Down the library and another case of deja vu

Over the years I’ve read so many books about trains and taken so many photos of them, that each train starts to blur into each other – but my recent experience at the library was a new one.

I was flicking through a copy of “Engineering Marvels of Australia – Australia’s Railways” by Alison Hidek when I had a case of deja vu.

With the photo of a Melbourne train in the bottom left corner looking awfully familiar.

Was it a photo of mine that I’d uploaded to Wikipedia way back in November 2007?

After a check of the title page:


p21b – Caulfield Group City Loop portal by Marcus Wong via Wikimedia

Content uploaded to Wikimedia Commons is free to reuse, provided you follow the terms specified by the author.

Unlike traditional media repositories, Wikimedia Commons is free. Everyone is allowed to copy, use and modify any files here freely as long as they follow the terms specified by the author; this often means crediting the source and author(s) appropriately and releasing copies/improvements under the same freedom to others. The license conditions of each individual media file can be found on their description page

In my case – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.
You are free:
– to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
– to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
– attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
– share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.

So everything was above board.


I’ve written about finding Wikipedia uploads in real life before, in Keeping track of V/Line ‘borrowed’ photos.

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5 Responses to “Down the library and another case of deja vu”

  1. Beren says:

    Imagine making a book containing photos, selling that book to make a profit, not paying for photos inside the book. Maybe Wong, you should make your own book containing your own photos? Cant be too hard.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I’ve considered putting a book together, but I figured it’d be for ego reasons – not to make money because the amount of time it would take to put together. 😛

  2. Cat Mack says:

    Marcus, if the book is for profit then the author should really be paying copyright. You should sign up with the Australian Copyright Association

    This still allows people to use material for reports and research and the like under the fair dealing exemption.

    Writers should be paid for their material and allowing others to just use your work for their gain really undermines everyone’s right to be paid. You do a lot of work that should be recognized for its true value.

    p.s. the section you quote from Wikipedia doesn’t alter your right to be paid royalties – provided you are signed up!

    • Evan says:

      If you provide your work under a Creative Commons licence, you cannot revoke that licence or choose who can make use of it. CC licences are designed to encourage free and open use of content, as long as it’s within the terms of the licence.

      If Marcus wanted to ensure he got paid for commercial uses of his photos, he’d need to choose a -NC (non-commercial) variant of the licence, and then potential commercial users would have to negotiate a licence (and it’s not necessary to sign up with any organisation to do that, though there can be benefits).

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