News

Iron Man and the Right Not to Be Attributed

Fred Benenson, December 2nd, 2008

When Jeremy Keith, a web developer living and working in England took a photo of at Cape Canaveral and posted it to Flickr under our Attribution license (which seems to be the flavor of the month around here), he had no idea it was eventually going to end up in the blockbuster feature film Iron Man.

After explaining the terms of the CC license to a studio representative interested in using the photo in the film, Jeremy was told that it would costs at least $1500 to be attributed in the credits. So the studio offered the next best thing in lieu of being attributed properly: cash. But Jeremy turned the money down and just signed the license release anyway.

Besides being another example of Hollywood utilizing CC licensed material, this story offers insight into why we developed the CC+ protocol. CC+ is designed to help creators negotiate rights outside the scope of the license. For a lot of cases, this turns out to be our NonCommercial provision — that is, musicians offer their music to their fans under NC and use CC+ to point commercial users to a 3rd party rights broker (like Magnatune) that handles commercial rights negotiation on behalf of the artist. But here we can see another right being negotiated, that of attribution, which shows just how flexible CC licenses are.

Remember, when you’re the creator and owner of a copyrighted work, you have ultimate say over who does what with your work; CC licenses merely help you negotiate the thicket of what that “what” is.

Thanks go to Jeremy for writing up such an important example of CC licensed works being used in the wild.

3 Responses to “Iron Man and the Right Not to Be Attributed”

  1. R. Pleatsmaker says:

    Why didn’t he take the money!!

  2. Maz says:

    Wait, why should he pay $1500 to get attribution for their use of his work? They want to use it, they need to pay the relevant fees, not him. And why can’t they just go take that shot themselves? The reprocessed version they used looks better anyway . . . .

  3. […] Less than 72 hours after the Obama-Biden Transition Team adopted our most permissive license for Change.gov, Cerado Ventana has built a Change.gov iPhone, mobile application, and widget. We will never know if this application would have been built if Change.gov hadn’t chosen such a permissive license, but it just goes to show what interesting things can happen when you let the world know your work is free to be built upon. […]