While I usually try to use my own photographs, I have on occasion found suitable Flickr photos taken by others and used those. For anyone who has tried to do that, you will know that many photos nowadays on Flickr have no license associated with them, and instead show Ã¢â‚¬Å“All Rights ReservedÃ¢â‚¬Â, which obviously means that those photos cannot be used in any capacity.
Is that obvious? There are millions of photos on Flickr that are listed as ‘All Rights Reserved’ but also feature the ‘Blog This’ button. Here’s a randomly selected example. Aren’t those two ideas contradictory?
I wondered about how this applied to my own site, and arrived at this somewhat Machiavellian conclusion. If someone has a ‘Blog This’ button on their photo, that’s tacit permission to use it on my blog. I always link back to the original photo, and try to pick CC photos, but frankly I pick the best photo, regardless of license. I’ve only ever had one complaint, and that’s when I forgot to link back. Maybe I should also include a text reference back in the ever-growing metadata at the end of each post?
Am I just being self-serving, or is that a fair interpretation?
Duane also calls up Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons, and asks him a few questions about usage and attribution. It’s a short interview, and worth listening to.
UPDATE: Ironically, the photo I just added to this post is (by the very talented Thomas Hawk) has a CC license, but no “Blog This” button.
UPDATE #2: I searched around the Flickr forums, and there seems to be a great deal of confusion about the ‘Blog This’ versus ‘All Rights Reserved’ issue. I’m none the wiser, but will endeavour to stick with CC-licensed photos to avoid the issue.