Creative Commons Errors: Getting It Right

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

There’s a good rule of thumb in life: everyone makes mistakes.

If you subscribe to that, you tend to allow people chance to correct their mistakes, and it’s in that situation that you’ll discover their true character.
Take the issue of using other people’s photographs in your work. This morning, I found[ this article]( in my feed reader:
[![danah boyd on Techcrunch](](
“That picture look awfully familiar, I though.” Oh, yeah. Because it’s [one of mine]( And it isn’t attributed. The picture is [Creative Commons]( "Creative Commons") licensed, so people are free to use it, but there’s a [requirement for attribution]( 
Fair enough, I thought. [Techcrunch]( "TechCrunch") has made a mistake. Let’s give them the chance to correct. I contacted the author, [Jason Kincaid]( "Jason Kincaid"), [via Twitter]( And this was his response:
![Jason Kincaid Attributes](
And sure enough, within minutes, my attribution was in place:
And that’s a model of how to do it. This is [the second time I’ve had to do this]( recently, and the reaction I’ve got both times contrasts sharply with that sometimes [displayed by the mainstream media]( 
This is not hard. But it does require you seeing yourself as just one of a community of amateur and professional publishers. Why do traditional media types find that so hard?
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.