Creative Commons vs. professional creation

I ran into a blog post where someone told a story about taking a photograph while on holiday, posting it on Flickr with CC rights, and six years later, the photo found its way to a newspaper article.

So far so good. And great for the photographer that her image was deemed worthy enough to be picked into a publication.

What followed was a salvo of negative comments from professional photographers, mostly in the “you’re robbing my children of their future by giving away stuff I do for a living” category.

This set me thinking.

On one hand, the pro photographers are right, in a roundabout way. On the other, though, lots of questions arise:

  1. Would any of them have had a photo available for just that purpose?
  2. How can someone’s hobby deteriorate someone else’s income?
  3. Why, in this age of public sharing, should certain professions be surrounded by protective walls and No Trespassing signs?
  4. Ultimately, are these professional protesters in the twilight of their careers and need to get protective because their skills are no longer up to date?

I think the world has developed far enough in the direction of sharing that if you can’t sustain yourself with your professional muscle, that’s just tough luck.

What do YOU think?

#social media


  1. Anonymous - 2012-10-31 @ 17:41

    Would the paper have sought up a professional photographer and bought an image for their article if there had not been the option of CC? I doubt it. In other words, the story would have been published without illustration and nobody would have earned (other than the author of the text). Now the article was illustrated and nobody earned.

    On point of view of a professional photographer, what is the difference?

  2. Kimmo Linkama - 2012-10-31 @ 21:38

    Absolutely. That’s why I’m surprised this kind of commotion arises in the first place. Someone drew a parallel in the comments to the original blog post: If a person is doing voluntary charitable work, should those doing the same thing professionally get pissed off? City social workers fending off soup kitchen volunteers? Ridiculous.

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