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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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

    • Neville Hobson

      Thanks for the link Paul. I read your comments there. Good arguments; I have no disagreeemnt with the points you make.

      All I’d say is that my point in this post re Channel 4 is to to suggest they publish photos, such as the ones they have, under a Creative Commons license that makes clear the rights they’re willing to share, and what they reserve. It’s not about suggesting they go down the open road, so to speak, on all their contwent. Just to be clear.

  1. NevilleHobson.eu

    […] 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 … […]

    • Guy Swarbrick

      The reason you have to be Andrew’s friend to comment isn’t because Facebook is a walled garden, it’s because Facebook is a social media site not a publishing platform. Posts aren’t meant to be public, they’re meant to be seen by whoever the poster (not Facebook) chooses.

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