Using CC licences for out of copyright images

My library is investigating posting some images onto Flickr. All the images will be out of copyright, but Flickr only provides the options of a creative commons licence, or all rights reserved. Neither of which reflects the nature of the content. I see that Turnbull has used the all rights reserved licence with text around the image stating that it can be used under certain conditions. Other libraries have gone down the CC route. Can we claim all rights reserved when in fact the photo is out of copyright? Can we assign a CC licence when out of copyright? [Originally asked by Sam on March 24, 2008, on]


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[Originally posted by Virginia 26 March 2009, 13:11 on] Hi Sam - You might also be interested in this local version of a 'no known copyright restrictions' statement, which we use for content in the DigitalNZ Kete: We showed it to a couple of other organisations and incorporated their feedback - so it hasn't come entirely out of thin air! You are more than welcome to use this as a starting point for drafting your own version - or to discuss / comment on it (either here or on the Kete). One of the main differences from some of the interpretations of the 'no known copyright restrictions' 'license' you see on Flickr is that we haven't said this applies to content that is in copyright and 'given' to the public domain. Rather, it applies only to content that, following reasonable enquiry, is almost certainly no longer covered by copyright restrictions. You can use our photographs copyright flowchart ( to work out what might qualify.

--Anonymous • 2009-06-17 00:00:00 UTC