Sunday, April 10, 2011


Birthday Attack is a total gibberish wall of text. I realize that and I wanted to include an image to break up some of the monotony.
So I went looking for a suitable image to use. I thought a picture of a creeper would go well in the bit of Minecraft fan fiction I wrote to illustrate a birthday attack. My first stop was obviously Minepedia, where I found a great picture of a creeper, but I also found a scary copyright warning on the same page.
I'd rather deal with the creeper

What that notice is saying is that the Minepedia is hosted on a Curse server, but they don't have the copyright because that belongs to Mojang, the creators of Minecraft. More importantly for my purposes, I did not find anything like a Creative Commons license. It's not a requirement, but I'd be more comfortable using an image with a clear status.

You may have noticed that most of the images on my site are pictures I took myself. One of the featured images, Absinthe Robette, is public domain. The only other image I feature is obviously a screen-grab from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think I can make a pretty decent fair use claim for that image. Most importantly, my use doesn't compete with the movie; at least not in any way that decreases the market for the movie.

Regarding my photos, they are all copyrighted. That's automatic thanks to the 1976 revision of the Copyright Act. I could register those copyrights but, honestly, I don't think it's worth it. I'd get the ability to sue for more in case of infringement. I released all of my photos with what I feel is a very permissive license. They are all done with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, which means giving proper credit back to me and passing the same license along in order to use a photo. I didn't even attach a noncommercial restriction so if someone thinks they can monetize my photos better than me, just so long as they don't try to claim it as their own photo, more power to 'em!

Back to the discussion about the Minecraft photo, there was no such assurance that I could use a screen-grab from the game without drawing a copyright takedown. Even my fan-fic might be too much. Rest assured, there's another version which doesn't reference troublesome intellectual property. It's just a couple clicks to replace the post but I doubt it would be necessary. Mojang seems like the type of company that supports their fans.