As most people will agree, I’m not the best photographer around. I’ve got a semi-decent point-and-shoot camera and I keep my eyes open for interesting shots, although I often fail to get them. Basically, I muck around, and sometimes I manage to get that one lucky shot.
Photos won’t have any value if they remain hidden in a folder on my hard disc, so I upload the best ones to Flickr, where most of them are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. That means that anyone can take one of my photos and do whatever they want with it (use it with an article, a collage, a website, a movie—the sky’s the limit), as long as they credit me, and share whatever they’ve done with it under similar conditions.
Of course, I could have chosen to slap a watermark on them and say
© All rights reserved, you can’t use them, not yours. But the cynical side of me
says knows that a lot of people won’t give a damn about copyrights and licenses on the internet anyway. If you put a picture up on the internet, you can be fairly sure that someone is eventually gonna use it for something, whether they’re allowed to do so or not. So why not make it completely legal for them to do so? It’s not as if I expect anyone to say,
Hey, great shot! Can I buy the rights so I can use it somehow?
And you know what? Every now and then one of my picture shows up somewhere. Here’s what I could find in a quick and dirty egosearch.
- This arts and crafts experiment shows up in two different places: an article about the latest leak in Internet Explorer, and in a Spanish ‘video blog’ (fast forward to 3:14) on the release of Google’s Chrome.
- The French, English and Vietnamese Wikipedia articles on Massat, a small village in the south of France, use two different pictures I took when I spent some time there two years ago.
- The German Wikipedia article on some Austrian tv series uses one of my shots from Vienna.
- A picture of a bunch of old stamps shows up on a blog about antiques.
- And then you have the online travel guides. Photos from London and Florance appear in a Schmap, as I mentioned before. I found pictures from Vienna show up in at least four different places, and shots from Antwerp turn up on two websites.
There are some more places I found one of my photos, which mostly websites that crawl Flickr for photos that are relevant to their interests. And I’m sure there are some more sites that use one of my pictures without attribution. Well, I don’t mind. My ego is stroked anyway.