Finding free cultural works on flickr
I used to be one of these persons that daily spend a lot of time browsing photos on flickr and tried to learn tricks from the best photographers. Soon I started to upload photos licensed under CC by-nc and to be honest I didn’t think this photos would be less free than the software I use (libre/free software). It was around a year later I joined flickr when talking with a friend about contributing with photos to libre software projects he told me the license I was using was not compatible with projects like wikipedia, why? because it enters in conflict with one of the freedoms included in the free licences definition about redistribution. If you included a photo with the non-commercial clause in its license in wikipedia it wouldn’t be possible to sell DVD copies of it and it couldn’t contain advertisements. Basically if you want to create a free cultural work using Creative Commons you have to license your photo under the CC Attribution license of the Attribution-Sharealike license. First one is similar to the MIT or BSD used in software, the second one is copyleft.
So, this cloudy night I wondered how many free cultural works are hosted in flickr and I obtained some approximated numbers:
- According to blog.flickr.net there are more than 5 billion photos in flickr
- According to the search engine less than 167 millions are using a CC license
So far we can say that 3,3 out of 100 photos are using Creative Commons licenses. Let’s dive it a bit more:
- 167 millions using CC
- 38 millions of photos licensed under cc-by or cc-by-sa
So .. around 1 out of 100 photos stored in flickr is a free cultural work and 2 out of 100 use a CC license that is not considered free. I wonder how many people does not know yet how important that free contribution would be.