Teachable Moments Using Creative Commons Licensing and Apology Accepted!

BlogHer Original Post

Photos by Pearlbear from Nosi Salon 12/11/06 at SF Nonprofit Technology Center.

Two days ago, the Tech Chronicle blog wrote a blog post about Marc Canter and the Ahem Society.   The post used one of my flickr photos taken in July, 2005 and that was "all rights reserved."  But, they didn't ask me and the link to my blog/photo didn't work!

So, I complained in flickr, my blog, and left a comment on the Tech Chronicle Blog.  (I also got some quick advice from this guy who I met in Second Life -- still useless technology?) A day later, the link was fixed, but no apology.   A commenter in flickr pointed me to some Chronicle writers in flickr and I contacted them and they forwarded my message onto the editor who replied quickly with a formal apology!

There is some irony to this story.  The original photo was published as "all rights reserved" because that's the flickr default and in 2005, I was pretty clueless about Creative Commons and copyright issues.  I've now become convinced of the power of the "by" license and had just turned my default to it.  So, as I explained to the editor in an apology accepted email, this was teachable moment for me:

I just saw your two messages and am responding now - forgive my delay!

Thank you for the apology ... I appreciate it! I actually wasn't trying
to be mean spirited or troublesome.  I was actually flattered that you
thought the photo was worthy of including the article!  I didn't expect

However, it was placed on flickr with "all rights reserved" which in
addition to proper attribution - permission needs to be gotten before
using, especially for a commercial site! (And, if asked, I would have
gladly granted it!)

I put that photo under that license because that was the default
licensing available in flickr.  At the time, I was pretty darn clueless
about creative commons licensing and the why it is important.  Now, I've
been an ardent supporter of creative commons licensing and have changed
my default licensing from to "BY" and use "BY-NC" when appropriate
because, in the end, I want to set my content free!  Isn't this ironic!!

I guess I could have simply changed gone back to my 2005 photo and
changed the license to a "BY" photo, but I'm also trying help educate
other people in the social change/nonprofit field about benefit of cc
licensing and this was teachable moment for me.

Lessons learned is that if you use a photo  (1) attribute any BY photo;
(2) use any BY-NC or all rights reserved photo only with permission.

Thank you again

This brings me the image above that I used as the photo in the Netsquared weekly NpTech Tag Roundup.  The original photo was from one of the photos by Pearlbear from Nosi Salon 12/11/06 at SF Nonprofit Technology Center.  I remixed it using this tool.  The original photo was uploaded using a non-commerical, share-alike license that I could remix it, but I had to attribute it and put an identical license on it.  Hopefully, I understand it now.


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