pmuellr is Patrick Mueller, Senior Node Engineer at NodeSource.

other pmuellr thangs: home page, twitter, flickr, github

Monday, September 25, 2006

creative commons fears

Like Mark Pilgrim and Tim Bray, I've had my share of qualms regarding Creative Commons licensing. Alex Bosworth posted on this a while back also.

Yeah, I wouldn't be happy if someone used some of my CC-licensed 'art' (quoted, due to the dubious-ness of calling what I do 'art') in a way I wasn't happy about. But I could deal with it. My biggest issue is if someone used some art which identified me, or even worse, other folks, in a way I, or the person identified, wasn't happy about. For me, that means photos.

For a while I dealt with this by only making photos that didn't include people 'public' on my flickr site. Photos with people were marked 'friends' and 'family', meaning only people I identified as friends and family could look at. Which, for those folks, means, getting a flickr id. That's not a huge hurdle for the folks likely to be reading this blog entry. It is a hurdle for a large percentage of my friends and family. After dealing with the 3rd or 4th person that couldn't see the pictures because they: 1) couldn't figure out how to create an id (even if I invited them), 2) didn't want another id to manage (who can blame them), or 3) couldn't remember their id they previously created, and wanted me to help them get it back; I finally said "screw it", and started making some of those photos public also.

That was a line for me to cross.

And then I got a note the other day, from a commercial outfit, wanting to use a picture of mine from flickr in some kind of product they were producing. A chill went up my spine. Ut oh, which picture might that be? On the other hand, I immediately thought "hey, that was nice that they bothered to ask." (Note they are supposed to, since the photo is licensed as by-nc-sa.)

Here's the picture they want to use:

I had to laugh. My wife told me to keep the day job.

In the end, at least for me, I think the CC fears are largely exaggerated. It's highly unlikely many people will want to re-use my art. And those that do will probably do the right thing.

To that end, I've also been trying to be a good citizen. I enjoy including art work in my blog posts to make it slightly more entertaining. You can see from some of my previous posts that I've included CC-licensed photos; I've used photos that aren't licensed as "non-commercial" (is my blog commercial? it's primary home is at an site, so I'll say "yes" to that); and I've linked to the original photo site. If someone asks me to remove a picture, I surely will, despite the fact that given the license, I think it's fair for me to use it. And it's fun to just push the envelope on the issue in general anyway.

No comments: