Last week I was discussing photos and Creative Commons licenses with a group of fellow designers. If you’re not familiar with Creative Commons licenses, they’re a way for sharing your creative works and knowledge with the rest of the world.
You assign a Creative Common license to your work that defines how it can:
- Be adapted
- Used commercially
- Be attributed
As we discussed Creative Commons (CC), one of the designers asked what would happen if someone changed the license of their creative work.
No one seemed to know, so we looked up the frequently answered questions on the CC site.
And it turns out Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable.
What happens if the author decides to revoke the CC license to material I am using?
The CC licenses are irrevocable. This means that once you receive material under a CC license, you will always have the right to use it under those license terms, even if the licensor changes his or her mind and stops distributing under the CC license terms. Of course, you may choose to respect the licensor’s wishes and stop using the work.
Other than taking a screenshot of the creative work and license, it’s not clear to me how you can verify the Creative Commons license for any work that you use. Any ideas?