Steal my content, please!

I was just reading feeds before heading to the second day’s events at LeWeb3 conference in Paris. Along comes Susan Mernit’s blog, who quotes Lane Hartwell, who is pissed that people steal her photographs. She’s decided to take all of her Flickr photos out of the public eye.

Me? I’m wondering why she doesn’t move them all to SmugMug and put a watermark on them? SmugMug’s CEO showed me that feature, along with a feature that lets photographers sell their work in my recent tour/interview/demo video.

But, I’m not like Lane. I’ve spent more than $5,000 on equipment in my recent photographic career (and it is a career at this point, because I have sold a few photos in my life, including two that recently were printed in San Francisco magazine).

Me? I’m the opposite of Lane. I WANT YOU to steal my content. In fact, next year I’m going to do stuff to make all my content available via Creative Commons license so you can use it whereever and whenever, including my video shows. I’d like a credit, yes, but don’t demand it. I’d rather just add to the human experience and if that means that other people make money off of my work, so be it.

I’ve found that the more I give away my content, the more magical stuff happens to me anyway and if that means my photos or writings or videos get used in some way that I don’t really like, well, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Lane obviously is not.

Plus, today I have a little less competition from Lane, who was a great photographer but who’s work will be hard to discover now.

I guess she hasn’t learned the lesson that the New York Times recently learned: when you try to hold onto your content too tightly fewer people are able to find it.

Me? I’ve found that most people won’t steal content outright and, will, instead steal it with a link back to the original. iProng, for instance, asked me to use my photo. I said “sure” and didn’t ask for any compensation. They gladly gave me a credit in their cool interview with Facebook’s Joe Hewitt (he wrote the iPhone app, which is still my favorite iPhone application). So my photo gets widely seen, along with my name. How did iProng find me? A Flickr search, how else?

So, steal my content please!

185 thoughts on “Steal my content, please!

  1. LookingForFreebies: I’ve tried to change my Flickr, and it won’t do it for some reason. Also, there’s no setting for “PublicDomain.”

    As for my blog here, I own the copyright and this post gives it away. Any lawyer worth his salt will be able to block me with this post from collecting anything on my copyright.

  2. LookingForFreebies: I’ve tried to change my Flickr, and it won’t do it for some reason. Also, there’s no setting for “PublicDomain.”

    As for my blog here, I own the copyright and this post gives it away. Any lawyer worth his salt will be able to block me with this post from collecting anything on my copyright.

  3. It is Christmas day and you still have have a copyright notice on your blog and flickr stream.

    What happened to the hippie dippy feelings of giving away your content?

  4. It is Christmas day and you still have have a copyright notice on your blog and flickr stream.

    What happened to the hippie dippy feelings of giving away your content?

  5. Photography is Lane’s career, because if she doesn’t sell photos, she doesn’t *eat.*

    When making money with your photography is what stands between you and living under a bridge, you can talk about your photography “career” and how you have any right whatsoever to have your opinion taken seriously. (You always have the right to speak, but that right does not inherently include the right to be listened to.)

    Until then, go preach to the converted and stop trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    M

  6. Photography is Lane’s career, because if she doesn’t sell photos, she doesn’t *eat.*

    When making money with your photography is what stands between you and living under a bridge, you can talk about your photography “career” and how you have any right whatsoever to have your opinion taken seriously. (You always have the right to speak, but that right does not inherently include the right to be listened to.)

    Until then, go preach to the converted and stop trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    M

  7. Hey Robert

    You are on the money with a Creative Commons license and we would be more than happy to chat to you about applying a Creative Commons license to your content. The new CC+ and CC0 protocols are really interesting extensions to CC licenses which open up some really interesting possibilities on both sides of the commercial fence.

    It would be fantastic to see your content released under a CC license because it could be a case study on how to contribute meaningfully to the community and still make for a sustainable business.

  8. Hey Robert

    You are on the money with a Creative Commons license and we would be more than happy to chat to you about applying a Creative Commons license to your content. The new CC+ and CC0 protocols are really interesting extensions to CC licenses which open up some really interesting possibilities on both sides of the commercial fence.

    It would be fantastic to see your content released under a CC license because it could be a case study on how to contribute meaningfully to the community and still make for a sustainable business.

  9. That is soooo excellent, your post. I believe every word you say. I am an artist and I have recently asked two people for their permission to use their photos so that I could paint them. One was an Italian professional photographer and another just a normal guy on flickr. They both were very pleased to have me ask them and that surprised mevery much. The italian guy said that he should be thanking me and that he thought that the idea that a person in italy could shoot a photo that a person in Ireland would turn into a painting was amazing. Both asked to see the finished product and of course I will credit them. Excellent post as I was just reading an article in Vanity Fair about Prince. Clever and daring guy.

  10. That is soooo excellent, your post. I believe every word you say. I am an artist and I have recently asked two people for their permission to use their photos so that I could paint them. One was an Italian professional photographer and another just a normal guy on flickr. They both were very pleased to have me ask them and that surprised mevery much. The italian guy said that he should be thanking me and that he thought that the idea that a person in italy could shoot a photo that a person in Ireland would turn into a painting was amazing. Both asked to see the finished product and of course I will credit them. Excellent post as I was just reading an article in Vanity Fair about Prince. Clever and daring guy.

  11. I notice that Richter Scales sell mp3 songs. I think Lane should ste–…fair use their mp3 songs and add her photos to them. And upload them to Youtube. I wonder how they would like them apples.

    or, would it be okay for me to take their “music” and make a funny video of my friends?

    hypocite = sin.

  12. I notice that Richter Scales sell mp3 songs. I think Lane should ste–…fair use their mp3 songs and add her photos to them. And upload them to Youtube. I wonder how they would like them apples.

    or, would it be okay for me to take their “music” and make a funny video of my friends?

    hypocite = sin.

  13. One of the air-headed ramblings by a dilettante I’ve read on the subject so far.

    Or perhaps not, I hear the Toyota dealership down the street is giving away Camrys because magical things are happening over at corporate.

    I could be naive, though. The author (and his landlord, phone company, bank, hospitals, etc.) may traffic purely in “attention,” thus removing the need for money altogether.

  14. One of the air-headed ramblings by a dilettante I’ve read on the subject so far.

    Or perhaps not, I hear the Toyota dealership down the street is giving away Camrys because magical things are happening over at corporate.

    I could be naive, though. The author (and his landlord, phone company, bank, hospitals, etc.) may traffic purely in “attention,” thus removing the need for money altogether.

  15. Scoble -

    You need to educate yourself; you are clearly showing your ignorance of your new profession: photography. Business isn’t “magic”. If you produce a product you don’t give it away for free and expect to earn a living from it. [see Hollywood writer’s strike) Remember the ’90′s internet “burn rate” for investment dollars? It seems you’re a little late on the learning curve.

    Please educate yourself on our copyright laws, the reasons it was created, it’s importance to the lively hood of those it protects and why, if it’s not upheld, our society would be damaged.

  16. Scoble -

    You need to educate yourself; you are clearly showing your ignorance of your new profession: photography. Business isn’t “magic”. If you produce a product you don’t give it away for free and expect to earn a living from it. [see Hollywood writer’s strike) Remember the ’90′s internet “burn rate” for investment dollars? It seems you’re a little late on the learning curve.

    Please educate yourself on our copyright laws, the reasons it was created, it’s importance to the lively hood of those it protects and why, if it’s not upheld, our society would be damaged.

  17. Strange. I came back to see if you removed your “© Copyright 2007
    Robert Scoble” from the sidebar and from your photos on Flickr. It’s beginning to look like this post was just a plea for attention. Or am I wrong?

  18. Strange. I came back to see if you removed your “© Copyright 2007
    Robert Scoble” from the sidebar and from your photos on Flickr. It’s beginning to look like this post was just a plea for attention. Or am I wrong?

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