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Creative Commons, Boo Hoo

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Dec. 20th, 2007 | 02:44 pm

While waiting on a compile today I came across this article:

Essentially the author is complaining that creative commons is killing the market for professional photographers. Now that "amateurs" are posting all of their photography under free to use licenses, this is harming the market for "professional" photographers.

As I pointed out in comments on the story, this is no different then Microsoft or any other proprietary software company complaining about open source ruining the market for software. This is an old argument, and one at this point we hear less and less. Open source was about distribution in a monopolized market (and of course many other things).

The reward system for photography turns from being based on a per photo compensation to being one based on better reputation or referral.

Flickr and online services make it easy to publish vast quantities of photographs, this commoditizes the market for paid photography. Each of the online services which encourage users to share information threatens business models that were established around a central control of information.

To the online services this is just a side effect. They create an industry around their product at the detriment of other business models.

Want to bet the carriage makers of the US were pretty upset with Ford when he started mass producing cars?

It does not always happen this way though. Threadless for instance seems to have found a way to make money while balancing needs the needs of artists who want pay based on different metrics (have the folks at CafePress asked why Threadless is cleaning their clocks?). Before Threadless how often would you know who produced the idea for the clothing you were wearing?

Instead of a corporate wall of identity, you push the creators to the forefront.

It takes time for people to grasp the significance of market change. Many of the mailing lists I read around open source projects still have individuals asking the question every so often of "could we hold something back to force everyone to pay?". Welcome to the world where crippleware has not quite left our vocabulary yet.

Disruptions to the business models of the last century have just begun. As an end of year practice sit back and ask yourself what could radically change the model that feeds you today.

Then go do it.

A final thought, I wonder if anyone at the studios has pitched the idea of using creative commons written stories for television shows?

It would be one hell of a way to cut costs, and get TV shows back in production.

And Slash fiction would of course radically change television. Just imagine Smallville...

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Comments {1}

non-commercial use

from: jimw
date: Dec. 21st, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)

a lot of the drama occurs because there are (apparently) a lot of people who get all wigged out at the idea of someone making commercial use of their photographs without them being compensated. i can understand the issue, even if i personally reject it.

and i have to say that i have no idea who designed any of the threadless shirts that i own.

i can't imagine an open source company having the gall to hold back features so that people will pay. oh, wait.

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