Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What is Creative Commons?

There's a great article posted on a blog today about creative commons. Take a look at the little girl in the above picture. Then think about these questions. 1. Who owns the photo? 2. Who can use the photo? 3. Does Blogger (Google) have any interest in this photo? 4. What are the stipulations for use of this photo? 5. What would you have to do to protect the photo from others using it? These are many questions that come to mind when you post a photo on blogger or on Flickr. Flickr states: "Respect the copyright of others. This means don't steal photographs that other people have taken and pass them off as your own. (That’s what favorites are for.)" What this implies is that you're free to link to other's photos but not free to borrow them if without linking back to his/her site/posting. But does this mean you should ask the person who took the photograph if you can use it? I say, absolutely! Creative Commons sets guidelines for photographers to use with regard to the photos they post on the Internet. "Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from 'All Rights Reserved' to 'Some Rights Reserved.'" In other words they let you change the automatic* stipulation that any photographs you post are all-rights-reserved photos to other stipulations that you can choose from, "like some rights reserved." *According to templetons.com, "all major nations follow the Berne copyright convention. For example, in the USA, almost everything created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not." This is known as the Berne Copyright Convention. Moral of the Story: Read the fine print. Don't go posting on a site that lets them have your rights. And don't take others' photographs without asking!

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