Sorry Guys: No More Free Images for Scientific Papers

Dear scientists,

Owing to a series of recent incidents where my photographs have been used in technical papers without my consent, without credit, and released under Creative Commons licenses, I am sorry to announce I am ending my policy of free use of photographs for scientific papers.

Future use of my work will require a paid licensing agreement, the same as for most professional uses of copyrighted content. There are two exceptions. First, if I have photographed captive animals in your laboratory, those laboratories are allowed use of the associated images without additional permission, as long as those uses don’t involve releasing the images under a Creative Commons license. Second, use of the photographs as primary data should be considered fair use and is allowable.

Use of my images in presentations and classroom lectures is still allowable if credit is given, but please be aware that uploads of presentation slides to the internet requires a photo credit be given next to the image to prevent the appearance of being orphaned.

I regret having to tighten my policy, but my photo business has been my primary source of income for the past few years, and I cannot continue to afford producing and hosting natural history images for the myrmecological community to use if my guidelines are routinely sidestepped.

Thanks for understanding,


9 thoughts on “Sorry Guys: No More Free Images for Scientific Papers”

  1. “Tradegy of the creative-commons” eh?
    Shame it’s come to this, but I dont think anyone will blame you in the slightest.

  2. For some people a bummer, but you’re well within your rights. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to force people to do the right thing.

  3. Back in the day people didn’t have the luxury of decorating their papers with stock color photos. Line drawings and black and white photos they took through their own microscopes were the order of the day. Nevertheless, they managed to advance their science. My how things have changed!

  4. The reasons for doing this are understandable as you are defending your income source. I will distribute your comment among my colleagues. Thank you, for giving us the option to use your photos at presentations and classes.

  5. Aw, man, it sucks that other people are careless with your work so you have to tighten control like that. But, as others have pointed out, a) if they can afford color printing, they can afford to license a photo from you and b) no reasonable person can blame you for wanting to protect your work.
    Hang in there and know that people appreciate your work and the effort that goes into it!

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