Taken a few great photos? Consider licensing them for use by writers under Creative Commons

As a writer for the web I like to embed a featured photograph with each article I share online.  This practice is not uncommon and you may agree it adds an elegant accent to written content when opened in news reader applications on desktop computers and mobile devices.

American Pride by mattrobbdotnet is licensed under Creative Commons | Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
American Pride by mattrobbdotnet is licensed under Creative Commons | Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Unfortunately it’s difficult for a single author to take a relevant photograph for each potential article.  An organization named Creative Commons strives to broaden accessibility of media content like artwork, music, photographs, and videos for use within other forms of print and online media.

If you look at the caption to the image above you’ll see there are links to the original photograph, the license holder, and a summary to the specific license.  In the case of this photograph it’s one I took but have licensed to the public under a few specific terms:

  • Must give appropriate credit (Attribution)
  • May not use for commercial purposes (NonCommercial)
  • May not remix, transform, or build upon (NoDerivatives)

What Creative Commons does is make it easy for content producers to apply terms and conditions on the use of their content by others.

It felt natural to me to give back to the online community since I often use photographs from others within my articles.  I chose to publish my landscape and nature photographs on the Flickr platform because of the tight integration with Creative Commons.  Also, I found Flickr makes it easy to see the licensing available for each image.  For example, here’s what is shown to users when they browse my photo.  Take notice of the “Some rights reserved” link and search tags:

Flickr image metadata that shows the licensing under which the image is available for use.
Flickr image metadata that shows the licensing under which the image is available for use.

Aside from Flicker there are other platforms where you can share your images.  Google Images may be the next best bet, but I must be honest and say I am unfamiliar with Europeana, Open Clip Art Library, Pixabay, and SpinXpress.

Screen capture of the Creative Commons search function across content source sites
Screen capture of the Creative Commons search function across content source sites

I do hope you’ll consider sharing and licensing some of your collection of photographs through Creative Commons.  As you can see, it’s not that difficult to get started and you have control over where your photographs may legally be distributed.

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