In a bid to broaden their user base and allow for more flexibility for their current members, 500px has adopted the ever-widening Creative Commons Licensing options set for their site. New and longtime users of the popular photography social networking site can select from the 6 options that Creative Commons offers when uploading their photos to the site for sharing. This is pretty monumental, as they are the only other major player in online photography sharing to offer this option to their users. While it may seem like a mute point to most and a thorn in the side to some, allowing for the attributed sharing of creative works is not a new idea (just take a look at the history of copyright and the recent paper published then quickly pulled by the RSC on the subject of copyright law).
Now that users of 500px can utilize the Creative Commons options when uploading their images, people can access an even wider swath of great imagery and art for use in the public domain and through attribution.You can search through their Creative Commons licensed images directly through their Creative Commons section on the site, as well as browse by license. All the images uploaded to the site default to all rights reserved, but if a person decides to upload using one of the new licenses, they will now show up in this new portion of the site. There are many great things to discover through this new functionality, and I encourage you to hop on over an take a look to see for yourself.
This is always a touchy subject with photographers as there is a lot riding on our ability to retain creative control over our product, but this is great news for art in societal enrichment. For those of us as photographers who want to share and collaborate, Creative Commons allows for this without going willy-nilly on copyright law and ruining it for the bread-and-butter photographers. Seeing this expand onto other major photography sites than Flickr makes me all warm inside, maybe it’s about time for me to start thinking about getting on there…
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