Share alike

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.

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.