Saturday, July 12, 2008

Creative Commons projects

As many of you know, I have two Creative Commons projects, Wishes, the Penny Project and Art Is Everywhere. But just what is a Creative Commons (or copyleft) project and how does one go about creating such a thing?

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables people to mark their creative work with the freedoms that they want it to carry. Instead of offering your work "all rights reserved", you can pick and choose what freedoms you wish to impart so that others can copy, distribute, perform and create derivative works based on your copywritten work so long as they abide by your choice of the following criteria.

Attribution - Anyone using your work gives credit as you specify.

Noncommercial - Your work may be used for noncommercial purposes only.

No Derivative Works - Copies must be made verbatim.

Share Alike - Others may only distribute derivative works under an identical license to that which governs your own work.

The benefit to this system is that it allows for an immediate exchange between artists so that we can build upon what others are doing and allow others to do so. Anymore nowadays there are so many legal concerns to consider when creating work, and sometimes it is difficult to tell where one person's rights end and another's begin. Essentially if you want people to legally be able to be involved in your work, you must give them permission to do so.

1 comment:

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

In regards to another copyright issue, please be aware of the Orphan Works Bill that has been presented to Congress. This could severely limit artists' legal rights to their own works if not registered in an extensive (and likely private) database. Those who would use the artworks for their own purposes and/or gain could claim that they were unable to find the rightful owner based solely on that database. Although it would be possible to compile such a registry in theory, it simply is not feasible in actuality and a lot of artists will suffer for it from having to register every little thing they do if they want to continue to hold legal rights to it - every photograph of their work, every sketch, every maquette in addition to their finished works.

This rewrite of a similar 2006 bill was introduced in April 2008 and incited a vast and prompt response from the art community against it. However, this issue has not been resolved as it seems to be "Scheduled for Debate" which means that it may be joined with another bill or rewritten again. You can learn more about this here: