General Interest

"ROY G. BIV" - where Flickr, the Creative Commons and Blurb meet

Announcing the arrival of a groundbreaking new book to the blurb site, "ROY G. BIV: a convergence of Flickr, Blurb, and the Creative Commons."

"ROY G. BIV" is composed exclusively of photos that have been uploaded to Flickr and tagged with the Creative Commons Attribution license, and then arranged and made available through blurb. As the full title of the book suggests, it explores what is possible where these three organizations intersect. 

I’m quite sure that this is the first time a collaborative publishing of this kind has been undertaken, and I’m also quite sure that we’ll see more Flickr-CC-blurb books as word of "ROY G. BIV" gets round and people realize that there are enough high quality, high resolution photos in Flickr’s CC pools for any number of books. And while it’s true that any online print-on-demand book service could be used for the final product, I believe blurb’s consistently high quality and (importantly) Set Your Price program will make them the obvious choice. 

"ROY G. BIV" is a simple yet lush book, featuring photographs that reveal the colours of the spectrum (as well as brown) – there is section in which red dominates the images, an orange section, a yellow section, and so on. I’ve also included two index sections, one of thumbnails and the other text-only, to ensure that the contributors are credited in exactly the manner that they have requested. It might be noted here that I took the time to email each and every one of the photographers whose work appears in "ROY G. BIV" and gave them the option of providing additional contact information – not strictly necessary under the terms of the CC Attribution license (I could have just credited them with their Flickr information), but certainly good form and the courteous thing to do. 

The result is a global collaboration with contributors on five of the seven continents (Africa and Antarctica eluded me). With countries represented from Canada to Chile, the UK to Italy, Japan to Saudi Arabia, the international flavour of the book is unmistakable. And because all of the photos are still licensed via the Creative Commons, the book can also be viewed as a collection of available stock imagery.  See a photo in there that would work for your next project? Just flip to the indexes, note the contact information, and contact the photographer directly. Finally, to sweeten the appeal of the project just that bit more, I’m donating one third of all proceeds from blurb sales to Amnesty International. 

Many thanks to blurb for providing such a reliable and quality service, and also to Flickr, the Creative Commons, and all of the photographers who generously donated access to their work.

 Take care, all. :-)

- Justus Hayes

Posted by
Jul 12, 2008 10:44am PDT