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Author Topic: Can I use Creative Commons material in stock work?  (Read 2160 times)

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  • Visit me at: www.jensmolin.se

« on: June 27, 2014, 12:59 »
I'm reading up on the Creative Commons License, and as I understand the most free CC license lets you use their work in commercial purposes as long as you credit the original author. Does this mean that I can use these CC works as a small part of a stock work that I sell? If so, how could I credit  the author?

« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 13:08 »
Agencies want you to hold copyright to the whole image.  'commercial use' means like an ad, not in a piece you will sell for stock.


« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 13:09 »
You would not be able, on most stock sites, to credit the author in such a way that s/he would be credited by the end user.
The most open CC licence I can find (4.0 International) also says that as a user, "No additional restrictions You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. ", meaning that incorporating a CC work would prevent you from copywriting your derivative work. Stock libraries generally require you to have copyright of any work you upload to them.

« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 13:15 »
You don't own the copyright to any CC work, and thus you couldn't say "yes" to the term in most supply agreements that asks that you own the copyright to every component of the submitted image.

See some examples here:


From Shutterstock's terms:

"Submissions must be wholly owned by the submitter. Found or public domain images or footage cannot be submitted under any circumstances. If you do not have complete rights to the submission, you may not submit it.

Submissions must NOT contain any copyrighted material including paintings, other copyrighted photos, copyrighted logos, or any other art/advertisements/sculptures/exhibits or audio which are copyrighted. If submitted material contains any of these or other types of copyrighted content, you must either submit releases from the copyright owners or you must mark the images as editorial"


« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 13:17 »
Not to mention that some Creative Commons work is actually stolen or appears there by accident.


  • Visit me at: www.jensmolin.se

« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 13:45 »
Thanks guys! Great answers as always!!

But what about the images in the NASA public domain library?


« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 13:55 »
PD is a different licence from CC.
Here's iS's take on it. Other agencies no doubt publish their guidelines:


  • Visit me at: www.jensmolin.se

« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 14:09 »
So if i interpret that correctly, PD images is ok if you can show that it is just a small part of your work and that you can show a link to the PD images proving that they are indeed PD...!?


« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 14:47 »
Shutterstock requires the line "portions of this image supplied by NASA" in the description.


« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 15:48 »
Public Domain images usually require a credit no different than creative commons images....at least the public domain images that I have seen released in the U.S. that were created by U.S. Government entities (including NASA - which is why Shutterstock has the requirement pointed out above).


« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 16:02 »
I believe the exact wording to use at Shutterstock is 'Elements of this image furnished by NASA'. Shutterstock has also announced that they don't accept PD images any longer, but I like to think that they mean PD images as a whole. If you use elements of a PD image, I'd like to believe they will not reject the image.


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