Was reading the article "Creative Commons is Bad for Photography" this morning and I wanted to take an opposing view.
The article uses the example of Virgin Mobile taking Creative Commons off of Flickr and using it in advertising without asking permission first. While this sounds awful, one has to understand how Creative Commons (CC) works. CC is a copyright license that allows the copyright holder to restrict certain rights. For example all of my photos are licensed by a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license which means that you are able to take any of my photos, share it with anyone you want, post it in your blog, etc as long as you:
1) Give me credit for the work - Most people link back to the photo on Flickr as well as either my photostream or my homepage here, others give a traditional credit.
2) Don't make money off of it - Put it on a tshirt, or mug, please. If you're making money however, I'd like a piece.
3) Don't make derivative works - As my name is on it, I don't want the photo altered without talking to me first.
As you can see, with this license in place, Virgin Mobile isn't taking my photos, adding some captions to it and posting it on billboards without talking to me.
CC involves understanding how the CC works but once you do, you can have control of how your photos are used and who profits from them.
Why Creative commons is good for photographers I'd say 80-90% of photographers who use flickr are hobbyists. On the whole we're not making money off of our photos we want to share our vision of the world with others. To share our art. If people want the spread that vision for us it's a wonderful thing. By requiring attribution we get a bit of an ego boost. We can make sure that if anyone is making money off of out photos, we get some compensation.
Why Creative Commons is good for people who publish photos It give the publisher the ability to find photos that they can publish. The publisher still must do their due diligence and make sure that the person who posted it is the copyright holder same as they would if a photographer came in and sold them a picture.
Creative Commons is good for photography. It allows us to share our art with the world, which is what this is all about to me. If people understand how Creative Commons works it is good for all involved. Flickr's embracing of Creative Commons has made people aware of CC who wouldn't otherwise.