profit.html
4. The NC license is a can of worms. But the current situation is such that it would be a problem both sides of a potential litigation. http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/2011/10/creative-commons-nc-non-commercial.html
5. I wish you hadn’t title the post “the danger…” That would be like giving a title like “The danger of going to the library” to a story like http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/04/man-who-killed-father-with-crossbow-sentenced-to-life-in-prison/
Thanks for this write up it definitely points out flaws in the system.
I’ve been using photos from Wikipedia Commons in combination with my own photos and various clip arts from Microsoft to avoid problems and usually write to the individual for permission to use a photo from Flickr regardless of the CC license if I do need a photo. I then put their response in a folder in my email so it is not lost. If I’m using the photo in a presentation I copy and paste the email in the notes section below the slide the picture is on along with putting the by line at the bottom of the photo in the slide.
It was good to see the other comments about other steps to take like the image time stamper and other tools to help in the use of photos. Pictures do make the difference is all we do.
I do agree that most do not bother to read the CC information but I find if presenting one needs to make sure they are ok with using the pictures
It’s interesting that you felt it necessary to send your second response. Any legal issues or concerns were settled with your first response, and then his reply.
To continue the correspondence after “As long as the slide show is free I am ok with my photo being used.” was entirely fruitless.
To an outside observer of this conversation it seems you’ve taken offense at [redacted]’s characterization of your blog, and have spiraled into defending it snottily, and with terribly weak arguments.
“You know I’ve never had anyone say that my site is commercial in nature.”
(Everyone else thinks my site is great.)
“I am a librarian and write the blog for free.”
(Look at my sacrifices.)
“I don’t even have ads I have a donate button which I assure you does not even cover the cost of hosting the site every year.”
(Yes I do get money from the site, but that doesn’t count since it isn’t that much.)
The point is, this was [redacted]’s intellectual property, and he/she had concerns over its use. Concerns that were addressed, and then quelled by your initial response. Not to mention [redacted] wasn’t being 1/10 of the jerk that I am now.
For you to continue arguing via some need to have the last say was infantile at best.
For you to include the continued irrelevant conversation in this post about Creative Commons should strike you as embarrassing upon reflection.
I just noticed a sudden spike in my Flickr stats. I’ve now included this image in my Creative Commons sightings set. Thank you so much for using this image in a creative and thought provoking manner. 🙂
I’m just an amateur, but I love seeing my work used in different contexts, so anyone is more than welcome to use any of my flickr photos for whatever purpose, including commercial. Of course, I don’t know if anyone find any of my pictures useful, but if you do, please do use them. 🙂 They are all licensed CC-BY.
How about using an external service such as archive.is to store a copy of the page in question?
I will use cc attribution images and make digital art with them because they can be used commercially per the license and I add them to my Zazzle store but I have had some users change the license and then say I was stealing their work so I have now started taking a screenshot of the page so if they change it I can prove I did not steal it. I do not steal images for profit as some have tried to claim.
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An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little homework
on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the
fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this.
… Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this
issue here on your web site.
There is really no point in entering a dialogue with a photographer who contacts you after the fact to argue about your usage of a CC photo. If they selected a CC license, and you used it, they cannot revoke AFTER you have used the photo. Non-commercial simply means not being used to advertise products or services. It can be used on a site that makes money, it can be used by a newspaper that makes money, it can be used by a for-profit magazine to illustrate a piece about banks next to an advertisement for shoes and it is still not “commercial.” Commercial, in the world of photography, ALWAYS means ADVERTISING.
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Most of my photos on flickr are Creative Commons Non-commercial (I am not the person mentioned in the OP). The CC licence is displayed on the photopage. Can I suggest you take a screenshot of that page at the date you use the image and devise some form of date verification – email it to someone so it will have a date stamp, or some other method.
CC is not the default setting on flickr. To set a photo as CC you have to make a conscious decision to change the licence. That does not mean that people who do it understand the implications of the change.
I have had confusion the other way. As an example, a major international airline used one of my photos and claimed that, as the photo was used in a blog on their site, and not in an advertisement, the use was not commercial.
Enjoyed your commentary — interested me greatly since most of my Flickr photos are CC licensed and I strongly support the Creative Commons concept.
Can certainly appreciate your concerns with Flickr’s CC licensed photos, though. Should add — seems to me — your site is unequivocally non-commercial. In fact, seems to be the very kind of site that CC was intended for ….
But the thing is — there are broad and growing problems with Creative Commons and not just those over at Flickr.
My own case — probably not untypical — finding more and more of my CC photos posted on blatantly commercial sites. In addition, even some photos that are posted on non-commercial sites have not been linked back (as required by the CC license) to the original Flickr page — or — in many cases even if they are linked back — are being systematically “redirected” to commercial sites.
Personally — hope Yahoo/Flickr will become more pro-active in enforcement — difficult as that might prove to be — in regards to its CC licensed photos.
I’m leaving my Flickr photos licensed as Creative Commons — feel the advantages still outweigh the disadvantageous.
Just my $00.02
I confess I was unaware of the creative commons license as it pertained to flickr. This is a great discussion to see and to know about so that I can make sure the pictures I want private can stay that way.
And like Nikon EM and its series E lenses it was late in the (mirrorless) market and have several limitations.
I was wondering if a University Library’s effort to archive and build an electronic collection of selected Flickr images amount to fair use under the copyright law. Few points are pertinent about this electronic collection (App)-
(i) There is no fee associated with the App. Hence, it is non-commercial.
(ii) The App would be accessible only to researchers, scholars and students affiliated with the University on an user authentication basis.
(iii) The images will enlist the license details in the metadata.
(iv) The images in the App will not be subject to bulk download.
Any comments/ insight into this issue would be highly useful .Thank you.