Rod Page recently left a comment on my blog entry about copyrighting my ant images. I thought I would highlight it here as there is some great information in it that I think others would be interested in:
Rod Page said...I hadn't really known about this option before, but it seems like a great idea. I will definitely look into it as soon as I get a free moment. Any day now, I'm sure.
Two thoughts on copyrighting images. The first is why choose copyright © as opposed to a Creative Common (cc) license? With a cc license you get to specify what I can and can't do with the image, without me having to ask you. By sticking "© K. T. Ryder Wilkie 2005" on an image (e.g., your gorgeous picture of Acanthoponera peruviana), I then have to contact you to ask your permission. For one or two images, that's OK I guess, but what it I want to use lots of images? What if you are on holiday?
The second comment is that I can read "© K. T. Ryder Wilkie 2005" but computers can't (at least, not easily). There other other ways to tag images that computers can read this information. Examples include EXIF tags (as used by Antweb, as mentioned on my iSpecies blog) which get embedded in the image file itself (also XMP information added by Photoshop, or Flickr tags (for example, this image of Strumigenys precava). My point is that if people are going to make use of your work on a large scale, using Creative Common licenses and embedding that information electronically in the image in the form of metadata will make your hard work even more useful.
If sharing information on biodiversity is going to take off, then we need to start thinking about how to share, and how to make our information accessible to computers, not just people.