Creative Commons for the Real World

This past school year I, Nolan, was in a high school class taught by Ms. Hamilton, and along with countless other lessons, I learned a considerable amount about Creative Commons Licensing. She showed us how we could display our digital work on public websites such as Netvibes, and how to put that material under a simple and effective copyright known as a Creative Commons License. The license allows others to use and distribute my work legally, given that they follow my terms of the license such as:   It cannot be sold for profit without my permission; there must be an acknowledgement along with the photo that states I am the creator of the work, or even that it can be shared, but not built upon.  By doing this, I can share my work with others but it discourages others from stealing it.

In this class, we were also taught how to appropriately use another person’s work if it is under a Creative Commons. For several projects, we were asked to create PowerPoints using Photos to enhance the experience of our oral presentations. We gathered the photos from Flickr, and had the website filter the results so that only photos with a Creative Commons License returned after a search. From there we were able to select the photos we wanted, and simply follow the license, and give an acknowledgement of the owner of the photograph.

After applying this license to my education related blogs, websites, and other digital media, as well as using it to legally use’s others’ work, I decided I wanted to apply this to some of my non-school related works. I am a photographer, and a member of Flickr, so I decided to apply a Creative Commons license to my collection as a whole. I wanted others to have access to my works, and encourage them to use it as they pleased. Just a short time after doing so, I received a message over the website notifying me that one of my photographs had been used in an iPhone app. Because I applied a license to my photo, it was taken, and those who did take it, followed the license, and my name is under the photo whenever it is viewed in the app.

The Creative Commons License is an amazing tool that I intend to use for a very long time. It is relevant in everything from business, leisure, professional, and amateur applications. It protects your ideas and creations, but allows them to be spread in an easy manner.

The link to the iPhone App my photograph was included in- http://www.schmap.com/?m=iphone#uid=atlanta&sid=toppicks_attractions&p=16179&i=16179_239

-Nolan Williamson

5 thoughts on “Creative Commons for the Real World

  1. What a great explanation of what Creative Commons means, how it works and its relevance to real-world situations. Thank you for sharing your experience with us Nolan.

  2. How cool that your photo was used in an iPhone app! As someone who uses Flickr images in presentations and online in my own blog a lot, I thank you for making your work available.

  3. Nolan,

    Thanks for the simple and concise explanation of Creative Commons.

    I use CC images in the slide presentations I create and apply CC licensing to the majority of my Flickr photos.

    The knowledge you’ve gained – and shared – is useful in both the educational and “real” world. Kudos to both you and Ms. Hamiton!

  4. Thank you Nolan, for explaining how you learned about Creative Commons licensing and how you are using it in and out of school. I am going to share your post with teachers in my school district.

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