Tip: Make use of 21st Century Copyright Laws to Secure Elements

Creative Commons has opened the door to better sharing – but play by the rules!

A few years ago I found myself in need of images for an earlier edition of my book that I did not have on hand, or have any way of shooting. I needed a winter scene but was 250 miles and 2 months away from one. I needed strongly lit footage to demonstrate color matching with extreme lighting; this I could have shot, but more than just images, I needed inspiration.

We’ve come a long way in the past decade with image sharing. Thanks to increased bandwidth the growth of the web, and fantastic photo sharing sites like flickr, you no longer have to find, stage and shoot everything yourself.

Or do you? It’s illegal, and uncool, to use imagery against the wishes of the user. Standard copyright law plans for this by assuming that the creator wants to retain all rights, and requires big bucks for usage. This law may be in place whether or not a work specifically states it is under copyright. Is there a better way? Absolutely.

Perhaps no one disagrees with more commitment to evolving copyright law than Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons, whose motto is “Share, Remix, Reuse- Legally.”

The philosophy is that culture is built upon one artist extending the work of another. The result is the Creative Commons license, which allows a copyright holder to specify where and how creative work is re-used.

And Flickr turned out to have the solution to my dilemma, via the


Share:
Mark Christiansen

Mark Christiansen

Author of After Effects Compositing series at lynda.com; founder of New Scribbler LLC, developer of Cinefex for iPad; Adobe Press author, VFX artist on major motion pictures including Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End