Wonderful photographs for your blogs

June 15, 2007 | By More

In the very short existence of this blog I don’t recall having published a single off-topic. This will be the first one, then. I want to talk about blogs and photographs taken by others. More and more people are starting up their own blog to tell the world about their travelling experiences (and so many other different experiences as well). It’s an unstoppable development that surprises us day after day with new blogging jewels. Among the new authors, there are people who are being careful about issues of authorship and intelectual property, and there are others who are behaving in a reckless manner, copying and pasting texts and photographs here and there. Some of those authors do so unknowingly (“I didn’t know you couldn’t do that“); others do it perfectly aware that they are infringing copyright laws. This text is addressed to those who are not respecting authorship knowingly.

Dear friend. Let’s just stop stealing photographs, shall we? It’s bad enough to find out a company has stolen photographs; you don’t want to see that from fellow bloggers too (I’m planning a trip to Argentina and was quite pissed off when I found a multinational car rental company using one of my photographs withouth permission or previous contact).

There are lots of us around willing to share our work, and for that we are using a wonderful tool called Creative Commons. There are different types of Creative Commons licences, mine is a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5, that basically allows anyone to use my photos for non-commercial purposes for as long as they don’t alter the photos and acknowledge their authorship. For as long as the conditions of the licence are met, you don’t even need to contact the authors to use their photographs. It’s as simple as that.

All the pictures on this blog, and all the ones featuring on my my albums, are under a Creative Commons license.

The good news for anyone looking for photographs for your blogs is that there are thousands (or should I say rather millions) of photographs, on all the topics you can think of (and a few more), under a Creative Commons licence. Many of you will be familiar with Flickr, a page that contains one of the largest collections of photographs on the internet. Flickr has a search tool that allows you to search for photographs under a Creative Commons licence. Say, for instance, you are after an Eiffel Tower snapshot for your blog. Go to Flickr’s Advanced Search tool, write Eiffel on the search box, and at the bottom of the page, tick .

Next you will be presented with a long list of photos of the Eiffel Tower. Choose the one you like the most, and read the terms of its licence – they appear at the bottom of the right-hand side column, under Additional Information > some rights reserved.

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If the licence asks for the authorship of the work to be attributed, don’t forget to do so when you place the photograph on your blog. Here’s an example of a Brazilian blogger (and friend of this blog) who is using the power of the Creative Commons licence for his blog: Aquela Passagem!

Now you know it. You have no excuse not to use excellent photographs taken by others on your non-commercial blogs – should you wish to do so. You can do that while at the same time respecting the recognition the work carried out by others deserves.

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