The Creative Commons blog has published some of the latest licence usage statistics. Mike Linksvayer and Giorgios Cheliotis have made public some of the statistics presented at the iSummit, which provide a lot of tasty food for thought for licence geeks everywhere.

The data comes with a lot of caveats, particularly because there is a large discrepancy of results depending on the search engine used. Google produces results that seem excessively high, while Yahoo’s seem low. One of the ways in which one can get some reliable data is to use site-specific statistics: there are 38.7 million images in Flickr released under a CC licence alone. Still, one of the results that can be seen across the board is the licence distribution. As was the case with previous statistical data, the most restrictive licences are undoubtedly the most popular ones, as seen in the graphic below:

(click to enlarge)

This may come as a surprise to some who advocate the use of less restrictive “free” licences, but I think that it makes a lot of sense. Most people (myself included) have no problems with wide non-commercial dissemination of their data, but there seems to be something unfair in someone profiting from your work when you have decided to make it available to the public.

Kudos to Mike and Giorgios for the excellent data, it is time to start getting to grips with it and we should analyse its implications.


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