A Call for More Defense-related Pictures on Open Content or Public Domain

While looking around for open content images for my blog, I just noticed that the availability of these types of pictures tend to be spotty, some topics have a lot while others only have a few. As a blogger, I am supposed to use Open Content (OC)[1] or Public Domain (PD)[2] pictures only for my blogs, which means images which can be freely reused or those with no royalty requirements.

This something which I am now religiously trying to follow on my sites, but it is not easy because of the unavailability of such images on certain topics. If you search for OC/PD pictures for the PF-16 BRP Ramon Alcaraz or for Pohang-class Corvettes, for example, you won’t find a lot, and those that are available are not of high quality.

Hence, I am using this opportunity to issue a call for people to share their defense-related pictures for OC/PD purposes. There are a couple of OC/PD repositories in the internet where you can upload your pictures, like Flickr[3], for example, which allows you to change and/or publicly declare the license of the picture you are uploading. However, the best one for me is Wikipedia Commons[4] as its servers are fast and uploading/search procedures are easy.

You need to create an account for either of these sites, and uploading and generating licenses are easy as they will simply walk you thru them. I personally have started going thru my trove of pictures, searching for defense-related pictures and uploading them for everyone to use.

’Own Work’
But remember though that I am only referring to pictures of your own work, or pictures that you personally took. If you have pictures lying around that you got from the internet or which somebody else took, you can NOT share these freely for OC/PD. It has to be your own work, or the ones that you took.

Now, if you have a relative or friend that wants to share their pictures thru you, it may be possible to do so, but it will likely involve a written permission from their part as proof or evidence of their agreement to do so. Personally I haven’t tried doing this yet, but I have seen the licensing option prompts from various sites, and based on that they do require such a documentation.

You may ask why would you want to share images that may be used commercially by others for profit as these OC/PD images could also be used in such a way. Well, I can think of a couple of good reasons for this:

* Reach or Exposure – Your images will be able to reach more people than if they were just sitting in your hard drive, or in some private repository somewhere. Sure, you can share these on Social Media on blogs, tweets, Facebook, etc., but it will likely never reach the same number of audience if they were allowed free use and posted in a popular OC/PD repository.

* Legacy – Think of it as your legacy because once your picture is out there, it will be there for a long time, probably as long as the internet exists. It will still be there long after you are gone for your children and your children’s children to appreciate. You will be able to share with them thru the generations what it was like during your generation, which I think is a very noble thing to do.

’Parting Shot’
I hope to see more of you share the pictures you have personally taken related to military equipment or weapons, whether they be aircraft, ships, vehicles, cannons, rockets, missiles, firearms, etc. on a popular OC/PD website like Wikipedia Commons. Remember though to share only your own work, or if it is the work of others, you will need a documentary evidence from them allowing you to share their work thru you. To those of you who will be sharing your pictures thru OC/PD sites, I would like to express my gratitude in advance, many thanks.


^[1] Open Content, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_content

^[2] Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

^[3] Flicr, http://www.flickr.com

^[4] Wikipedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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