Do you ever worry about copyright infringement (either by yourself or by others)? What would you do if a post/image you spent many hard hours on suddenly appeared on another site with no attribution? How can you help deter internet leaches that spend their time taking credit for your time? Would you really like others to share and expand on your ideas without infringement? How do you know if it is okay to share another person's work?
If your answer is yes (or I don't know) to any of these, a simple solution is to make sure your page is copyrighted (and to look out for a CC on other pages).
In the past, going through a copyright process cost time and money. It involves legal talk, lawyers, and specificity that are way beyond the general public's understanding. But in the age of media and viral sharing, another method has come about (and it's completely legitimate!). There is an option, a FREE and UNDERSTANDABLE option, that you can use that avoids a headache. It's called Creative Commons.
What is Creative Commons? (taken from the Creative Commons site)
"All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. Every Creative Commons license works around the world and lasts as long as applicable copyright lasts (because they are built on copyright). These common features serve as the baseline, on top of which licensors can choose to grant additional permissions when deciding how they want their work to be used."
Types of licenses
By answering a series of questions on the Creative Commons site, you are provided with a license that best suits your needs. In short, the licenses include combination of how much a person will allow their work to be "tweaked" by others (derivatives), attribution, and whether or not the work can be used for commercial purposes.
Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)
Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND)
Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)
The license that has been developed for The Book Cove appears at the bottom of every page:
This is a fairly general licence that I notice on many blogs. I chose this one because I do not mind if my content is shared or expanded upon, as long as I am given credit.
Is it really worth it?
I'm putting this out there because I notice that many of the blogs that I visit do not have a CC. Whether it's because they do not know about the benefits of having one or they don't think their content is worth a CC - I do not know.
What I do know is that everyone should be concerned about infringement. New cases pop up every day about bloggers posting pictures, text, and links - completely unaware that they are doing anything wrong until a legal notice shows up in the mailbox. If you determine "worth" as time, money, headaches, etc. then YES - a CC has a lot of worth!
For the most part, problems like this can be avoided by making sure that your site clearly indicates what is okay and what is not okay for others to use and vice versa. Are there loopholes and special circumstances surrounding CC? Of course. However, taking simple steps to at least deter thieves while protecting yourself is worth the shot. Especially since it's FREE and takes less than 5 minutes to do via the Creative Commons site!
By the way, feel free to pass this information on to anyone who could benefit from it ;-)