Should I license my photographs with Creative Commons?

Creative Commons” by Kristina Alexanderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Whether to make your photographs available with a Creative Commons license is a decision for the individual photographer. Here are some factors to consider:

  • If reaching a larger audience is your primary goal, Creative Commons licensing may help. Many publishers search for photographs that are licensed under Creative Commons and provide proper attribution.
  • You can choose different licenses for different photographs, and choose to license only certain photographs.
  • Once you license a photograph with a Creative Commons license, you cannot stop someone from using it, as long as they are following the terms of the license. The licenses are irrevocable.
  • If you want to prevent commercial use of your photograph, consider that “commercial use” is defined rather vaguely, and make sure you understand how others might interpret the term.

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