BBC falls into Creative Commons “trap”

12 02 2009


Bushfire by Thingo. Please donate if you can.

"Bushfire" by Thingo. Please donate if you can.

Last month I wrote about people using Flickr images under Creative Commons licences because it’s the cool Web 2.0 thing to do, even though some CC licences prohibit commercial uses. The BBC has just been stung for doing just that.


This stuff isn’t complicated: if you don’t own it, don’t put it on your website unless you have permission directly from the owner or under the licence the owner has attached to the content. (If the owner hasn’t specified a licence, the material is automatically copyright pr

Maybe when Kate and her Silicon Federation have finished with their Entering the Mobile Ecosytem seminar, they need to hold one on what goes and what doesn’t in Web 2.0.

BBC story via jemimakiss.


Are you too funky for copyright law?

28 01 2009

Recently I went to a presentation by some international PR-types. Their PowerPoint was liberally punctuated with pictures attributed to Flickr users.

This is what funky Web 2.0 people do: they search Flickr for an image released under a Creative Commons licence. This gives them a double jolt: they get free pictures to jazz up their slides; and they put their webcred on their sleeves. Look-it ,I get the whole Web 2.0 sharing –but-respecting culture. Using this cool new Creative Commons thing, I outwit the Man and his repressive anti-creative laws. Look at the crowd sourcing the solution. So long as I tip my hat to the photographer, I’m on the right side of the law.

Probably not.

Many (most?) Flickr users who licence their content using Creative Commons choose the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike licence. To comply with this licence, the Funky Bunch needs to meet the three requirements neatly spelled out in the name: attribute (tick), allow others to use the image on the same terms (sure thing), and use it only for non-commercial purposes. Uh oh. You’re a professional PR person giving a presentation highlighting your services to a room full of paying potential customers. You just out-funked yourself.

Creative Commons is a wonderful thing but it still gives the licensor (the photographer, in the case of Flickr) rights. It is not the same as copyright-free.

The photo in this post <dusting off webcred on sleeve> is by Andy Piper, who provides it under the CC Attribution-No Derivative Works licence.