The bottom line is to give credit where credit is due. Creative Commons assures that what you can retain ownership over your creative content over the web.
The Internet is filled with images, music, books, and creative content. People from all walks of life have spent all sorts of time creating original content. Any time that you reference someone else's work, you are creating a copy of it and using it for your purpose. It doesn't matter if you're writing a thesis, a term paper, sampling a few seconds of music, or using a YouTube video as part of your work: you have to give credit where it is due. If it is a term paper or thesis, you use the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) to write your bibliography. For the online world, there is Creative Commons, which states to your readers that you can use another person's creative work.
What is "Creative Commons"?
The simple way to explain the definition of Creative Commons is to say, "Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. We unlock the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity" (Link: https://creativecommons.org/about/). They are a non-profit organization, providing a mechanism for sharing content across the internet.
"One goal of Creative Commons is to increase the amount of openly licensed creativity in “the commons” — the body of work freely available for legal use, sharing, repurposing, and remixing. Through the use of CC licenses, millions of people around the world have made their photos, videos, writing, music, and other creative content available for any member of the public to use." (Link: https://creativecommons.org/use-remix/)
Bottom line: If you are using someone else's work as part of your own, you have to give credit where it is due.
This can come in two ways:
- Copyright: You have to get permission from the owner to use any derivative of their work in your creative content
- Public Domain: Anyone can use the material in a derivative work. For example, The copyright on Sherlock Holmes ran out in July of 2014 (Link: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sherlock-holmes-now-officially-copyright-and-open-business-180951794/)
A Creative Commons license makes it easier to share copyrighted content across the Internet. (link: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/) . According to the Creative Commons website: "The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law." (Link: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-considerations/)
According to the Creative Commons website: "One goal of Creative Commons is to increase the amount of openly licensed creativity in “the commons” — the body of work freely available for legal use, sharing, repurposing, and remixing. Through the use of CC licenses, millions of people around the world have made their photos, videos, writing, music, and other creative content available for any member of the public to use." (Link: https://creativecommons.org/use-remix/)
"Creative Commons has four types of licenses:
- Attribution (by): All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.
- ShareAlike (sa): You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.
- NonCommercial (nc): You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.
- NoDerivatives (nd): You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first."
Why should you get a license?
Just like you use a bibliography to know when you inherited someone else's work on your term paper, that's what getting a creative commons license is about. Some parts of your writing, you are OK sharing with others so they can create derivative works from it. For example, you play guitar, and you put together a few chords. You can't turn it into a song, but you put it out there so others can use your sample for their video project. So, you set up the creative commons license which states that it's OK to share your example and do derivative works out of it. As an author, Creative Commons is an easy way to know that your actions are protected from outright plagiarism.
Check here for the different types of graphics that you can apply to your creative works, ensuring everyone knows that they can use or not use. (Link: https://creativecommons.org/about/downloads)
On the web it is easy to share information by sending links, copying text, or uploading images. Creative Commons allows you to hold onto your rights over your content and share with others. The bottom line is to give credit where credit is due. Creative Commons assures that what you can retain ownership over your original content over the web. Please visit the Creative Commons website for more information. (Link: https://creativecommons.org/)