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The skinny on Creative Commons licensing

What with the whole share! discuss! community! open! freedom! nature of today’s web, the legal issues associated with borrowing, referencing, displaying, or quoting someone else’s work can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Meanwhile, copyright law is such a complex tangled mess it can be really difficult to know what is and isn’t allowed, and how to make sure your work is protected while being accessible. Fortunately for those of you us without legal degrees, content protection and the free flow of information have been necking since 2001, thanks to the Creative Commons. Read on to learn about sharing like your momma taught you.

Some rights reserved

The Creative Commons allows you to choose just how many rights you’d like to reserve for your work by offering an assortment of licensing choices, ranging from relatively restrictive to an all out free-for-all. Our content, as you may notice, is licensed as “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5.” This basically means you can share this with whoever you want in whatever way you want, as long as you’re not hawking it (it’s a little more detailed, but that’s the gist). The six main license types are listed and explained in-depth on their website. I should also mention that all licensing is free.

How legit is it?

Johnny Law gives it two thumbs up. Earlier this year, the first Creative Commons license was upheld in court . And for those of you who put more stock in grunge music than Johnny Law, it’s also legitimate enough to have been used by Pearl Jam for their latest video release.

Sticking it to The Man

The point of this type of licensing is to allow the everyman to be able to easily share information, especially since a huge portion of information today is being created by the everyman. According to Wikipedia, Creative Commons’ chairman of the board Lawrence Lessig feels that
”...modern culture is dominated by traditional content distributors in order to maintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products such as popular music and popular cinema, and that Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions.”
Now swipe this article in the name of freedom.

Google vs. The Networks

More confirmation: The future of marketing is in word of mouth