Flickr Commons, a fantastic resource

flickr has teamed up with the Library of Congress, the Powerhouse Museum Collection, the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and Bibliothèque de Toulouse to start building a public archive of photographs called flickr Commons. Unlike private collections like Getty Images or The Bettman Archive, flickr Commons is open for anyone for any use.

There are no known copyright restrictions on the use of these photographs.

I’ve been tracking this through the Library of Congress but wasn’t aware of the other groups participating until Kottke’s post. I’m very excited about this, it’s like having a photographic encyclopedia online. And, the more tagging and writing that gets done on each photograph, the better integrated it will be on the web, google crawls flickr and so, all of these photographs and their comments are indexed.


Adding copyright notices to photos

A Savvy Approach to Copyright Messaging

This is a great piece by Derek Powazek.

As a photographer, I’m outraged when people grab photos off the web and use them without consideration of copyright. I’ve been fighting this “It’s on the internet, so it must be free!” ignorance for more than a decade.

I love the fact that Derek is thinking about this stuff. When creative folks start working on these kinds of problems good things happen and Derek is both a web geek and a photographer so he’s got the right set of ingredients to cook something up good. I’m not sure his first take on this is perfect but I like the way he’s going with it.

Use my photo? Not without permission

The New York Times has a piece on copyright in the world of photosharing sites like flickr: Use My Photo? Not Without Permission.

Could the ad agency have found the girl’s photograph had it not been on flickr? Absolutely. But, because of flickr’s social networking tools, finding it (through tags and such) is much easier.

This is a complex issue and the only sure way to avoid having photos taken is to not put them online. Sigh.