Creative Commons

We spent our last class learning about copyright and creative commons. If your like me you have probably heard the word copyright or seen the little symbol but are unclear about what it all means. While doing a bit of my own research I came across this site that breaks it down and makes it easier to understand. Here’s the basics….

So what the heck is copyright anyway? Copyright provides legal protection for original work that you create in a “tangible medium of expression” (picture, painting, written work, data file etc.). As soon as you have created it, it has instant legal protection.

Once you have written it you can either keep it all to yourself or you can give it away. If you decide you want to give it away there are many many ways to do that and they all fall into two categories: licences and assignments.

The first way to give your copyright away is as an assignment. You can think of an assignment as selling your copyright. Whoever purchases it can do what they want with it.

The other way to give away your copyright is through a licence. A licence means you are lending the rights to someone, you decide how they use it and for how long.

This is where Creative Commons comes in…. it is a licence that is applied to work protected by copyright. Essentially a way to easily share copyrighted work.

Creative Commons symbol

Creative Commons, a non-profit organization allows people to licence their copyrighted work to anyone who is willing to follow the licencing terms.

How do you use Creative Commons (CC)?
Follow this link and search for media, pictures and more that you can share, use and/or remix. Creative Commons licencing uses four basic restrictions or rules that need to be followed when using copyrighted work from the commons. These four restrictions each have symbols that will come up when you search CC for a copyrighted work to use. The four symbols/restrictions are:

Attribution: This requires people who use your work to let all other people who see it that it is yours and not theirs. No cutting out your name. All Creative Commons licences carry the attribution requirement.

CC Attribution symbol

Non Commercial: This means they are not using your work commercially which means “no private monetary value” gained.

CC Non Commercial symbol

No Derivatives: People can use your work as long as its not modified.

CC No Derivatives symbol

Share Alike: Allows other people to modify your work as long as they allow others to use and share the work they created from your work.

CC Share Alike symbol

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page on best practices for attribution that can help you properly attribute pictures you may use on your own blog.

Here is an example of attribution which follows this sequence – where you found it/ username of person/ licence type

flickr@USDAgov – CCBY2.0

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