[cc-licenses] Clarification needed - Copyleft AND Share-Alike with Images
fcb at fredbenenson.com
Mon Feb 19 14:08:59 EST 2007
Let me chime in as another BY-SA photographer who was once unclear about
what SA meant for photos in text. I shoot a lot of concert photography
and http://flickr.com/photos/fcb/sets/72157594517541236/ for recent sets)
and have recent signed contracts for the commercial rights of some shots for
worldwide distribution in music magazines through an international agency.
My assumption was that the agency a) didn't notice or bother to understand
the terms of BY-SA licenses on my photos and b) wanted a higher resolution
version of the photos for print, so they went ahead and "asked" for my
permission. Which is fine. They tell me I should be getting a royalty check
on the 15th of every month.
Anyway, I've been specifically avoiding the NC licenses for the various
complications which I'm sure you're all aware of, but at the end of the day,
I've still got a sliver of worry about blatant commercial redistribution of
work based on my photos with only an attribution given in return, so maybe
I'm with Wolfgang on this. Perhaps, you might say, Fred's just not totally
comfortable with the terms of BY-SA and should use NC instead, but my
justification for my worry here is because I do feel as if there's a bit of
a disconnect in possible reward of authoring a copy left photo vs. authoring
copy left software.
This is a worry that has been brought to my attention often by many people
who understand both the values of the free software world AND the realities
of the cultural world: the GPL represents terms that are now unquestionably
attractive to coders, whereas the the attractiveness of licensing BY-SA is
still unclear to photographers and artists, to say the least. So how do we
get the photography, art, music, whatever, community to have the
conversations so that they are comfortable with the BY-SA terms? Are there
better terms that they might be happier with? Unfortunately, and I think
this is Mike's point, even assuming we can have those conversations, it is
not clear that we'll be able to come to any better terms than those that are
already in BY-SA simply because the notion of "derivative" is interpreted
differently in different kinds of works.
So is our goal going to be to re-align the values of the photography
community by telling them that attribution is simply *enough* of a reward if
TIME Magazine starts reusing their work? It doesn't seem like we have any
other options given the realities of what BY-SA protects.
While I'm pretty sure I (as well as other free culture supporters) can and
have certainly convinced ourselves that attribution from TIME is enough of a
reward; it seems as if it might be an uphill battle within the
royalties-based photography community. That's a reality we, as people who
care about preserving free culture, need to realize.
And what if photographers never bite? 25 Million photos on Flickr is a
wonderfully successful metric, but I'm worried BY-SA isn't enough of an
incentive to initiate the kind of movement (some would call it a revolution)
inside the photography community that the GPL initiated inside the software
community. The GPL spoke to freedoms that software programmers felt from
the day they started writing their own software, but does BY-SA do the same
for photographers? What happens if we find that the freedoms elucidated by
"copy left" are inherently not as meaningful or rewarding in cultural works
as they are in software source: what do we do then? This question keeps me
up at night.
Anyway, for now I'm sticking with the kludge of uploading only
low-resolution web versions of my photos....
On 2/16/07, wolfgang wander < wwc at lns.mit.edu> wrote:
> Peter Brink wrote:
> > wolfgang wander skrev:
> >> Now looking at this FAQ - it requires 'a collection of works in their
> >> exact original format, not adaptations'. In my view:
> >> * any print of a digital image is an adaptation and
> >> certainly not the original format.
> >> * any editorial use of my full size image (it has
> >> to be scaled, maybe cropped) is an adaptation
> >> and certainly neither one is the original format.
> >> Even this very much hidden-from-view FAQ would very clearly exclude
> >> editorial use of my images.
> > No. It very clearly does not. An adaptation is a transformation of a
> > work, a translation being the classic example. Copies are not
> > adaptations. If you scan an picture and create a digital image of that
> > picture you create a copy. This follows from how that concept (copying)
> > is defined in copyright law. cropping and scaling are not transformative
> > enough for the end result to become an adaptation.
> Now Peter - this may be very clear to you as you are used the the
> language of copyright licenses. For me as a lay person a resized
> or printed version of my original jpg file is everything but original
> If the above FAQ is the only clarification that Creative Commons
> provides so that I as a licensor can make an informed decision
> about cc-by-sa it is not sufficient by any means.
> For a lay person's reading of this paragraph I would consider the FAQ
> entry misleading at best.
> > CC's licenses (as does all open source/open content licenses) build upon
> > copyright law. They do not extend nor do they expand the scope of
> > protection allowed under copyright law (which would be the case if your
> > interpretation was correct). The distinction btw adaptation and copying
> > is not one created by this community it follows from the common usage of
> > those concepts in copyright law.
> I begin to understand that now. CC is however not doing a good job when
> it talks about the concepts of Share-Alike. My intention as a content
> creator was to license my work so that sites that publish their content
> under a similar license (most notably the wiki family) could use my work
> but that my work cannot be used for a free ride to increase the value of
> non-free editorial content. The side effect is that you seem to make
> wikimedia the worlds largest gratis stock photography agency.
> Without licensing my work under a CC or alike license I hold the
> exclusive rights to my work. Now I can certainly grant another person
> the rights to copy my work, either for free or for money. And I can
> certainly do this for any number of people. Now why isn't it possible
> to come up with a license that defines this group of people as those
> who are willing to combine my work with Free content only?
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