Help Me understand Creative Commons

 
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:54 pm    Post subject: Help Me understand Creative Commons Reply with quote

I've been catching up on Leslie's blog, and just read about Lessig and CC. When I read the comments, some of the most vociferous defendants don't seem to be all that creative. I click on websites and see basically people cutting and pasting articles, pictures, YouTube videos(that other people filmed), quotes from famous people etc. Are there actual creative people, besides "soccer moms" and "guys with cameras" that actually like to give their product away? In my previous sentence, I was being generous about those people being creative...if in this digital age, you can go out at no cost(film/processing) etc. Shoot a couple of hundred or even thousands of frames, get one or two fantastic images, is that really being creative?

I remember when I got my Nikon F4s and showed some of my buddies(pro photographers) all the features. One guy referred to the "dummy buttons". I asked him what he meant..."set all the buttons on auto, and any dummy can take a picture". I replied that when Pete Turner was asked about the same thing in an interview, he said he loves those buttons because he didn't have to worry about exposure etc, and he could concentrate on his vision. We still had to get it right because of all the film and processing costs, and the fact that there were deadlines to meet.

If one of these CC proponents owned a grocery store, would s/he give food away since being able to eat is a right? I don't know if I'm mis-representing anything here, but it just seems that IP is greatly devalued among non creative types.

Jon
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should see some of the comments I didn't approve.... OUCH!
(I have a policy not to approve anon. comments)
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leslie, there were some comments about certain photographers/artists that these posters knew who loved this and claimed it increased their business. I don't recall any names given, but I'm trying to figure out how this could help.

I have an account with Agency Access. I sent out over 400 emails every month. I pay to send them out. Do these people think that they're getting their work seen by millions for free? I don't get it.

So again, am I understanding this correctly? Here's an example. I have three shots of old time baseball players on my website. One of them was printed as a poster years ago and I sold them through a memorabilia shop. Do these people believe that someone should be able to grab one of my other baseball shots and create their own poster? If so, one of my images is competing for market share with another of my images, but I'm only making money from one of them, while some stranger is making money from the other one. Tell me that I'm not understanding this, because if I got it right, these people are really f..ked-up! Rolling Eyes
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No... you've got it right. It does not make any business sense for anyone who makes his(her) living creating. If your biz is IP then CC might get your work seen by more eyeballs (might, maybe), but it will not get you more work in almost every case. Most of the eyeballs will not be people who will later be in a position to hire you or, if they are, they won't want to pay you because they got the milk for free, so to speak, before.

CC people love to cite people like C. Doctorow as success stories, but stories like his are the rare exceptions (he also, I think, had a following before CC use).
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus, if someone steals my stuff, they're not going to include my name, so nobody will know it's my work anyhow...right?

By the way, my son and I went out tonight and passed a BMW lot with at least 25 cars parked in the lot. Should I be able to hop in one, drive off the lot and maybe even sell it for 50k...they were just sitting there, and I sure could use the money Wink
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather than the BMW car lot example, I think a music example might fit. Imagine if someone went to a club to hear a band, and decided to record that band on a little audio recorder (or maybe they got a free handout CD-R from the band, or they bought one). Then with recorded music in hand, that person decided to post the songs. One thing would be to post all the songs for free. A worse direction might be to post the through a paying service (perhaps even iTunes) then collect sales revenues.

Maybe that sounds far-fetched, but I saw that happen with a jazz band I had photographed in the past. To make it even crazier, it happened twice. First was a "fan" who decided to post full MP3 versions of the songs on his website, so anyone could download them. A nice little letter took care of that. The second was someone in Switzerland who had never contacted the band, but decided to place the band's music on iTunes, while he collected any sales revenues. It took a few letters to straighten that out, though unfortunately the band did not have the resources to prosecute someone in Switzerland.

I think what I see of people devaluing anything, or blindly taking, is that it is simply too easy. When the supposed difficulty is lessened or removed, then the end result does not seem as valuable. Sad and true. Someone dismissing it because they say it is cool, or that they liked it, and claiming "exposure" will help, does not understand business. Even sadder, they likely do not care, as long as it did not cost them anything.

Perhaps we need more magic in what we do. Something more difficult than expensive high end cameras. Nearly anyone can find a copy of Photoshop for nothing, and if they are small time occasional users, the chances of getting caught are minimal. Professionals cannot (and should not) risk pirated nor cracked software, but amateurs have few disincentives.

I use to tell people that when they could dissect an image, or if they were told how an image was created (light placement, exposure, etc), then the magic would be removed. Do that, and the image is devalued. People with little understanding of Photoshop think everything they cannot dissect is photoshopped; though that may be another form of dismissal.

The only way forward is to go beyond what we do and how we do it. We must be vastly more than we appear to be on the surface. Just like the tired Apple slogan, we need to think different, and we need to be different.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon, let me talk about the second part of your post first. I would think that if we did something a little special in our work, it might be an even greater incentive to steal since the person wanting the shot would be able to use/steal a more special image.

The first part of your post drives home exactly what I was getting at. IP somehow doesn't register as real property even with people that don't mean to steal...they just think it's free. That's why I used the car example, something big and made out of metal somehow registers as property, while something that comes from our minds/imagination is free.

That's exactly what Lessig and the other Creative Commons say...when we try to protect our property from theft, and actually try to make money from our creation, we are impeding the spread of culture and stopping the enjoyment of art and culture from the masses.

Jon
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lessig, et al also say that IP isn't really "property" and shouldn't be regarded with the same reverence we, culturally, have given property. This, of course, is bullshit.

There is a reason the framers of the Constitution included copyright (and thus the protection of IP) in the actual text of the original document--because it needed protection and societal recognition. It is that important and valuable.
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things I would throw at Lessig, as a consequence of his premise. If he considers creative endeavors to be part of a culture, belonging to all, then he must support a way of making it sustainable. I imagine he is too cheap and greedy to support that, which would mean that only those with great financial resources and a good deal of free time would be able to contribute to an expansion of a culture. The second thing would be that if he didn't want creative endeavors to solely originate amongst the wealthy, then society must be prepared to subsidize those who are creative. Again, I think he and his type are too cheap and greedy to support that.

Most often people who push Creative Commons are those who are not very creative, quite greedy, and too cheap to support the arts. They would be the first to push for cuts in education to remove arts and music programs, because they often do not see those pursuits as productive. These people know the price of everything, and understand the value of nothing.
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dunnenuff
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you think would happen if I took Lessing's writings from his book, and republished it for for-profit distribution. Do you think he would practice what he preaches? My guess is I would get a letter from his attorney on how his writing is protected under copyright law, and to cease and desist or I will get sued. But then again, this is the new millennium where "double-think" is cool and everything is free!
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rod
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I shot a portrait of a pretty big executive. He wants to use it on Wikipedia and Wikipedia will not allow him to post it unless I sign their agreement which is creative commons.

The wording is so aggressive. I'm trying to keep my client happy but wiki won't accept the agreement with any modifications.

I thought "well maybe I'll put a watermark ©2010 rod goodman at the bottom of the photo" and it has meta data embedded.

I can't be the first photog to deal with wikipedia, what have any of you done about this wiki-creative commons thing?

thanks,

rod
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the client wants to use it under a CC license, he has to pay an upcharge for the extensive usage.

Depending on whether you think you will ever reasonably relicense the image (remember, lots of images of BP execs are getting licensed now!), figure a premium for the loss of control for that image and negotiate the deal.

Explain to the client about how CC works, how you would be essentially losing all control over that image, forever, and that has value. Be nice--use it as a teaching moment rather than getting your hackles up. I bet you can work out a deal.

Oh, and yeah, ask to include a ©notice on the image too. Won't hurt.
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-Leslie
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AmyJNelson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I work with teachers around the country, it seems that few have heard of Creative Commons licenses, and this is alarming to me. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the range of creative works available for others legally to build upon and share. Educators should be aware of Creative Commons and teach students about it, because they use pictures, sounds and other media to help make their own multimedia projects.

Creative Commons has been described as being at the forefront of the copyleft movement, which seeks to support the creation of a rich public domain, providing an alternative to the automatic "all rights reserved" copyright. When the creators of his license to the media with Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved" licensing, students (and adults) are free to include the media / content into their own projects without breaking copyright laws .

For example, I take lots of pictures and share them on Flickr with a Creative Commons license. I welcome others to use my photos as long as they give me credit and do not make money for it. My photos have a "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike idea" of the license. The more people that the copyright of their work with Creative Commons licenses, the better. The culture of today's collaborative creativity depends on it!

There are six Creative Commons licenses. Learn about them here. It is easy to pick the appropriate license using a wizard found here, in response to a couple of questions about if you well with your work being used for commercial purposes and whether they agree with to edit / remix.

If you are looking for content to use in their own projects, consider going to the Creative Commons Website Image Search or Flickr Creative Commons is the search page.
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AmyJNelson wrote:
... Educators should be aware of Creative Commons and teach students about it, because they use pictures, sounds and other media to help make their own multimedia projects......


There is no need for students to make use of Creative Commons. Current Fair Usage provisions of existing Copyright Law allows for educational uses.

Creative Commons has been pushed by vested interests in the hopes of increased profits on commercial projects. Removal of a reasonable payment for images and other creative content would allow some to profit at the expense of creative professionals. It's pure and simple greed.

If you put your work out there for free so that others may profit from it, then you place zero value on your work. Those who follow that practice also unduly impact employment of professionals who do value their work. As with anything, follow the money and the effort behind pushing Creative Commons will be easy to see. If there was no profit from it, then there would be no push to establish it.
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rod
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Gordon.

Now let me butcher your eloquent post with:

I hate when a client asks to use the photo I took of them for Wikipedia, actually it is usually Wikipedia that contacts me asking me to agree to the CC, then I have to contact the client and explain and educate and then I have to tell them what I'm gonna charge them and then they are not happy and then it happens again.

Creative Commons sucks.
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