Another great story of openness, and one that is well themed for this amazing time in South Africa. My colleague Andrew Deacon in the Centre for Educational Technology attended the Algeria versus England Match in Cape Town last Friday. Naturally he snapped a number of photos to capture the moment and remember the game. A selection of the photos were shared on thepopular photo sharing site Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
A week later Andrew noticed that his photo was being used in the Wikipedia article which describes the match. He didn’t put it there deliberately; it was in fact found by another user, somewhere in the world, and added to Wikipedia as a suitable image to represent the match!
We then noticed that the image had also been applied to the page which represents the Algerian national team to describe their performance in the 2010 World Cup.
So Andrew’s photos are being used on Wikipedia because they were licensed with an open license and shared online. Had he not stipulated an open license, or left that to ambiguity, he would have assumed full copyright. That would mean his photos would have never been used in this manner. The Creative Commons license let the person who discovered his photo online know that he could reuse the photo, while giving credit to Andrew in the process.
This is another great example of the potentially unforeseen benefits of ‘openness‘! Andrew does not lose anything in the process. In fact he gets to see that his work is considered useful to someone else and is likely to be seen by many more people.
Update: Cool – Another one of Andrew’s photos has been used for the ‘Sun-dried Tomato’ article on Wikipedia!!