Monthly Archives: June 2009

Update: Creative Commons issue resolutions

Rather than appending to my previous post I thought I’d add this update as a separate entry.

Following my discovery that the Daily Mail had used one of my images without permission, a number of threads kicked off. I asked folks via my blog, on Flickr and on Twitter, what their recommendations were – and I was overwhelmed by the response.

My initial response was to contact the Mail and ask for attribution, but I received no response to my email. I then decided to contact the picture desk, and ended up invoicing them for use of the image based on breach of license terms. I was prepared to take the matter further had the attribution (at minimum) not been provided. They finally added an attribution yesterday – although that’s via an overlay on the image, so it’s not ideal as it’s not searchable, and there’s no link back to my original content.

It has been pointed out to me that simply retrospectively billing them may lend some legitimacy to what they have done here… and let’s be honest, unless someone had spotted the reuse of my image I wouldn’t have known about it. They hadn’t linked to my Flickr page so I wouldn’t have found it via search. I suppose one answer would be the use of a tool like Tineye. More importantly though, I think it’s completely unacceptable to use CC-licensed (or even fully rights-reserved) material in this way and news sites and other services need to learn to respect these licenses. As a result, I’ve had some other friends make contact with the Mail at a high level to make this point.

On Sunday I became aware that another site had reprinted the Mail’s story, and included my image. This time, it was a news site in Brazil. My initial approach to this was to use Google Translate to try to find contact details, and I ended up filling in a form in English. I then asked for assistance on Twitter, and @mauricioswg was able to put me in touch with a Brazilian friend of his who also contacted the site on my behalf. At first they took the image down, but they still wanted to use it and after some discussion they now have the “correct” unmodified version of the image with attribution by agreement, thus fulfilling the terms of the license.

The upshot of all this? Whilst it can sometimes be hard to locate sites that are using your images – be vigilant as far as possible, and insist on your license. It’s your material.

I’d like to thank everyone who has offered support and provided help. My Twitter and other online and offline contacts have been invaluable. Social networks FTW!

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Journalism, attribution and Creative Commons

Attribution and Creative Commons

The Daily Mail posted a story on their website about my friend Andy Stanford-Clark, and used a crop from one of my photos to illustrate it. As it happens, I would have been perfectly happy for them to use it (and even to crop it) if they’d asked for permission. At the time I post this, they are not following the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence and they are also not linking back to my Flickr page per the Flickr terms and conditions.

Thanks to Nick for bringing this to my attention, and for those who have told me that they’ve posted comments (currently not through moderation) or sent emails. We’ll see what happens.

I’ve posted about my approach to CC licensing images before. In this case, it’s arguably more of a concern as it’s a national newspaper displaying what would appear to be significant ignorance about the morality of using user-created content.

Beyond all of this… if you want to learn more about Andy’s tweeting house, he was featured on the BBC News yesterday – it’s a nice piece, check it out.

A 3GS hit-and-run

I hadn’t intended to spend any time at all talking specifically about the iPhone 3GS here on the blog, but following a comment by Per[1] I thought I’d jot down a few notes.

Firstly, given my previous comments about O2 and the upgrade issue… I should explain why I bothered. I got the 3.0 upgrade on the 3G when it came out last Wednesday, and liked what I found, particularly the option to install more than the 2.0 OS limit of 144 / 9 pages of apps. It’s now effectively unlimited, since even if you don’t have space on a home screen, you can search for the app using Spotlight. That’s nice. However, I was already hitting my space limit on the 16Gb 3G, so room to breathe was going to be handy. I also liked the improved navigation and possibility to get the TomTom kit in the future, and once I’d tried the camera in-store, I thought that was going to be a big deal as well (more on that, below). There was a small amount of peer pressure too, given our conversation on last week’s Dogear Nation.

In the end I opted to get a PAYG phone, swap in my contract SIM, and sell the old handset to Mazuma. If I’d waited to upgrade and then wanted the same handset I now have, I’d’ve ended up on another 18 (or 24) month contract with the same upgrade trap in June, and probably on a higher tariff to subsidise the cost of a new handset. This way my existing contract will run out in due course, I stay on the same tariff, and the handset doesn’t cost much more than it would have done come “upgrade” time in 3-6 months.

So what’s good? It’s very clearly nippier. Every operation is obviously faster and cleaner. I’m liking the camera and video recording (zoom would be nice, but variable focus and auto-adjusting exposure/white balance work for me). It was a great move to retain the 3G body and form factor – my Clarifi case still fits perfectly, and the macro lens seems to let me focus marginally closer still than the 3GS can manage on its own (it does a good job by itself, though). Amongst the sprinkling of other functions I like, not specific to the new model, are the landscape keyboard and the improved podcast playback features – did you know you can slide horizontally to scrub through a track, and slide down to scrub more finely? Neat.

The real revelation so far though, has been the screen. The new smudge / grease-resistant coating is a marvel. So far I’ve not fitted a screen protector, and although I’m loath to allow it to become physically scratched, the new screen feels and looks so much better and remains much, much cleaner. It’s just… almost magic.

In the “miss” column we have the voice control feature, which I’m not sure I’ll be using much; and shake-to-shuffle (is this actually supposed to work if the display is locked, by the way? seems not to do so for me, which makes it even more pointless). Oh, and battery life seems worse, but I suspect the compass and the notifications feature are contributing to that, as are the wider range of ways I’m actually using it. May have to think about a Mophie Juice Pack Air.

I used the video function in anger for the first time today, uploading one clip from the Hursley Tri-Department sports tournament directly to YouTube, and later grabbed a set of clips from the phone via iPhoto (yes, iPhoto manages video from the iPhone, go figure) and edited them together in iMovie. It’s not the best quality but probably still as good as my cheap USB camcorder – plus the screen and on-device editing features are nice additions. Rumours are that the chipset is capable of 720p video, but I doubt we’ll get to see that in the current generation of device. I’ve posted a bunch of sample photos to Flickr as well, if you are interested – the Blue Eyeball shot was taken at close quarters with the Clarifi.

Really nothing more to say here. There are more than enough people getting excited about the device and as I said, I hadn’t planned to write up any thoughts – blame that Danish guy 🙂

[1] just because I responded to audience pressure this time, don’t expect me to do it every time, m’kay? 🙂

Help @wonderwebby change the world!

There’s only one week left for YOU to support my friend Jasmin in meeting her target of raising AU$10,000 to help change the lives of a community of 30 women in the Philippines. The goal is a microfinance project providing loans to help them set up their own businesses and build themselves up out of poverty.

Jazz is absolutely inspirational to me. It’s staggering that she has spoken of me as a blogging buddy and mentor when she started out, and to see where she is now. For the past 6 months Jasmin has been using social media (blogs, podcasts, photos, videos) to raise awareness of poverty as an ambassador for Women’s Opportunity International. She even organised an event in support of the cause in Melbourne, using social tools.

Ask yourself right now – can you spare $10, $20, to contribute to her target? (AU$5,000/$4,000 US to go this week) It’s a worthy cause and you WILL be making a difference. It’s simple to donate, particularly if you have a PayPal account set up… really, it won’t take any time at all. If you read this post and donate just $20 right now, she will hit that target in no time.

I know many of my friends and blog readers have already helped her – thanks for your support! If you haven’t had an opportunity to contribute so far, just do it – a few clicks and a few dollars and you and @wonderwebby can use social media to change one corner of the world.

IBM WebSphere Application Server – free to developers

My friend Per and the guys who write the WebSphere Community Blog have already posted today to note that developers can now download and use WebSphere Application Server version 7.0 for free.

Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nuthin’. Nowt.

What’s the big deal? Well, before now IBM hasn’t made WebSphere Application Server (also known as WAS) available for free, you’ve needed a license. Although the Java Enterprise Edition programming model is broadly the same regardless of the choice of vendor, it’s always a good idea to develop, test and deploy on the same version of the runtime you’ll be using in production. Plus, you get the opportunity to learn more about WAS administration and hone skills with the product. It’s well worth a look.

And look, let’s be honest, I don’t post about WebSphere stuff half as much as I “should” – this is newsworthy stuff. Go take a look.