Creative Commons and Intellectual Property

Creative Commons (CC) is a free licensing system that allows for a “some rights reserved” usage of online materials while still maintaining copyright. It offers certain usage rights to the public while still maintaining primary copyright to the creator, allowing the work to be used and expanded and such without turning it into public domain. CC should only be used by those who don’t wish to reserve all rights to their work.

Intellectual Property (IP) is any creation of the mind: inventions, literary work, art, and so forth. They are protected in law by patents, trademarks, and/or copyrights. This allows them to get recognition for their work without having it stolen from them.

Online copyright can be an issue unless it is done right from the moment that the work is posted online. Downloadable content cannot be policed and thus is vulnerable to illegal copying by pirates and those who believe all content should be free. File- and password-sharing will be difficult, if not impossible, to prevent.

When you plan to use something that is not yours, always try to determine who the original owner is and get permission. If you believe it is protected by copyright (always presume it is, for safety) and you’d be violating the law by using it, ask permission before doing anything with the thing in question. Identifying the owner(s) can be simple or difficult depending on how old it is, how many hands its copyright has passed through, and whether it is still copyrighted or has fallen into public domain due to old age. Payment may or may not be required for its use. Always get the agreement in writing as proof that you were granted permission and for any legal usage if you are called into question over it.

I’m not sure how I would license my work. On here, all I have is typing but I have works posted elsewhere online. I think I would pick a CC license because I like seeing where others might take my work within reason and I enjoy doing collaborations with others. I’d need to do more in-depth research regarding that decision, personally.

Links in order of usage

The Basics of Getting Permission


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