Creative Commons

If you take a look at my Flickr page right now, there are over 10,500 photographs. I’ve also got about 1,000 ready to be uploaded – I just haven’t had enough time to get them all tagged. Almost all my photos are uploaded and tagged with a description of the content and then licensed as Creative Commons – meaning they are free for anyone to use provided I get credited as the photographer.

I just had an email from the Museum of London telling me that they are setting up an exhibition that will be there for the next ten years and they are planning to use one of my photos – this one.

That’s just the latest use of my photos.They have featured in magazines in the USA, Japan, and across Europe. My Rothko photo has been used by many artists and art academics. My Ajanta photos from India have ended up in a very detailed academic book on the subject of cave carvings.

I am forever finding my own photos on blogs and in Wikipedia. I once noticed a photo in Wikipedia that looked familiar and found – after a bit of digging to find the credit – that it was my own.

I enjoy seeing my photos being used all over the world by people for all kinds of reasons and I’ve no problem with people using them for purposes that may even be profitable for them – so long as I get credited. I once found someone selling coasters and bags on eBay featuring pictures of dogs – one of the dogs was my own pet and these products were all using my photos! When I contacted the seller asking where they got the photos, I was told to sling my hook… when I showed them my Flickr account, they removed their products and slunk away tail between legs.

I’m just a snapper. I’m only capturing images using a camera-phone, but I might upgrade soon to a decent camera. There are many photographers populating these repositories of stock photos and doing it in a more professional way than I am – what does that mean for the future of the *paid* stock photo library?
Rothko - Black on Maroon

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One response to “Creative Commons

  1. I agree that the general stock image business is in decline. However I think there is still some money to be made by specialist agencies such as Panos who have a quality stock of development pictures.

    To make money now images have to be excellent quality and niche.

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