The frightful world of copyright is something we must be aware of as online publishers. Adhering to the rules of copyright is not only Internet etiquette, but can also save you from a nasty court case. Just on that note, I’d like to make an official disclaimer in saying that if I happen to post any copyright material (and if I do so, I didn’t know, I swear!), please don’t hesitate to let me know and I will happily take it down. Last thing I need right now is to be sued… So please, let’s just be friends and forget it ever happened!
Back on track. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a system where content creators could give consumers them permission in advance to share and re-use their work? Thankfully, there is! It’s known as Creative Commons, and this in fact was the subject of our weekly readings. Basically, Creative Commons is an online licencing system in which the creator offers their permission for their work to be used by others, in accordance with certain standardised guidelines that they themselves determine. The elements of Creative Commons are as follows:
- Attribution: The user must acknowledge the content creator.
- Non-commercial: The user can not make any financial gain by using the creators work.
- No derivatives: This means that the creator has not given permission for the user to alter their work.
- Share-alike: New creations that use the material must use the same licensing terms.
Creative commons licenses always attain the Attribution condition, but it is the creator’s choice to pick and choose which of the other elements apply to their work. Therefore, the less elements chosen, the more freedom the user has; the more elements chosen, the less freedom the user has. I think Creative Commons is a great system, especially for media students like myself, as it allows content to be shared and used in a legal and friendly way. You go, Creative Commons!