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,”:http://www.pbase.com/douglasjmorgan/image/36508393/original which I’d recently seen on the Wikipedia article for “Vancouver.”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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,”:http://www.pbase.com 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,”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:VancouverSkyline.jpg still available at Wikipedia, and available for use under a “Creative Commons”:http://creativecommons.org/ 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.