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Creative Commons – The Value and Risk of Flexible Copyright
You've worked hard to create your work, whether it's a black and white photo or an abstract piece done with oil paints. And you want to get it out there, maybe even online--showing your work, inviting comment and feedback and selling a piece or two. Is there an easy way to protect your work from being ripped of, while sharing it at the same time? Yes.
Creative Commons is a type of licensing which promotes the creative re-use of intellectual, creative and artistic works — whether owned or delivered in the public domain. This licensing form is a new alternative to traditional copyrights—a quick and free middle ground between full copyright control and the unprotected public domain.
Easing the Pain of Copyrighting
Artwork is automatically copyrighted at creation—it doesn’t have to be registered. But without legal registration, proving copyright can be a daunting issue. The issue is easily circumvented via Creative Commons (CC), which gives artists a solution to protect and distribute artwork without having to pay for an ‘official’ copyright or affiliated legal fees. CC licenses provide a flexible and customizable range of protections and freedoms for authors, photographers, visual artists, performing artists and educators.
The free license legally defines the parameters of acceptable use and distribution of an individual work or even a body of work. Licenses are highly applicable to online work, or wares that appear to be in the public domain. Consider your online image gallery or web-based portfolio.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then CC may be a good solution for you.
Six License Choices, Ranging from Very Restrictive to Very Liberal
While there are six main licenses, we're going to keep our discussion to the two on opposite ends of the spectrum--the 'free advertising' license, which is the most restrictive, and the 'attribution' license, which is the most liberal. You can see all six license options and learn more at Creative Commons.
All licenses include CC’s “baseline rights and restrictions.” Before applying a Creative Commons license, it’s crucial to examine the baseline protections along with the licensing language. And since your artwork is your ‘brand,’ it may be just as important to examine the design and intent of the Creative Commons community at work. After all, licensing integrates the Commons brand with yours.
Features & Benefits
How are artists and photographers using Creative Commons? And how are they benefitting from the common community and culture?
Whether you’re an artist looking for a quick alternative to traditional copyright or a photographer intrigued by the thought of promoting your work in an innovative manner, Creative Commons has a flexible plan just for you.
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