Creative Commons Licensing

I’ve had several experiences with Copyright infringement since my work was first published. The most serious was when a high school in Germany reprinted portions of A Glimpse of the Future without permission. It was a strange situation; on the one hand it was a copyright infringement and pissed me off, but on the other it was a compliment as they were using it as an example for their students. Since then I’ve become more and more convinced that the traditional Copyright system has become outdated as technology has left it behind. We need a newer system which takes into account the technology and interchangeability of the 21st century, a system which protects content creators but doesn’t punish users for taking an interest in someone’s work.

I’m not sure if this is the answer, but in the interim I’ve decided to support Creative Commons Licensing. Under a Creative Commons license, the incident with the German high school would not have occured; I would have allowed them to use a portion of it for non-commercial purposes. Likewise, it allows musicians to let people use their music on MySpace or other sites, photographers to have their photos recognised by more people, gaining publicity without having their rights infringed. Can you imagine if the record companies adopted this, or even Hollywood? It would have a huge impact on piracy, I think in a good way.

So from the release of my next story, Shards of Babylon, my future work will be protected under an Australian Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivs license. It’s a mouthful, but basically it means that I will allow people to copy, distribute and transmit my work as long as they attribute back to me as the author; that they do not change it in any way; and that they make no money off of it. If they want to use it in any other way, they must contact me first; I might still be amiable to helping them out. Right now I’m using it with my photos on Flickr.

I’m going to be posting more on Creative Commons and Copyright over the next few months as it’s something I believe in, so I hope you’ll come back and keep an open mind. I’d be very interested to know what you think, actually. I know it’s not something everyone will agree with, but as a writer this isn’t a small issue for me, it’s part of my every day life. I want to be protected, sure, but I also want to be able to communicate with my readers. Allowing someone to take a part of my story they liked and post it on their website… how does that really hurt me? It means I get new readers, a new audience, more publicity. That’s what Web 2.0 is all about! I still think we need a new system, and in the end Creative Commons might not be enough, but for now it’s a better option than what we have and that’s why I’m supporting it.

If you’d like to know more about Creative Commons, check out the website CreativeCommons.Org or the Wikipedia article Wikipedia: Creative Commons License.

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7 thoughts on “Creative Commons Licensing

  1. Hi.
    I myself am a big fan of CCommons because I woke up one morning and found myself googled to high heaven with everyone taking stuff off my site (music reviews mostly) and not crediting me. This is the best way right now of asserting copyright exactly how you desire it.

    Right, now I’m off to find out why my links have dissapeared! Just wanted to say that, and hello, really. Hello!
    Simon

  2. Hello CJ Writer,
    Thank you so very much for taking the time to share this information. I believe my material has been exploited by various individuals and I want to protect my material too. I have recently applied “page protected by copyspace do not copy” to my front page of my web log http://www.secondchancetolive.wordpress.com , but I have not figured out if I need to apply that “page protected by copyspace do not copy” to each of my posts to protect the individual posts as well. I have over 134 posts and in the event that I would have to go through each post to apply the seal, it would take alot of time away from my creating. Can you please give me any suggestions my friend. Thank you again for taking the time to write this article.

    Have a great day.

    Craig J. Phillips
    Second Chance to Live

  3. The copyright issue in this day and age has simply become murky at best–not legally, but in practice. The internet age has created a bit of a free-for-all in terms of fair use and infringement. I would always like to be paid for my work and credited, unless I specifically state that the piece is up for grabs. With the internet, it is impossible to know if your work has been purloined. Schools, and I am a teacher, do a lousy job of making sure that the younger folks understand and pay attention to copyright issues. I have no idea if anything I’ve written has been stolen or used without my permission. I also have no idea what the answer to this issue is.

  4. I, too, support the use of CCommons licensing. It seems to be the best way to protect one’s work at this time while allowing it to spread to new readers/viewers/listeners. Great article!

  5. I appreciate your views expressed in this article. I, too, support creative common licensing.

    But, as far as licensing and copyright infringement issues are concerned, the whole matter solely rests on the implementability of the law. In India (that’s where I belong), for example, almost all the well-known American and English authors’ books are available in illegal paperbacks at a fifth of the label price on shops that spring up on the footpath as you walk by. In China, the Chinese translation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released (of course not legally) one day before the official release of the same book by Bloomsbury. I remember this because a hilarious picture was there in the morning newspaper showing, on one hand, a highly-secure vehicle which was to transport the first HP consignment, and on the other hand, a vendor selling the Chinese translation. 🙂

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