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?

3 thoughts on “oh schmap! confused about creative commons..

  1. arvind s grover

    Basil, the reason they’re contacting you is because they’re using it in a non-commercial way. If you don’t agree to their terms, they won’t use your photo. Well, they might, but they don’t have license to based on your non-commercial stipulation, so they shouldn’t.I had a similar situation because I have my photos with a share-alike license and TravelMuse.com wanted to use my tree frog photo. They didn’t want their content to be given away, though. They e-mailed and asked if I would license it to them under a CC-attribution only license, and I agreed. They hooked me up with a 1 year Flickr pro extension as a small token payment, too. Results here:http://bit.ly/cbFgxTAs a side note, ate at Taco Shack while at South by Southwest a few years back and Schmap asked if they could use a photo from my lunch. Here it is:http://bit.ly/co2JfP

  2. Basil Kolani

    Thanks, arvind. I think that after TEDxNYED I got all sorts of carried away on the Creative Commons train, and I’m still kind of torn about whether to post family-type pictures under a CC license, or even without the license to make them findable by anyone — not everyone I want to see them is a Flickr member, and I’d like to think we’re not sharing things without adequate permissions on Facebook, etc. I guess I’ll start with leaving the images findable on Flickr but without the CC license.And I’ll give Schmap permission to use my photo, too. Thanks again for getting me thinking the right way about this.

Comments are closed.