We want you to license your iNaturalist photos before April 15th!

great. i agree that this potentially will be the coolest thing:

regarding:

ok. i agree that if you’re primarily looking for a training set, then you’re probably just going to download the full set of metadata files or do something with an AWS RDS. i was originally thinking that for other potential uses, it might be more useful to start by getting observation data via the API or observation export, rather than starting with the observation metadata file. i was thinking there might be some middle area between the 10,000 observation limit of the API and the 200,000 limit of the observation export, where it might be nice to pair the photo metadata file with the results of an export, and folks most likely to employ that kind of workflow might already have a particular photo license or set of licenses in mind. but upon reflection, i suppose if you’re going to download and use >10,000 photos, then downloading and using a large photo metadata file probably isn’t going to phase you.

Finally we got to this part. I was scrolling and scrolling to see if this was addressed, after the blog did not mention it. It was my man reason to hesitate.

iNat doesn’t store full size photos, so really nothing should prevent posting here.

Yes sure, but that has been ongoing for a long while, especially for nature photography. Since everybody has a phone with them all the time and the quality is getting better and better, professional nature photography is a niche with little space and one really has to find a special corner in that niche if one wants to make a living out of it.
But thats how life goes - it always did and it always will. There have been always some professions that are prone to die out over time. People rarely like painted family portraits anymore, which was common for quite some time before photography flourished. People used to buy films and pay someone to develop the shots, which is nowadays basically done… and there are tons of non-photo-related examples as well, starting from people copying books manually to DVD-shops.
I am not too sentimental about that actually. Change is part of human culture.

I was not able to help iNat in that specific case as my photos are already cc-ed. If someone decides they are good enough to share and spreat the word about how amazing nature is - why not! Great stuff. I support that. And maybe someone sees them and gets inspired by them, which would be amazing and more than I would hope for!

6 Likes

Hi,

I publish my observations on iNaturalist under public domain conditions (CC0) and the images under a CC BY-SA license.

The reason I chose a CC0 license for my observations is that it makes it easier for researchers when using one of them in their projects or research work. If they were published under a CC BY or similar license, they would have to mention my name in their papers. When working with hundreds or thousands of observations from different people, having to give credit to each of them would be very laborious and impractical. Just an observation!: I saw this here. Better a CC0.

For images I use a CC BY-SA license. I often create Wikipedia articles for species observed by me that does not yet have an article on Wikipedia, or upload photos of those species if there are not many images of them available in the Wikimedia Commons repository (CC BY-NC or CC BY-NC-SA licenses do not allow reuse on Wikipedia). With a CC BY-SA license I guarantee two things: that my images can be used in Wikipedia or any other open knowledge project and that those images will remain free in the future.

I have no intention of selling my photos, so I don’t see much point in reserving the right to commercial use. I prefer to publish them without that restriction so that anyone can use them as they like, even for commercial purposes. The condition is that the use of the images remains free for anyone.

Greetings from Spain.

Regards,

Daniel

6 Likes

Well, the quality of the camera is getting better and better. The quality of the would-be photographers, not necessarily. It takes more than a great camera to make a great photo.

4 Likes

Why you even allow no license?(all rights)?

Cause author of content has to decide on it, there’re people who for some reason want to reserve all rights to them.

1 Like

I wish someone would define the different kinds of permissions. I just went to my account settings and made a choice that I THINK might be Creative Commons with Attribution, but since I can nowhere find a definition of the abbreviations in the settings, I’m just guessing that I picked the right one. WHY do people in the tech universe insist on using acronyms that relative newbies don’t have any way to know??? I suppose I can ask Google, but really…

2 Likes

Just over the the boxes where you can choose the different licenses in your account, there is a link to an explanation for each licenses. For each explanation, there is another link that brings you to the Creative Commons website for further explanations. In any case, it is still a bit hard to figure out what each license means!

4 Likes

Next question: where is the explanation for how to change the licensing on just one picture at a time?

You can’t do it now.

What do you mean?

Sorry, it’s early morning and I confused annotations and license, you can edit license by opening (i) page of the photo.

1 Like

Yes, you can click on the little “i” at the bottom of each photo in an observation and this will bring you to the photo properties. In the first section on the right, you can choose and change the license of the photo.

2 Likes

@loarie – i realized that it’s not really possible to do this because the observation metadata file in the AWS open data set doesn’t have an observation id (only the UUID), and an iNaturalist export can provide an observation id but not a UUID. have you all given any thought to either adding observation id to the observation metadata file or providing the ability to include UUID in the iNaturalist export so that the data can be linked? (if so, and you are in favor of being able to link the data, do you all have a preferred approach?)

examples of use cases that i’m thinking about would be something like getting a set of photos after using the iNaturallist export to filter for observations based on project (ex. feather photos based on the feather project), filter based on annotations (ex. differentiate between photos of larval, pupal, and adult monarch butterflies), filter based on standard administrative boundaries (including obscured observations which may otherwise show as outside of those boundaries), filter or return observation fields, return tags, return true coordinates, etc… i don’t think it’s possible for regular folks to do this kind of thing any other way except via the API, which becomes inefficient beyond 10000 records.

I will not be changing from my current “all rights reserved.” I am currently in a financially-privileged position whereby it does not matter if I make money from sale of images or videos. However, that is kind of my point. We are an international community, and to expect people who are not privileged to forfeit their rights to earn a living from their “works” is insulting.

We need to put on our collective thinking caps and figure out some kind of hosting platform or model that does not put undue pressure on contributors, and all but guarantee that the website won’t go belly-up. Flickr is already precarious, and I expect it will eventually perish because it is viewed by the company that owns it as purely a profit-making venture. There is no interest in maintaining community or furthering art, documentation of science, history, etc.

Maybe iNaturalist staff need to recruit more cutting-edge tech gurus to help formulate something unique, instead of caving to the inertia of the status quo? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for open-access to scientific information! It just has to happen through a model of equity, or at least recognition that not everyone enjoys white privilege.

1 Like

Rubbish! No one is expecting anyone to do anything, they are being asked to consider

What does this have to do with white privilege!?

If we are raising forfeiture of rights to earn a living from photos that there was no intention or expectation to do so from (and those are the use cases that are being asked to consider it), then how about the forfeiture of rights to “potentially” earn income from making identifications, or from granting access to backcountry blocks so that inaturalists can reach places to make observations from, or every time I make a suggestion or a feature request, should I be vigorously protecting my intellectual property rights on those too? Most people in iNat are here out of a desire to contribute in a voluntary fashion to a great cause, and gain from the participation in the community. iNat very sensibly start from a position that respects Intellectual Property, and asks people to consider more open licensing… how is that undue pressure?

When I raised my concerns about “bashing the professionals”, I am more concerned that people would ask people to consider, and then get shirty when they don’t agree to do it. Or phrasing the request in such a way that makes them feel that they are being selfish if they choose not to.

By all means, keep your “all rights reserved”. You have considered it, and decided against. That is fine.

But to be in a situation where you COULD make a difference, but you choose not to because it might be considered an expectation on others that might NOT be able to make that difference? And then to boldly proclaim it as some sort of cause to protect the common man? Is that what you mean by “white privilege”?

3 Likes

CC BY-NC is pretty much the same as all rights reserved in terms of reality, people will copy photos anyway if they want, it’s possible with any website, even those that prvent clicking on the page to save one, but this license allows to get all the money author wants.
iNaturalist is not a Flickr at all and shouldn’t be compared wih photo site, it’s not one.
Have to say also your observations are far from being “all rights reserved”.

1 Like

There is no problem in reserving all rights as long as iNaturalist offers that possibility.

A solution for those who want to reserve all rights to their images and also want to share observations with Creative Commons images would be to upload a lower resolution copy to iNaturalist and publish it under these licensing conditions. This copy must be good enough to be able to identify the species observed, but it does not need to be a high quality image. The author may not publish the original image or may publish it elsewhere under copyright if he/she wishes. In this way, the author allows the reuse of his image on iNaturalist (a lower quality copy) while reserving all rights to the original image (a higher quality copy).

I agree that iNaturalist is not a photography site. However, there are some very good images and excellent nature photographers on iNaturalist. Posting professional quality photos is fine, but it’s also not necessary.

Greetings from Spain.

Regards,

Daniel

3 Likes