Here’s something that you should be aware of if you use Behance to share your photography portfolio online: the “No Use At All” symbol used by Behance is the same well-known one used by Creative Commons for “No Rights Reserved.” In other words, with a casual glance, it may look like your work is in the public domain and completely free for everyone to use however they’d like.
When adding a new project to Behance, the default license is a Creative Commons one that lets people use/share your work with certain conditions and restrictions (i.e. non-commercial and/or non-derivative):
If you don’t want to use a CC license, the other option you can choose is “No Posting or Usage Without Explicit Permission”. Choose that one, and your copyright icon is changed to a circle with a zero inside:
That’s the symbol that appears on your project’s public page on Behance. Hover your mouse over it, and a popup informs you that “No use is allowed without explicit permission from owner.”
The problem is, that’s the exact same symbol used by the Creative Commons to indicate that a work is Public Domain. It’s the CC0 “No Rights Reserved” symbol:
Just how similar are the symbols? Well, here they are, enlarged and placed side-by-side:
That’s the Behance “No Use at All” symbol on the left, and the Creative Commons “No Rights Reserved” symbol is on the right. Can’t tell the difference? Yeah, neither could we.
The problem therefore, is that someone who doesn’t hover over the copyright icon on your Behance page could look at the icon and reasonably assume that you’ve released your photos to the public domain. They would then believe that they have the right to use your images however they’d like — even commercially.
We’re guessing that Behance will be changing their symbol soon (though, we’re not quite sure which symbol came first — Behance was founded in 2006, and development of CC0 began in 2007). This is just a heads up for until that happens.
Thanks to photographer Jim Wehtje for sending in this tip.