According 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.
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