What is Creative Commons?This is genius. It is a not-for-profit way of protecting your copyright. You choose which of six licenses applies to you and then mark your work in some way to show the license applies to it. Your work can be a photo, video, document, tutorial, pattern, song etc. Now to some, six licenses may sound confusing but this is not the lie of "tax doesn't need to be taxing". This is actually a simple process. The six licenses are explained here (scroll down) so let's take two examples to show how they work.
If you choose the most basic license, this is "Attribution". This means that when someone comes across something with this license they can use it in any way they want to as long as they identify you as the original is credited to you. So if you were to knit something from a Rowan pattern and take a killer picture of it, Rowan could come across it and use the photo in their publicity materials without asking permission or paying you a bean as long as they put your name on it. You still own the copyright in this and all other cases and you do have moral and a few other rights, explained online in more detail.
If you want more protection you might choose the "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs" license. This means that as well as attributing the work to you, they can't use it for commercial purposes (so Rowan couldn't use it for marketing) and they have to use it as is - they can't edit or change it in any way.
Still confused? CC have created a little tool to help you choose a license (should you wish to license your work through Flickr or somewhere else for usage).
CC and FlickrNow once works (photos, in this case) are licensed you can start using them. I source all my images from Flickr and I store all of mine there too (and yes, mine are all CC licensed). If you go to Flickr's Advanced Search tool and scroll all the way down you'll see this:
click here). Click on "see more" next to the license your heart desires and search in there.
Using an ImageLet's say you want to advertise my Charm Square Swap. You could just write about it but a picture is worth a thousand tweets so find the image on Flickr. Hint - it's here. Above the image and on the left click on 'share'. You'll get this.
Personally I stay in 'compose' mode (the one it takes you to automatically) and paste the code wherever I want the image to go. Just like this:
Telling How an Image on Flickr is LicensedYou may have already found an image and want to check how you can use it. Easy enough. Take this image for example:
this photo. This one says "All rights reserved" under the owner settings heading. That means that if you use it without the explicit permission of the creator you are potentially in a pile of poo. Best case scenario you get a polite email telling you to take the image off your blog pronto. Worst case and it all gets legal and expensive.
If you are a charity a lot of people will be ok with attribution-only as long as you are clear about how it will be used, but you MUST get written permission to use an image which isn't currently licensed. Can't get permission? There are two hundred million images on Flickr with some form of CC license. Just choose a different one.
Leave a comment if you have any questions!