The importance of using a creative commons license

Last night I changed my blog header image. Since I’m thinking of moving to Vancouver, I wanted an image of the skyline. I was planning on using Doug Morgan’s wonderful “Twilight Over False Creek,”: which I’d recently seen on the Wikipedia article for “Vancouver.”:

When I went to check on the license for it, though, I found the image had disappeared. A little googling found “Doug Morgan’s” page on “Pbase,”: but it also found text like “All images property of Douglas Morgan”, and “Do not use without permission.”

I could have emailed Doug, but it was getting close to bedtime and I wanted a new image up to go with the day’s post, “In Search of Home”. So I went with a vastly inferior “skyline image,”: still available at Wikipedia, and available for use under a “Creative Commons”: license.

Now, Doug really might not want people using his images for blog headers, and that’s up to him. But, he might not mind, either; and if so, he just missed an opportunity for (a very small amount of) exposure. I don’t have my blog available for use under a Creative Commons license, so I can’t claim any moral high ground, but I have thought, in the past, about using the licences, and I will continue to in future. This is just a case that shows how choosing to use a Creative Commons license can result in your work getting publicity, and someone else’s losing out.

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.