Monthly Archives: June 2010

oh schmap! confused about creative commons..

Though I’ve been a consumer of Creative Commons-licensed material for a while (who isn’t?), it was only recently that I gave all the photos I post on Flickr a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license. Though I’ve got aspirations of being a better photographer, and even occasionally take a photo that I’m really proud of, I mostly take pictures (upon pictures upon pictures) of my kids.
This morning, I got a Flickr message from someone at Shmap about one of my photos (above) being shortlisted for an upcoming product of theirs. Never having heard of Schmap, I did some quick Google-Fu and found a discussion on Flickr about Schmap and whether what they do skirts Creative Commons licensing. As I understand it, they make their schmaps (“travel guides with photos, reviews and dynamic maps for cities, islands and regions worldwide”) freely available for download but also ad-supported.

It’s that last bit that confuses me. As honored as I am that someone wants to use a photo, I thought that my CC license forbids someone from using it in a commercial way. If the thing that’s going to include my image uses ads to generate profit, even if the material is freely downloadable, then wouldn’t this run afoul of the licensing? 

I’ve got other concerns about it, too, (mostly concerning all my famliy photos that I post and try to keep “private” — security through obscurity, mostly) that are making me rethink my Creative Commons licensing. But that’s another story for another day. I’ve got ten days to figure out whether to let them use my image or not. Anyone have any thoughts on this, or on Schmap in particular?