A few thoughts about copyright and Instructables Answered
I have had some excellent exposure from some of my projects on this site. My Nintendo card reader was published in Popular Photography magazine. My geek wallet went pretty viral. Even my shopping cart bike was picked up on Wired and may be published in an Italian magazine. These have been great because they have had my permission to publish my work. But there have been some negatives.
Many splogs (spam blogs that just scrape content from valid blogs) have essentially stolen my photography. Thanks to a tip from someone near Boulder i was able to pick up a copy of a newspaper that had published one of my photos "courtesy Instructables."
I'm happy to have other people take my ideas and tweak them. That's why i post my projects here. That's why the license i have chosen for all of my projects is Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike. This specifically states "This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms."
So when a newspaper publishes my photo without my authorization and credits Instructables that gets me a little hot. When someone takes one of my projects and then makes a video of it and submits it to the MetaCafe rewards program that seems like a violation of my license. And when dozens of splogs pick up a popular project and i have to go around trying to get photographer credit it makes me really reconsider if sharing projects on here is actually beneficial to me at all.
I'm sure others have had their great projects ripped off (if they want to retain any rights) in the effort to contribute to the community too. Admittedly, i do have a Leatherman and a few t-shirts and magazine subscriptions to show for my efforts. I do want this site to work - i truly believe in it.
I guess i'd like to see image protection for projects that have specified that they need to be attributed. I'd like the license more visible on the project pages. Perhaps a "if you write about this project provide a link to Instructables.com as well as the author's website at xyz.com" type footer to projects.
I suppose i can watermark all of my photos and put copyright notices all over my pages and it would be moot.