The Creative Commons Dilemma

The Creative Commons Dilemma

If you take an Alitalia flight in November, have a look at the in-flight magazine, Ulisse. On page 80 you will find a reproduction of this picture of mine. On the facing page you will also find this other picture.

I think I shouldn’t complain, my pictures here on Flickr are available under a Creative Commons license, and the magazine is free, so this use should qualify as non-commercial. However, I wonder whether I should switch to a more restrictive license, or even reserve all rights. Since more than half the pictures on Ulisse are CC-licensed, if I hadn’t done the same, they would have simply chosen somebody else’s pictures.

Using a CC license, I get at least a validation that my pictures are good enough to be used for a magazine. What do you think?

There are 3 comments for this article
  1. xpmatteo at 6:03 pm

    What’s your loss when they use your photo? What would you gain by retaining your rights?

  2. jb at 12:40 pm

    Hi Ugo,

    Four years later, I noticed you changed the license of your 2 published into All rights reserved.

    What pushed you to do this? And were they just CC or CC-NC at the time the magazine published them?

    Second, the in-flight magazines are indeed free, but they clearly intend to sell you something with the nice (free) pictures: the destinations advertised are always destination where the airline flies. So I think the “non commercial” quality of such a magazine is questionable. Of course, it’s not the most unethical use of CC licenses …

    Thanks for replying,


    • Ugo Cei at 1:20 pm

      At the moment, everything I publish is All Rights Reserved, except for the stranger portraits series, that are CC. I’, not getting many requests for licensing, so I don’t think it makes much of a difference either way.

      Yes, those were CC-NC at the time the magazine published them and I agree with you: the non-commercial aspect is definitely questionable.

      Thanks for your comment.