Why share if you reserve all rights?


Channel 4 News posted a collection of dramatic photos to its Google+ page of the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy in New York City and elsewhere on the US east coast.

My second thought was why post these pics with the restrictive copyright wording of “all rights reserved“?

I noted in my post on Google+ when I shared Channel 4’s post:

[…] So how does that fit with the social web and sharing – just like I’ve done with the pics here on Google+?  And if I import this Google+ post to my blog or share it on Twitter, that broadens the scope of the share by some magnitude, and then what? And what if someone shares my post and also makes use of one of the images on his or her blog or website?

It seems to me that if you post pictures to a social networking site like Google+ – especially pictures that are of an event with huge and continuing public interest – you do so wishing for your content to be shared, otherwise why post it to a place where sharing others’ content is a major element of what people do?

“All rights reserved” is very much at odds with that open sentiment. But what if the pics need to be use-restricted by copyright, with all rights reserved? I’d argue that you shouldn’t post them to a public social network in that case.

In any case, I wonder how many people will look at the photos and just pin them to Pinterest without any thought of the words “all rights reserved.”


Surely a Creative Commons copyright license would be a better way to stake a claim over your intellectual property rights but in a way that gives others a legitimate way to share your content? Such an approach also opens up many possibilities for linking to your content as well as citations and attributions, thus prolonging mentions online of your name/brand.

That’s what I’d do. How would you address this point?

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Tuning in to Hurricane Sandy

sandygoesThe ability for people to be connected via the internet is no more valuable when it comes to crises and disasters of one type or another, natural or otherwise.

Hurricane Sandy – the super #Frankenstorm on track to hit the US East Coast today – is a perfect example.

The latest advisory from the US National Hurricane Center is sobering:


Being able to find out what’s happening, how it affects you, your loved ones and your community can be the difference between risk and safety, even life or death. It provides those in government and public safety organizations with multiple communication channels and tools that enable them to offer information to anyone who wants it and can connect to get it.

It also enables anyone with ideas and purpose to provide valuable information via those same channels. Here are just two illustrative examples:

Google Crisis Response Hurricane Sandy Map


The interactive map gives you a wide range of emergency preparedness information:

Google adds:

We’ve also launched a map specific to New York City, featuring evacuation zone information from NYC Open Data, open shelters, weather information and live webcams.

These resources are the latest from the Google Crisis Response initiative, which has a clear mission:

[…] When disaster strikes, people turn to the internet for information. We help ensure the right information is there in these times of need by building tools to collect and share emergency information, and by supporting first responders in using technology to help improve and save lives.

Sandycam Live 24/7


Speaking of live webcams, live video-streaming event company Livestream has created Sandycam Live 24/7, a "live event" you can watch as long as you (and they) have an internet connection:

Watch the Livestream Storm Cam located on top of Livestream’s World Headquarters in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City. The camera is mounted on the roof facing south towards the Financial District. Any shaking of the image is caused by high winds as the camera is mounted outside.

Livestream also has apps for mobile devices which you can use to record and contribute your own Hurricane Sandy video.

  • [Update @ 2.30pm] Mashable reports that Livestream is updating its Android app with live video broadcasting capabilities:

    […] Called Livestream for Producers, the app’s latest version includes a live video streaming option and live blogging, by posting real-time text, photos and video clips, said Livestream CEO Max Haot. Previous versions offered in Google Play did not include live video. […] “The Android live broadcasting option is ideal to cover any event when you don’t have the time, the equipment or the budget to cover it with traditional cameras.”

    The updated free app is already available on Google Play.

    Now you will be able to live-stream video of anything you see – Hurricane Sandy activity, for example – wherever you are, assuming you have internet connectivity. Livestream says the app works over cellular networks as well as wifi.

And of course, there’s plenty of real-time mainstream media content.

To everyone in the "Sandy cone," good luck!