Use My Photo, Wait Don’t Use My Photo

On February 9, 2011, in Photography, by Josh Hallett

Sharing is caring, or that’s the standard line we’ve heard countless times. Sharing, however is not without its consequences.

Pikes Public Market - Seattle, WA

Take Flickr for example. People love to share photos on Flickr, I do it all the time, in fact I currently have shared about 22,231 times. I post almost all my photos with a basic Creative Commons license. Almost 99% of the time this works out great. As an amateur photographer it’s nice to see your photo in lights so-to-speak.

Then there is the other 1% of the time.

Recently I’ve found a few organizations that are holding protests have used my photos as part of their online campaigns. One current example is a movement against SeaWorld, another is a labor dispute with Publix.

Those of us in the social media community know how quickly photos can be shared and if you allow free use via Creative Commons, well then people are free to use it. However, there are some individuals that don’t understand this and in some cases think I support some of these causes. Not the case.

It’s a delicate balance. Seth Godin had an experience with very open Creative Commons licensing a few years back.

I will continue to share my photos and hope that they are put to good use, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

(Disclosure: Disney Parks are a current client and many, many years in the past I did consulting work for SeaWorld)


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