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Creative Commons NC Licence

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Historically Beth and I have tended to post photos to Flickr licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0 licence - or, in long form, Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic.

That means, or so we thought, that we could allow people to use our images so long as they attributed them to us and weren't commercial. However our agent for handling copyright violations has just refused to accept a claim on an image of Beth's which was being used on a commercial web site.


Catbells across a half-frozen Derwent Water by Beth

When I went back and asked why I got this reply:

Unfortunately, there is no legal precedent that defines "non-commercial" vs "commercial" as a reason not to uphold the rights granted under the Creative Commons license.
It is a case of copyright law not having caught up with the Creative Commons platform. As such we are not able to pursue this matter.

A quick web search tended to confirm this. The Wikipedia page on the Creative Commons license says:

The "non-commercial" option included in some Creative Commons licenses is controversial in definition, as it is sometimes unclear what can be considered a non-commercial setting, and application, since its restrictions differ from the principles of open content promoted by other permissive licenses.

Given this Beth and I have just been on Flickr and switched all our photos to "All rights reserved"1 and I strongly recommend you do the same if you've been using CC BY-NC 2.0 until now.

  1. Log into Flickr and then go here and set your default license (sic) to "None (All rights reserved)". Then go here and click on the "SAVE LICENSE" button to update all you previously uploaded photos.

Tags: photos, websites Written 07/09/18

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