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Coming Full Circle: Hello Flickr CC-BY

cc licensed flickr photo shared by mag3737

If anything I might remain consistently inconsistent. After two previous switches, I have reverted my flickr photo creative commons license to the Occam Razor version- BY Attribution. Right back where I started from.

It was a little over a week ago, I switched to BY-NC, influenced by the experience shared by Alec Couros. I then got a notice by a colleague about his inability to use BY-NC photos in Wikipedia and then in a comment, Mike L shined some more light on the issues of the NC clause. I tried on the BY-SA for a while, and next thing I know, the Senator of Openness from Australia, Leigh weighed in again (shucks did not mean to make him cry).

So I am changing my mind more often than a …. well fill in your own metaphor, most I thought of seemed inappropriate.

But I got carried away here.

I do not share with the idea I might Get Big Bucks for my Stuff. That is not the reason for doing it, and even thinking of that as a possibility, even remote, to me taints my open spirit.

I want the simplest, most open approach.

You can use my stuff, do with it what you will, all I want is attribution.

You can even make commercial stuff, and make a gazillion dollars on it.

I prefer to think that anyone trying to make moeny off of my stuff is a fool, and if wrong, I live in the [naive] hope that although they would not have to compensate me, they would do the moral thing and throw some milk bones my way.

I’m in it for the sharing, and that’s it.

And this is the LAST time I will switch me flickr license.

I’m done chasing my license tail.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Shana Lee

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. That last photo had me in stitches! “Senator of Openness (from Australia)”! LOL

    CC By is the best. Only one better – Zero copyright.. leaving the moral obligation completely legal free.

  2. Yay! Now I can take one thing off my to do list (writing yet another post about how NC licenses restrict all kinds of uses that the copyright holder probably didn’t intend….including me as a consultant remixing content into open-licensed ebooks, videos, and courses for K-12 students).

    And for anyone else still in doubt over this, you can always selectively apply an NC license to individual content that you think might help fund your kids’ college experiences, but please don’t make NC your default on everything.

    Thank you so much, Alan, for your deliberate thought on this and especially for sharing!

    1. Thanks, but it hardly feels deliberate, considering I switched twice and then returned to where I was to begin with.

      But that’s how operate- instead of pretending to offer expert answers, I toss out half baked ideas, and my network provides the answers or directions. Being an expert is way over-rated, all that pressure of being so RIGHT all the time, not for me.

  3. I’m glad you’ve thought hard about this, and I’m glad you have arrived at a choice of license which makes your works free culture. I have no intention of pressuring you to change again 🙂

    What I’m interested in, though, is why you dropped the CC SA term. Has anyone objected to what the ShareAlike term does: that they can’t further restrict recipients when redistributing your work? Do you find those objections have merit?

    The CC folks are great, and the movement is a positive force; but it’s galling that the license options were presented to the world with little discussion of whether they result in free works. Later they began to address freedom, which is a partial course correction.

    For myself, I agree with the Question Copyright folks that, of the CC terms, the most freedom overall (for the artist and all recipients of the work) is to be had from the CC-BY-SA set, which they encourage under the name CC PRO since it has the best tradeoff for the artist and all recipients of the work.

    Again, please don’t think I’m pressuring you for change. I’d love to see you tackle the question of the ShareAlike clause, though, and argue why recipients don’t need that protection of their freedoms.

    1. Hi Ben,

      I’m a bit fuzzy myself, it may have been at the urging of my vocal colleague Leigh Blackall.

      I agree completely that the ramifications are not clear to most, maybe all people, especially for how easily it is to miss the complexity of the BY-NC option.

      To me, BY-SA is a nice idea, but I have no dreams I am going to me checking to see if people are SAing like me. I choose BY as the Occam’s license, the simplest for me to understand and for others to know the rules for. I choose it because I am not trying to protect anything or be deluded that my photos are worth gazllions of dollars. I dont share in the drams of making money off my stuff, I share for the sake of sharing

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