Loads of organisations and companies make their press photos available on Flickr – good. But other than look at the pictures, what is anyone supposed to actually do with them?

This was the issue raised this morning when I pointed out that the attendees at today’s European Council are all dressed in black on the family photo that I’d noticed on Flickr. I can’t however post that pic here because it’s All Rights Reserved, so no way I can legally use it for free. A small discussion ensued on Twitter about this with @Dana_Council, @Anne_EU_Webteam and @ronpatz. Compare the results for “European Council”, only CC, and “European Council”, all.

This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered something like this – when searching for pics of the Eurostar e320 for this post I could find only 3 pics from a passer-by. There are dozens of official pics on Flickr, but I can’t use any of them.

So the issue is quite simple: if you want your pictures used across the web, give them a Creative Commons License. You don’t have to do this for every image, but even a few would be a start. Bloggers will thank you, and your images will be seen far and wide.

One Comment

  1. Good and very simple point you’re making Jon. I’m really struggeling to understand why public institutions don’t use Creative Commons. Is it just pure ignorance and lack of understanding?

    However, something I’ve encountered with Norwegian public institutions is that they seem to prefere to use CC because it brings them more attention. If a publication only sends a journalist (not a photographer) to an event, CC pictures from example a ministry are useful for a newsroom or bloggers. Especially if the institution has some good photographers, like the White House; http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse
    Take also a look at this http://www.usa.gov/copyright.shtml
    It is simple, an event with good pictures get more media attention then without.

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