SpaceX announces it’s publishing all photographs under Creative Commons
posted Friday, March 20, 2015 at 12:49 PM EDT
Following in the footsteps of NASA, SpaceX has announced it will be publishing photographs of its endeavors under a Creative Commons license.
To kick off the announcement, the privatized space transportation company shared over 100 photographs on Flickr, most of which depict the building and launch process of its growing rocket fleet.
The idea to loosen the license of SpaceX's photographs came after pressure from a number of SpaceX supporters, one of whom wrote an open letter, asking Elon Musk to share the images, because ‘a robust and well-documented space program is a major boon for motivating young people to study science.’
Unlike NASA’s photographs, which have no copyright restrictions due to it being funded by taxpayers, SpaceX’s photographs will have some rights reserved. Specifically, SpaceX is licensing them under CC BY-NC 2.0, meaning the images can't be used for commercial purposes. Still, for inspiration and information, the photographs will be a vital resource to the public.
Pointed out by The Verge, ‘SpaceX [is under] no obligation to release its images to the public.’ This decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise though, considering SpaceX founder Elon Musk pulled a similar stunt with his other company, Tesla, when he announced the company will be making all of their patents public, for the sake of accelerating the idea of sustainable transportation.
’It’d be nice if these photos could appear in Wikipedia or be built upon without any caveats by artists and entrepreneurs […] But it’s still a good thing that these are going online under clear terms.’
It might not be exactly what Higgins and other SpaceX supporters wanted, but it’s a step in the right direction. To honor the release of the photographs under new licensing terms, below we have collected a number of our favorite images from SpaceX’s Flickr page.