Friday, April 3, 2015

Invoking IP: Flickr Offers Creative Commons & Public Domain Options for Photos!

On this blog, I've talked a lot about how copyright protections for photographs are so strong.  A photograph is expression in and of itself and therefore preemptively has an intensely strong copyright.  But, as with all copyrights, the holder can choose to allow others to use the work.  On Tuesday, Flickr announced that it will give its users options to release photos under Creative Commons or public domain (no protection) licenses.  Flickr states:
The default setting on Flickr continues to be All Rights Reserved, but you can change the default for all your photos in your account settings if you’re interested in using Public Domain or CC0. You can also set the designation per individual photo in a variety of Flickr desktop and mobile experiences, such as the Photo Page, Camera Roll, Organizr, Uploadr, etc.
Creative Commons has explainers on what it means to be in the public domain and CC0 or "no rights reserved" copyrighting.  There are other licenses that give others the ability to make use of your work for non-commercial reasons or even to make commercial use of your work, provided they've built something else out of it.

Screenshot of creativecommons.org.  Everything on the site is
copyrighted but under a creative commons non-commercial
and with attribution use license.
Flickr also hosts The Commons, which exists to help people get access to useful, public domain photographs.  It's mission is "share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives."  So, I'm going to do a search for RPG, roleplaying game, or similar and post my favorite picture at the bottom of this post.

I cheated and ended up searching "GenCon."  Photo credit: Mass Effect Costumes
at GenCon
, (c) Benny Mazur, available on flickr.


[h/t EFF]