This Picture Sucks

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and so do yours

Creative Commons and why you’re getting railed

You see them all over the place, CC licensed images illustrating articles on all sorts of topics on blogs and online magazines. And why not? or the publishers it’s the best kind of content: free. For the photogs, it’s easier to license your image under Creative Commons then it is to find girl-on-girl porn these days. Both flickr and deviantart (more on dA later) offer it as an option when you upload an image. Getting hit by a car is also easy, and makes just as much sense.

If you’re a photographer, CC is pretty much a large latex dildo in your ass. Some people might like it, but most of us are just getting screwed. Photographers get the short end of the stick with CC, we don’t reuse other people’s content. Well, unless you’re Richard Prince. A musician might use sampled drum sounds to create a new beat, a writer might use a photograph to illustrate a story, a graphic artist might use text for body copy, whatever. A photog isn’t doing any of that, all we can do is give shit out for free, or at best for credit.

The problem with credit is one Derek Powazek covered, but it’s more relevant now than ever. Let’s say I shoot some kids, get some model releases, release that stuff with one of those slick attribution CC licenses, right? A non-profit neo-Nazi group takes it, publishes in its newsletter. So not only have I given them the right to use those pics, I’ve also linked my models to them and – thanks to google – every time someone searches for me they get shown results from a neo-Nazi website. Awesome!

To summarize: fuck that CC noise. If someone wants to use your pic they can get off their ass and fire you off an email, like men do. And if you think you’re getting exposure by giving away your photography, that’s a business model without much of a future. Like most of the internet.

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Filed under: shit that grinds my gears

One Response

  1. […] In the past, I’ve written on how fucked up Creative Commons licenses are for photographers. Thanks to my eFriends and the internets, I just found a great example of what I was talking […]

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