Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Creative Commons and Author's True Intentions Creates Copy Confusion

You see it every day on blogs all over the web: content posted with a Creative Commons license.

The Creative Commons license, for his own original works, is the choice of the author. He is not forced to do this (unless it's a derivative work based on another Creative Commons work, or he is publishing someone else's CC licensed work). He does it willingly. He makes the conscious decision to make his work copyable under certain restrictions, whether they be giving him credit, not making derivative works, derivative works allowed, restrictions on commercial use, no restrictions on commercial use, etc.

But he is giving you the right to copy it, nonetheless.

I spotted this one at the bottom of the page on a blog today:

According to the Creative Commons license for that site, in which the author links to, I CAN copy his content. According to the little Copyscape banner above it, I may not.

So which is it? Can I or can't I?

I wish authors would think about it seriously and make up their minds before they put the banners on their sites. They can't have it both ways. They can't say out of one side of their mouths you can copy their work, and out of the other that you can't. They are conflicting statements and ideas.

If you don't want to give people the legal right to copy your work, don't release it under any type of Creative Commons license. Retain full copyright and priviledges for yourself. And get the Creative Commons badges off your site!

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