Wired Shifts to Creative Commons License for Photos

The traditional content producers, represented by organizations like the MPAA and the RIAA, keep squealing about the terrible losses they claim to suffer from intellectual piracy.  From the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth, one would think that Western civilization as we know it was about to vanish.  Fortunately, there is an encouraging counter-trend of organizations agreeing to make significant amounts of content freely available on the Internet.  I’ve mentioned several of these here, including The Royal Society, Princeton, Yale, and the National Academies Press.

Today Wired announced on its Web site that it was making photographs taken by its staff photographers available free under a Creative Commons license.

Beginning today, we’re releasing all Wired.com staff-produced photos under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC) license and making them available in high-res format on a newly launched public Flickr stream.

Although you should check the actual license [CC BY-NC]  for details, this basically provides that you may copy, distribute, and transmit the work, or an adaptation thereof, for non-commercial use, provided that you properly attribute the original creator. (As you may have noticed, this blog is also licensed under a Creative Commons license.)  Not all photos will be covered; some, for example, are obtained by Wired from third parties (e.g., AP, Reuters)  and come with their own licensing terms.

I think Wired is to be commended for taking this step; I hope others will follow.

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