This post previously linked to an article written by Creative Commons that was inaccurate at best. Amongst other claims Creative Commons incorrectly stated that the new Unsplash license was revocable.
While we’re no longer using CC0, the spirit of our license is unchanged (it’s still sub-licensable & non-revocable). The article above doesn't share the facts of the Unsplash License correctly, so we shared our reply here: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
Would love to help with any questions you might have.
Phew, I was extremely worried about revocability. Thanks!
Looks like the only change they're trying to make is to stop copycat Unsplash sites and that there's no change to how people are currently using their images. https://twitter.com/stephliverani/status/877962056204304384
This is correct. Thanks for sharing!
So... wondering if I get this right: A side project that was radical with the idea of sharing by default images in the public domain gets love from a community, grows with and because of its community, becomes a company, gets money from investors, and hey... here we switch to start milking the community. This is smelly, isn't it? Why?.
Yeah, it's a shady move by them.
Hey Rizwan :) hope you were able to see my reply to Jacob's message.
If you have any questions, would love to help!
Hi Stephanie. Thanks for reaching out to clarify my misunderstanding. :)
The change in the Unsplash License affects mainly those copycat sites that pull images from Unsplash, slap them on their site, and don't credit (or properly credit contributors). We were receiving countless complaints from our community, and felt that this is not the type of usage that we want to support.
We elaborated on that here: https://community.unsplash.com/help-section/what-is-the-unsplash-license-and-where-can-i-find-it
and in our Manifesto: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/manifesto
The Unsplash License is very similar to the CC0 License, in that it supports creativity, free usage of photos under personal and commercial use, and it is sub-licensable and nonrevokable.
It's unfortunate that the article shared by the CC team portrays the License in such a way that is different to CC0, but the spirit is still the same.
We felt that it was important to share our point of view, so we put together this response to the Creative Commons post: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
Hope this clarifies, but it would be my pleasure to answer any additional questions you may have.
Well, the main point of CC0 is to waive every right.
So, no. The Unsplash License is not similar to CC0.
If people want credit, they could use CC BY.
Once been CC0, the photos are loosed in the wild. You can do nothing to how they have been used. The people who complained didn't understand CC0 correctly.
What Unsplash could do, is adding more option like CC BY, and inform people how CC0 works.
What Unsplash did, is purely selfish and business driven.
CC BY has nothing to do with what we were addressing when we made the change. Attribution is not required on the Unsplash License. The only change is with regards to redistributing the photos.
As I explain below, this is something that has been requested by our community for years because of the real-world flaws with CC0.
We make the reasons for the change very clear here https://community.unsplash.com/articles/unsplashlicense
Hey DN, I'm Luke one of the cofounders of Unsplash. We've been building Unsplash for 5 years with the vision that beautiful photos be free to share and use. Nothing about that has changed. It's what makes Unsplash special.
A week ago we released a revised version of our license and terms that moved photos that are released in the future to not use CC0. The revised license is exactly like CC0 minus one change: you cannot mass download the library for redistribution as a competing service. You can still download all photos for free, use them without credit (though we entourage credit), and use them in commercial or personal works. Nothing about that has changed.
We did not make the license change lightly: we worked with our community of contributors for the last two years and this change addresses many of their complaints and the legal issues that have arisen from redistribution.
The CC article linked here unfortunately gets many points wrong. As commenters have pointed out, CC has a vested interest in Unsplash staying under a CC license, since they receive funding from donors based on the communities they support. We've written up a response to the CC article that addresses many of the points that they get wrong: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
We've also written up a bunch of FAQs that answer common questions about the license: https://community.unsplash.com/help-section/what-is-the-unsplash-license-and-where-can-i-find-it
We're answering any and all questions regarding the license, here, on twitter (@unsplash) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here's the difference:
CC0 = I waive every right of this photo, it is now in public domain. Everyone can use it whatever they want.
the Unsplash License = I give this photo to Unsplash. It is now belong to Unsplash. It is not in public domain. People can use it mostly what they want, with one vaguely exception is you can't distribute it as a similar service.
You're absolutely right that public domain != the Unsplash License.
But Unsplash was never made explicitly to be the public domain. What we wanted to do when we created Unsplash was create a resource for the real needs that the community has: finding beautiful, free high resolution photos that they can use. That doesn't require the photos to be in the public domain to accomplish. We chose CC0 at the time as the easiest way to accomplish our goal.
CC0 and public domain have a lot of real-world flaws that our community has experienced over the past 5 years. These are real issues brought up by our contributors that under CC0 we've had no way to address until now.
There are literally tens of thousands of sites reselling the photos contributed by Unsplash photographers. We've had thousands of amazing contributors stop sharing specifically because of this reason.
Similarly, there are hundreds of sites recreating accounts or redistributing the photos on behalf of photographers. For the photographers they now have accounts that they can't access across hundreds of sites, many which display donation buttons, creating donations that the photographers never see. Imagine if when you wrote on Medium, hundreds of sites popped up and created accounts under your name and you had no way to stop or claim the accounts.
That's a sad result because some of the most amazing photos have been lost because of this. Contributors who believed in the mission of sharing beautiful free photos for the reasons that we all love and use Unsplash have stopped contributing because of a side-effect of CC0 that has no benefit towards the mission of creating a community of beautiful free photos.
What you need to understand at the end of the day is that Unsplash was never created to be a place for public domain photos. Flickr has existed long before Unsplash and makes that very easy. What Unsplash was created to do was make amazing high resolution photos available and easy to use for the real use cases that the creative community has. The Unsplash License changes nothing about that and our community has had an overwhelmingly positive response to the change.
Can anyone confirm this is real? Nothing on Unsplash's site makes any mention of this including their license and terms sections.
Hey Matt, happy to confirm that this article gets most of the points wrong. It's true that we no longer use a license called CC0 but we instead created a new license that allows for all the same uses as CC0, minus mass compiling and redistribution on a competing service. All photos can still be used for free, for commercial or personal purposes, without requiring attribution.
We've written up a response to their claims here if it helps https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
Does anyone know how this will affect Invision's use of Unsplash in their Craft plugin?
There are no changes as the Unsplash License is similar in spirit to the CC0 (free to use, requires no attribution, license is unrevokable, can be used for commercial and personal use), except for one change: we do not allow users to scrape the photos from Unsplash to create copycat sites.
We created this change to protect and support our contributors in a way that the CC0 License could not. More here: https://community.unsplash.com/help-section/what-is-the-unsplash-license-and-where-can-i-find-it
We also wanted to share our points on Creative Commons' post, because some of the facts presented in that post aren't true. You can read that here: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
We try to support our contributors as much as we can, and we've been doing so since the early days. It's in our Manifesto, and the change in the Unsplash License allows us to do so.
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help!
While CC is updating their erroneous article, I wish they would fix their erroneous modal pop-up that doesn't go away even after clicking close.
By the looks of it, Unsplash isn't really doing this to harm or undercut users. Instead, they are trying to inhibit the growth of websites that use their API to build Unsplash competitors. Having seen Unsplash photos on sites like Pexels pulled in via API or scraping, this makes sense. They are just trying to protect their model and keep others from ripping off their idea with their own content.
Seems fair—only part I don't like is the revocable license. Leaves a BIG window for abuse to occur, but I'm not too worried.
Hey Arix, unfortunately the CC article doesn't get the revocable part (among other things) right. The Unsplash License is irrevocable. The only thing we will stop doing at the discretion of the photographer is stop distribution of the photo if they delete the photo from Unsplash. However that doesn't make any uses or future uses of the photo any different: they're still allowed and free.
Note that we've updated the license's wording to specifically make clear that the Unsplash License is irrevocable.
This almost defeats their own competitive advantage—but I'll wait to see how they implement creative-commons photos before avoiding the site altogether.
Hey Andrew. Exactly our thinking too! That's why the license remains exactly the same for the amazing uses of Unsplash that we all use it for. The only change from CC0 is that newly submitted photos on Unsplash can't be mass compiled and redistributed on a competing service. We've written about why we added that change here https://community.unsplash.com/articles/unsplashlicense and addressed the inaccuracies from the CC article here https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
Would have loved to read the article, but the stupid newsletter popup ad cannot be closed.
Hmm unsplash's site still says otherwise?
Yup you're exactly right Skyler. Thanks for pointing that out :)
It looks like this post was edited after it was initially posted. Was it edited by the original author or by a moderator? I cannot see the edit history of posts so I want to know who made the edit.
The article unfortunately gets a lot of points wrong. We no longer use CC0, but the photos are still free to use in both commercial and personal projects, and the license is not revocable, despite what the article says.
We've written up a response that clarifies the article here: https://community.unsplash.com/articles/inresponsetocc
Happy to answer any questions.
SO LONG UNSPLASH! It was nice while you gave a fack.
My co-founder Luke addressed all the issues and false claims by the CC article above.
Hope this helps!
Pressure put on Crew by Tiny?
Unlikely. Unsplash is now it's own company.
Oh wow! Missed that. Well I hope they play this license issue smart.
My co-founder Luke addressed all the issues and false claims by the CC article above.
Hope this helps!