Copyright, Creative Commons; and us.

Back from the dead! A nasty dose of the flu knocked me silly for about 5 days, so now playing that fun game of catch-up tennis. At least it wasn’t three weeks from now when everything and everyone comes crashing down wanting assessments. Small blessings 🙂

So, this week we’re into copyright and Creative Commons. Stacks of really great info out there about the different licensing conditions that can be applied to works using creative commons. And also on how not to get yourself into trouble.

One thing that struck me was that “traditional” copyright in the online world appears to be a game of publishing something, and then hoping that other people do the ‘right thing’ – asking for permission to reprint, or even just attributing others’ works. In my internet travels I’ve come across *so* many instances of works that are obviously copies of each other – sometimes word for word, or image for image – that it’s apparent that copyright breaches happen with stunning regularity.


“CC booth” by Creative Commons HQ is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It’s struck me that Creative Commons is more than just a “licensing system”. It’s a pro-active approach to sharing content. By licensing works under Creative Commons, the author’s intent is clear. They’ve marked their work as available (or not) for commercial use, available for derivative use (or not), or maybe even as a work in the public domain, relinquishing all rights entirely. And that makes it easy to know what to do next if you would like to re-use the work.

Contrast that with the old-fashioned “publish and be hopeful” approach. Although copyright statements appear at the bottom of pretty much every (semi-professional?) web page, they’re on the whole most definitely *not* helpful in working out what to do if you’d like to re-use content. “Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2015” – for most of the internet, the line is either ignored, or the response seems to be “so what?” It appears a lot of people take that confusion, and turn it into illegal (or at the very least, undesirable) action – and just take what they want.

So, here’s cheers to Creative Commons for helping clear up the sludge, and making it easy to work out what can, and can’t, be done with content on the web. And through their application of standards, leading content producers down a path to recognition, attribution and profit for all involved.

More info:

Creative Commons Australia
Creative Commons
Find something with a Creative Commons license!
Or, try the beta search engine


One thought on “Copyright, Creative Commons; and us.

  1. Great stuff Lara, some great reflections here – and love the idea of including links for further info at the end! A brief tip: be sure to link to the title of the image in your reference directly to the original source (i.e. the photo), so the licence can be easily verified. Check out my blogs/study notes for examples… Keep up the great work!


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