I take a lot of photos, most of which end up on my Flickr photo stream. While some of them are taken with a proper camera (though some would say that my Lumix FX12 isn’t a proper camera), most of them are taken with my iPhone, which doesn’t take great pictures but takes pictures which are good enough and with the added bonus that I have it on me almost all of the time.
My photos all used to be publicly accessible and with an all rights reserved copyright on them but then I lost my Flickr innocence, which was a bad thing at the time and switched all of my photos to friends and family visibility. About a week later, when I’d calmed down a bit, I went through all of my photo sets; photos of my family and of home stayed out of the public eye and stayed all rights reserved. But everything else, I opened up and changed the license to some rights reserved using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.
The reasoning behind this was that pretty much every slide on every deck I put together has a background from Flickr which is licensed under the Creative Commons model. Without this license and without people releasing their photos using it, my slide decks would be altogether poorer and a whole lot blander.
Opening up some of my photos under Creative Commons works both ways. In February I received a mail from someone at Schmap telling me that two of my, Creative Commons licensed, photos had been shortlisted for including in the next edition of their London guide. Instantly suspicious of this I asked the Twitter-verse for commentary; Vikki Chowney, Lorna Brown and Tim Moore were good enough to respond and tell me that this wasn’t a scam, as my cynical mind had first surmised.
It’s not much in the grand scheme of things but the people at Schmap either liked the photos I’d taken of the Royal Festival Hall and in Chinatown’s Tokyo Diner (less likely) or didn’t have any other suitable candidates and so plumped for mine (much more likely). Either way, this was a great example of Creative Commons in action and it allows me to continue to mine Flickr’s ever growing pool of photos for my slide decks with a clear conscience.