Tim O’Reilly: If you don’t think of what you produce as the “final product” but rather as a step in an information pipeline, what do you do differently to add value for downstream consumers? In Reuters' case, Devin thinks you add hooks to make your information more programmable.
There is a train wreck coming. And it has nothing to do with whether or not the content is “more” programmable or not. Long before it gets to that point, one needs to be able to reliably (and in a non-reputable manner) determine whether or not the information is consumable at all.
Exhibit B: this poster which has always clearly and copiously posted credits, but evidently that didn’t matter as this warning was issued anyway.
The questions as to whether or not prior permission is required, and whether or not the permission granted by a CC license is revocable are both easy to answer, but apparently not well understood.
Could Flickr do a better job of making these consequences readily apparent? Probably so. In any case, they certainly could improve their feeds (Atom, RSS 2.0) which make absolutely no mention of copyright. At all. These guidelines might help.
Will Reuters hit this problem? Unquestionably.
At first I thought the people who were asking me if they could use my CC-by photos were not understanding things, but I guess they just want to create an audit trail and check if I have a clue.
(Still, in practice, I’ve seen that people fail to include the URI to the license when using photos even if my permission message specifically called attention to that license detail. Sigh.)
@Henri: well, that’s one of the vague details of CC licenses, that what constitutes attribution is left up to the individual author. Which makes mega-mashups like my posters problematic at best. I’ve had blog discussions about this before, but no authoritative solutions, nor did anyone seem particularly interested in solving it.
We need an efficient and effective answer. I do not think that polluting a feed with copyright information is useful. (How much “legal” noise do you already ignore?)
There are two sides to this confusion. On the creation side, the simple act of sharing anything on the Internet means it is going to get copied in many ways. You cannot control this in any absolute sense. If you post pictures on Flickr (or the like) you have to be at peace with the notion of little control over re-use.
On the re-use side, you have to expect three general outcomes. Some folk will follow their understanding of your wishes in offering appropriate credit. Some folk (as in the above-mentioned video) may omit credit, but mean no harm (and frankly I doubt caused any harm). Others will attempt to re-sell your work for their material gain.
Only the last outcome is worth getting upset over. If someone else is profiting off your work without credit or recompense and against your wishes, that is the point where it is worth getting upset, and that is the point where copyright law should be invoked.
In the case of the “Richter Scales” video - did they need to give credit? I dunno. Seems to me this counts under “fair use”. If not, the photographer asked for credit, and credits were added to the video. Assuming the entire exchange was civil, this should be an entirely acceptable outcome.
well, that’s one of the vague details of CC licenses, that what constitutes attribution is left up to the individual author.
In the case of my CC-by photos, attribution hasn’t been a problem: people tend to give me attribution as Henri Sivonen or hsivonen (my Flickr screen name).
What tends to be missing is the URI of the license even if I have specifically pointed out this part of the license to the user of the photo. Quoting CC-by 2.0 (emphasis mine):
You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work only under the terms of this License, and You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier for, this License with every copy or phonorecord of the Work You distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform
1. Someone shoots a video which incorporates one of Henri’s CC-By photos.
2. They post the video, along with appropriate credits and a link to the License on their website.
3. Someone else posts the video to YouTube.
4. A third person uses YouTube’s suggested embedding code to embed the video on their blog.
I can pretty much guarantee that by step 4, the link to the CC-By license, if not also the credit to Henri, is long-gone.
While it’s perfectly possible for someone interested in reusing the video and/or Henri’s photo to track down the relevant license information, the scenario I’ve outline (not, by any stretch of the imagination, an unusual one) is clearly in contravention of the terms of the License that Henri selected.
It’s bad enough that many producers and consumers don’t understand the terms of CC licenses. But when the most common use-cases make it practically impossible to follow the terms of those licenses ...
I do understand you’re pointing at a larger issue (and I agree with what you say), but I wanted to add that in the context of what Reuters is offering today they don’t really mash-up content. They tag it for you with a POST call, return the metadata and then throw away the original. It’s a metadata service for (rough) RDF rather than content re/markup.
Isn’t this one of the things that RDF provides a solution for?
RDF can help amateur photographers with no licensing experience understand that the act of checking a radio button on their Flickr account page that reads “Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons” affords random strangers all over the world a specific set of non-revocable legal rights? 'Cuz that would be awesome.