Grant Your Instagrams Freedom with I Am CC

Grant Your Instagrams Freedom with I Am CCAccording to the I Am CC manifesto, Instagram gets about five million new photos every day. It has become a breeding ground for great creativity, a growing community of photographers, and those who like sharing their daily lives. All in all, it’s a visual representation of the versatility and broad spectrum of humanity. I Am CC is a website that hopes to generate more interest in the Creative Commons movement. Its belief is that creativity is most likely to happen in a community that welcomes shared inspiration.

It’s not the first time that I’ve proclaimed Instagram to be a great catalyst for creativity, and the Creative Commons concept expands the effect of that catalyst when married to the Instagram experience. As it has with other artistic endeavors on the Web, Creative Commons invites the most creative behavior of all: sharing experiences.

Every photo you take through Instagram is yours by default, and once your photos are uploaded, they’re kind of stuck there. If you want to license your photos so that anyone on the Web can use them, I Am CC is a website allows you to assign a range of different Creative Commons licenses to your Instagram photos. Flickr has had this option for quite a while. It’s even possible to license one’s photos through Getty Images.

Creative Commons describes its mission like so: “Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.” Here’s the rest of the Creative Commons mission statement. There are several different licenses, which allow sharing, modification, and even commercial use. It’s up to you which combination you would like to apply to your work on Instagram. Once you sign up, the license stays active for three months, at which point you’re asked again. Even if you change your mind, you cannot change the license on any of the previously licensed photos. They’ll remain under a Creative Commons license indefinitely.

It’s your choice entirely, but if you believe that you have some talent for photography, why not let others use your work? It’s free advertising and can even facilitate your brand building. Perhaps it’s somewhat similar to the act of giving away photos for free as practiced by some famous photographers, such as Trey Ratcliff. At the time of writing this, 3175 people are releasing their Instagram photos on I Am CC under a Creative Commons license. It’s not a large number, but a good start. I believe that it would be great if more would support this.

Interested? Sign up for I Am CC and liberate your Instagram contributions to the world!

Does this sound like something you’d do without hesitation, or do you have reservations? Please share your reasons for or against the use of your Instagram photos in the Creative Commons library by commenting below!

Image: Instagram logo

Article Written by

He's a writer and photographer living in Sweden. Technology, philosophy, and films are some of his other interests. In 2008, Maximilian completed a BA in creative writing in London. So, being a writer has been important to him for a long time -- although he prefers to be called a "storyteller."

  • David Spector

    While I understand creative commons as a photographer I work very hard at my craft and I do not give pictures away except on some rare occasions. I have a Instagram account but I never use it.

  • Matthew Cheung

    I feel that Creative Commons is not that big of an issue with Instagram only becaise most people that I know that use it for fun such as taking pictures of themselves, their meals, or events during the day.

  • Beshoy Shafek Malk

    I like using intagram not just because of its filters, which is great, but also because i can share it to facebook and twitter…its more convinent

  • Uthman Baksh

    I thought my Instagram photos were already accessible to the masses. I used an Instagram photo in a Keynote presentation a few months back.

    • John McKinlay

      Nothing, regardless of “accessibility” is for you to use. The second it’s posted online the date/time/username counts as copyright or at the very least intellectual property which could seriously get you in hot water. This is also regardless as to whether or not the person will ever find out.

      • Uthman Baksh

        9 times out of 10, they are either too lazy to pursue a copyright violation or they just too lazy

  • Ben Rupert

    I love the idea of instagram and twitter but I might be the only person without an account. I have a google+ and facebook and even that is a lot of work to keep synced in any sense of the word. Oh I also have a myspace that I havent used in like 6 years.

  • Curtis Coburn

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know they did things like this. The pictures I take, I wouldn’t mind if someone used them, but don’t get why they would. I don’t take pictures of amazing things like Tom Anderson does, I just take pictures of an average day, or something I think is interesting. I agree with you, if you have a talent for photography, this will definitely be good for you.

    My uncle likes to take pictures of Landscapes, I’ll share this with him. Thanks for the article.

  • Jesse Aranda

    I’ve said that I’m just starting to use Twitter, but Instagram is even newer to me. I don’t think anything I’ve done is worth a download or reuse but I think I might put them into CC.

  • Bharat Kumar Gupta

    Oh thank you, i share lots of images online not merely photographs but digital renderings, graphic art and other art images, i was looking for something like this to license my photos and allow them to be shared, and i see this as “licensing made easier”. Stitched with instagram sounds like a powerful thing, thats really healthy and things shud be simpler why not :)!

    • Bharat Kumar Gupta

      You mean approach? or is it french :D?

  • Cworld01

    I have my accounts in almost every famous Social Network Websites because i have a YouTube channel called ( CworldTube ). Where i made videos about geek stuff and all the pictures i using in my videos like my title pic of the video, i posted that pic on Instagram, Tumnlr etc.

  • Gregory Alexander

    Ok this requires some thought as I am graphic designer in my free time and use my own photos for various projects as they come up. I think if someone is very careful with what they upload then a creative commons would be very inspiring. However when that photo becomes a part of some, lets say an international marketing campaign for Sony, then I think the photographer should reap some form of notariaty or financial compensation for the photograph.
    I will also submit that I have done many works for hire or as an employee for a company and enjoy seeing a truck go by with graphics or a caption that I created. This exposure to past work is a reminder when I here someone say ” I like the design on that truck, it gave me a great idea!” . That is the greatest feeling in the world when that happens so in that respect I would look at sharing my work on Instagram to be just another extension of me touching and inspiring other.