Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Things you should Know before Applying a CC License to your Blog

The article explains what should you know about creative commons and about its features before adding it to your blog. People do have many questions, like what is this thing called Creative Commons and what does it mean? 

Firstly, Creative Commons is an organization that helps users shares their work with others. The complete procedure is legal and freely available. In a nutshell; if you get a creative commons license to your work, you are supposedly giving away your work freely to anybody (have a look at some who have already done it or search for some cc works on the website) who needs it.

Another question which arises from the statement is why do I need a creative commons license? When I didn’t have a license, I couldn’t control who can copy my works. So even if I had a license, what difference will it make? The answer is very simple, the organization provides legal tools to the licencor (The person who is licensing his work) to control how his work is being used after it has been umm... copied.  From the website you can choose from a plethora of licenses and determine which license suits you best. You can even have a look at the policies to improve your understanding on the subject.

For example, you are a graphics developer and with your skills and knowledge, you have created amazing logos and wallpapers. Now you want your work to be available to other users on the web so that they could also use your work to beautify theirs. But (Oh! Here comes the catch), as a designer you need you work to flourish your own creation not someone else’s who edited your work into something else. So you use a creative commons license. This license will help you prevent your work to be modified by some punk who thinks he’s over smart. The license will create a legal obligation towards anyone who takes your work. This might mean, the licensee (the person taking your work) will have to cite the author or the source when he reuses your work or he will be prohibited to modify your work (like explained above) etc. So, with the help of this powerful yet free legal tool you can control what a person is able to do with your work.

Now here are consolidated facts about the creative commons (henceforth referred to as CC).
  1. CC does not track your work. So if you have a graphics set, CC will not track and find out where is it being used right now.
  2. CC is not against copyright. In fact it is pro-copyright.
  3. CC is not a law firm and does not give advice (legal advice of course) on matters. It simply provides a free platform and legal documents for the use of common man.
  4. Only the original creator of the work is authorized to license the work under CC.
  5. A licencor has the permission to change the clauses in a CC license. However CC does not recommend any changes in the document as it leads to further complications.
  6. CC licenses are built to be enforceable in court in nearly all jurisdictions. However the license has a severability clause where the provision is deemed unenforceable in certain situations.
  7. Another very important characteristic about CC licenses is that it is un-revocable. You cannot stop someone to refrain from using your work after you have applied a cc license to the particular material. 

Note regarding the LAST POINT, Let us take an example of the Graphics developer. The developer has reached new heights of his career but is a little low on cash. So he thinks that he can make money by selling his creations to potential art lovers on the web. But he has already attached the previous art works to a cc license. Now even if he tries he will not be entitled to stop any user from using his previous works which they have obtained during the CC license period. This is another reason why you should be highly cautious while applying for a CC license. Never indulge in such proposals thinking it’s cool, think it through and understand why you need a CC license and then plunge. Still having some questions? look at the FAQs or add a comment below.

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