Off Topic: CC Licenses

by Robert Cooper

So, I have heard about this story in a couple of places, but all the coverage is lacking.

I know, for instance, The Java Posse used to make this mistake a lot and say "This is covered under *the* Creative Commons License" and not *A* Creative Commons License. The thing is, it sounds a lot to me like Flickr users who granted, say Share Alike or By-SA licenses to their photos are upset they didn't say "Non Commercial."

This has been one of the weaknesses of "CC Licensing" since the beginning, IMHO. The combinations make it hard for the average person to understand. The GFDL (like Wikipedia) is very clear. The many combinations of CC licenses you can selecte makes CC licensing confusing to the average shutterbug.

For insance. I say this photo:

(Congrats to Les and Fras BTW)

Is CC-By-SA. If Virgin wants to use it on a Billboard, they are welcome to, as long as my name is on the billboard and they don't sue the Farkers who mutilate it. Something in my gut tells me these angry Flickr users simply didn't kow what they were agreeing to when they tagged their photos with a License.

Do you know more about this story? Please tell!


2007-08-08 05:01:51
This was in Australia, anywhere outside of the US, moral rights of the author come into play. A much more comprehensive discussion of all the issues can be found here and as it explains, rights of publicity and consent of the subjects has as much to do with it as the CC license.

I tend to agree, though, that folks don't always understand the exact terms of any given CC license. I don't blame CC as heavily, though, as much as the memetic pull of CC. They have drastically simplified their license selection and I think worked hard at ways to try to make the effect of the choices more apparent. The problem is as much with people who don't bother reading *any* of the provided explanations and just use the licenses because they are popular.

I am a huge fan of CC but I do wish more people would use their licenses in a more informed fashion.

2007-08-08 06:04:32
Proofreading is a useful skill... there are a lot of problems with the post.
Kyle Adams
2007-08-09 08:28:03
The bigger problem, IMO, is that Flickr doesn't let you customize your CC license. My father-in-law (a pro photographer) wanted to offer his photos under a CC license but not under the one Flickr provided him. Consequently his photos are now all rights reserved, which is a shame.