WikiCommons question

If I wanted to use this image found at WikiCommons…

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Citibank_Plaza.jpg

…what would I need to do?

I am unsure of what this text means…

Licensing
I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:

GNU head Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Thanks,

Debbie

You may use it in any way you choose so long as you give the person credit for the original image.

Is it really that simple?

What if I want to use it for an article I am writing?

Can I use WikiCommons images for my business, as long as I am not selling the picture itself? (For instance, maybe I am doing an article - for my business - dealing with Wall Street, and I want some picture of Wall Street to liven up an otherwise boring text-only article. Could I use a picture similar to the one I linked to in my original post for free as long as I credit the creator?)

Also, what does this part mean…

under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation

I’ve tried reading those agreements before and they make my head spin!!

And what does this part mean…

with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

What if I need to Crop or Resize a photo in order to make it fit in my website. Is that okay?

Thanks,

Debbie

Yep, that was the idea behind the creative commons license.

What if I want to use it for an article I am writing?
You can, as long as you give credit for the original image.

Can I use WikiCommons images for my business, as long as I am not selling the picture itself? (For instance, maybe I am doing an article - for my business - dealing with Wall Street, and I want some picture of Wall Street to liven up an otherwise boring text-only article. Could I use a picture similar to the one I linked to in my original post for free as long as I credit the creator?)
You can actually use it in a commercial work. There are other forms of the creative commons license which prohibit this, but with the terms stated, you can use it.

Also, what does this part mean…

[quote]under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation
[/quote]The GNU license is just another license that grants or restricts use of a work. The GNU license is a bit more difficult to work with as a beginner because it’s a document which needs to be read to understand the terms. Conversely, the creative commons license is designed to be simple to use.

I’ve tried reading those agreements before and they make my head spin!!
There’s actually 3 different versions of the creative commons license as well as the GNU license. You can pick any of them to use, since the image is licensed under all of them. However, this is not always the case for every body of work.

And what does this part mean…

[quote]with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
[/quote]It has to do with the way you’re required to display the GNU license being used. I’m not exactly clear on it myself, as I haven’t encountered/used it before.

What if I need to Crop or Resize a photo in order to make it fit in my website. Is that okay?
Yep, just give credit for the original image.

Force Flow,

Thanks for the comments.

Say, is there “GNU for Dummies” or “Creative Commons for Dummies” out there? (Because I would hate to get sued because I didn’t understand what the license said?!)

Also, are there any “red flags” where if I see certain wording or terms that I should investigate more or steer clear?

I was under the impression that everything under Creative Commons was free to use as long as you attribute the source, but I am never total sure. (Wasn’t there some big initiative a few months ago to make it clearer - for dummies like me - that things can clearly be used for free?)

It would really help a little person like me to be able to tap into the Internet and not have to pay big $$$ for images or have my own photographer traveling the glad to add some pizzaz to my web articles!!

Thanks,

Debbie

Sorry, no idea. When I asked that question myself, I was told to just read the documents. So I read the documents, and rummaged around on wikipedia and other sources for clarification.

Also, are there any “red flags” where if I see certain wording or terms that I should investigate more or steer clear?
If someone is using their own license, rather than a pre-packaged license, then yes, it bears some consideration and scrutiny. However, GPL, LGPL, GNU, and creative commons (and all of their various versions) are all used with a fair amount of frequency and don’t change unless noted by a version number (ie, GPL, GPLv2).

If there is no licensing available, you can try contacting the author directly for written permission to use the work in the manner of which you would like to use it.

I was under the impression that everything under Creative Commons was free to use as long as you attribute the source, but I am never total sure.
Nope, not everything is. A creative commons license can vary from work to work, so you have to see what rights are given to you, and what rights the author retains.

The most common use of the creative common license is free, unrestricted use, so long as the original author of the work is given credit.

Another form of the license may only allow non-commercial use and prohibit commercial use.

Authors can make their own creative commons license to suit their needs: http://creativecommons.org/choose/