Is the noble idea behind creative commons too naive?


When photographer Kevin Collins uploaded his picture of a giant leopard moth on Flickr and Wikipedia in 2008 under his creative commons license, he probably had something different in mind than helping a photo-thief win his first prize in a photo competition. The young Frenchman, Romain Eloy, cropped the photo, mirrored it sideways and rendered the circular stains of the insect rectangular by means of post processing. His result was handed in in the “Check Mate” (hence the final editing step) competition on and eventually won him a Macbook Pro.


Kevin Collins above, Romain Eloy post processed version below

Initially, the official reaction of the jurors said the photo has actually been sufficiently edited for constituting an independent work of art. And that’s despite the fact that rules of competition actually state: “Your submission must be 100% original work.” After the appearance of PetaPixel and Popphoto articles, MiniSpace disqualified the photo.

Public pressure thus seems to be effective with companies who usually don’t take copyright too seriously. I wonder what it would have been like, if the aggrieved party were a total no-name? Is the underlying concept behind creative commons too naïve for our world? Have you ever published a photo under cc-license?

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