Uploading the same media to multiple sites (eBird, iNaturalist, e-Butterfly, etc)

Are there any licensing issues with uploading media to multiple online databases. For example, what are the ramifications of uploading a photograph of a bird to iNaturalist and adding that same photo to an eBird checklist (uploading the photo to the Macaulay Library)? How about audio, or a different website pair (iNaturalist and e-Butterfly). What happens if the licenses don’t mesh?


I can’t answer this question well, but can contribute that I’ve heard there can be issues with uploading the same observations to multiple databases and then having the data itself duplicated if it is aggregated. So that may be something to consider in this scenario.

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You set your licenses, so it won’t be a problem. A problem is that your observations will be doubled in GBIF, as eBird and probably the other website too export data to GBIF, as iNat does, if you don’t set strict license. So probably if you want to post stuff both on iNat and other databases - set license to strict in those observations that you upload elsewere.


It’s your content, your copyright, you can share it as you wish, with or without giving permission to have it shared or used elsewhere. If you are concerned about doubling of observations exported to other websites, set very restrictive re-sharing parameters. Not sure if eBird let’s you pick your CC license, but iNaturalist does.

My understanding is that the aggregators will only operate on your content within the scope of the rights that you have set. For instance, if you set full copyright on your content in iNat, it won’t send to GBIF.

It’s my understanding that GBIF (and potentially other aggregators) do some degree of checking for contributions from multiple sources. So if you have content at eBird and iNaturlaist, then perhaps at GBIF they can figure out that the same species in the same place and time by the same copyright owner from two different sources is actually the same thing… I’m not 100% sure of this though…

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What will happen if the bird or butterfly has a different name, or identified as different subspecies? Taxonomies may be different. Perhaps better to have a link to the other site, especially if they allow a larger resolution or video. Also if a different username is used, it may just be easier to avoid being flagged as a copyright infringement.

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