This website and all text, photographs, and videos that appear here and are not otherwise marked are copyright ©James Duncan Davidson. Some rights reserved. Any content that appears here that belongs to other individuals or entities is attributed and, wherever possible, that attribution is linked to original sources or more information about the creator.


Unless otherwise indicated, the photographs, videos, and writing for which I own the copyright for are distributed under the terms of theCreative Common Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC 3.0) License. This license does not replace or remove copyright. Instead it defines clear and reasonable terms for common uses.

The full legal text of the license can be summarized as: You are free to copy, distribute, and transmit the work under the following conditions and limitations: 

Attribution: You must attribute the work to James Duncan Davidson and link the attribution to when the attribution is made in a linkable form. When a photograph was made in affiliation with an organization, such as TED, do include the name of the organization in the attribution—for example, “James Duncan Davidson/TED”. However, you may not use the name of an organization as the sole attribution for the work.

Noncommercial: You may not use the work for commercial purposes. It is important to note that the distinction between commercial and noncommercial can be subject to interpretation and there is a grey area of uses between those that are obviously commercial and those that are non-commercial. I provide waivers below to clarify uses that can be construed by some as commercial that I specifically allow and encourage. 

Other rights may limit your ability to use the work. Individuals or other entities may have rights in a specific work—such as, but not limited to, publicity or privacy rights. These rights vary by jurisdiction and you may need to obtain permission from an individual or entity whose rights are affected.

IMPORTANT: This license does not apply to works that appear on this website with permission that are owned by other individuals or entities. It also does not apply to works on this website that are clearly marked as being distributed with other terms, such as under the CC BY, CC BY-SA, and CC BY-NC-ND licenses, or or marked as all rights reserved. 

WORK THAT APPEARS ELSEWHERE: I distribute and license my work to third parties under a variety of license terms, ranging from CC BY-SA for some photos that appear (at limited resolution) on Wikipedia to very specific usage terms for work commissioned by some of my clients. The license and waivers described here do not necessarily apply to my work that appears elsewhere. When no indication of terms appears on such third party usage of my work, you must assume that the work is not distributed under a Creative Commons license. Get in touch with details if you’re unsure about the provenance of any of my works.

Intent and Rationale

There is a lot I could say to set the context for my approach to copyright and explain my basic motivations as a creative professional, but Kirby Ferguson does it better than I could in his video series Everything is a Remix. If you haven’t seen these videos, go watch them now.

To the point, I’d rather poke my eyes out than treat people who like and share my work non-commercially as criminals. It’s my intent to share the work I publish as openly as possible and allow by default many reasonable uses—especially editorial uses—while reserving the right to charge for unabashedly direct commercial uses, such as advertising and promotion, as well as for the scarcest of all possible resources: time.

These are the kinds of things I charge for with respect to copyrighted material I create:

  1. Commercial non-editorial use of my work that clearly and directly financially benefits some other person or entity. Advertising is probably the most direct and familiar example.
  2. Studio work time, such as pulling preparing files for print, finding and presenting unpublished alternates, or  processing images with Photoshop and other tools. 
  3. Directed use of my creative time by a third party to create specific images or writings.
  4. Creating  and selling editions or packages of my work, such as making prints or selling books in a variety of formats, physical and electronic. 

This isn’t an exact science and creative professionals everywhere are finding that they have to rewrite and fine-tune their game plane as we move further into the twenty-first century, but these are my guiding lights. I look for win-win solutions wherever possible and fully embrace the idea that there are multiple currencies in the world, not all of which are measured in monetary terms. Now, let’s get to the formal stuff.

Image File requests

If you need an image at a different resolution or otherwise processed for print—all images that appear on this site are sharpened for screen use, for example—or if you would like to see any unpublished alternative images of a subject, I’m happy to help. For this service, I charge my standard studio hourly work rates. A one hour minimum applies. Please contact me with specifics.

Please note that I reserve the right to provide alternates and higher resolution photographs under different license terms than the terms a smaller size is distributed under. In addition, if your intended usage isn’t covered by a standard waiver above, then additional licensing fees may apply.


License Waivers

To enable certain uses without the need for the negotiation of a separate license, the following waivers are hereby granted for the use of works I distribute under the terms of any Creative Commons license:

Commercial use waivers

 Editorial publications: Newspapers, magazines, and other editorial publications—both in print and online—may use my images in the context of a story, article, or blog post. This waiver does not apply to use on a cover in print, or to any promotional usage that could be construed as intent to entice the purchase of a publication or service.

Nonprofit organizations: Use by organizations defined as nonprofit in their jurisdiction—such as the 501(c) designation in the United States of America—may use my images in the context in their publications in an illustrative manner.  

Speaker promotion: A public speaker who appears by themselves in a photo can designate the use of that photograph to promote their public appearances, provided that no trademarks belonging to others appear in the image and the usage as at 25% or smaller of the total size of the context it appears in.

Attribution waiver

Social media profile photos and avatars: Individuals may use their own likeness from my work as their social media avatar or profile photo on sites like FaceBook and Twitter, even when attribution is impossible for such usage; provided that nobody else’s likeness appears in such usage. For example, you can use a photo I’ve made of use as your Facebook or Twitter profile photograph as long as you use a crop that omits anybody else. 

Requesting other terms or waivers

If you would like to use my work in a way that is not provided for by the license it is distributed under or any applicable waivers listed above, other license terms or waivers may be available for a negotiated fee, depending on the use. Such uses include:

Commercial uses, including advertising and promotion: License fees for advertising or promotional use—including magazine covers, book covers, and similar usage—vary depending on the manner and duration of usage. Please be aware that the minimum fee of issuance of a license for these uses is $500.

Non attributed use: Use without attribution, unless covered by [the waiver listed above](#waivers), requires a minimum fee of $1000, no matter any other usage terms licensed or granted.

If you are interested in discussing uses that require such licensing terms or any others, please contact me with details of your intended usage and we’ll see if we can work something out that is a win-win for both of us.

License and waiver documentation

If you or your organization requires signed documentation that a specific work or group of works that I own the copyright for are distributed under a Creative Commons license along with any applicable waivers, I’m happy to provide a formal document either electronically in PDF format or printed on paper and physically delivered. My hourly studio rates (1 hour minimum) and any expedited delivery charges from wherever I am in the world apply. Please contact me with your specific requirements