Today we have learned about Copyleft and Creative Commons. We completed a ‘Treasure Hunt’ that requires us to search for answers online to some questions related to copyright and copyleft. Below are the questions and answers that were completed by yours truly.
Who is Lawrence Lessig and what is his relationship to the Creative Commons movement?
Lawrence Lessig is the Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is a founding member of Creative Commons, and is currently part of the advisory board.
When was Creative Commons founded?
Creative Commons was founded in 2001 by a board of educators, leaders, technologists, investors, scholars, and philantropists.
What is copyleft?
Unlike copyright, which protects creators from unauthorized use of their work, Copyleft provides permission for software or documentation to be modified by the general public, and redistributed.
Identify at least two arguments in favor of Creative Commons licensing. Do you agree or disagree with the arguments?
Alex Wood, journalist, argues that creative commons is essential for photographers and artists to protect their work, and in some instances, get paid. In order to be discovered by publications, artists must put their work on the internet, and by attaching your name to your work, if it is re-distributed, people will always be able to know who the creator is.
– In the second article, the author states that Creative Commons can support struggling artists. When artists take on CC licenses, they do not lose their copyrights, they gain additional ones that grant permission for others to share, alter, and sell the work. Where copyright puts limitations on the sharing of work and ‘getting it out there’, Creative Commons encourages it.
I have mixed feelings about these articles. I am sceptical of how you can make money when others are selling your work online. The articles paint a good picture of CC licenses, however there is no further information on HOW artists can benefit financially.
Identify at least two criticisms of Creative Commons licensing. Do you agree or disagree with the criticisms?
In this article, the author, George Howard, stresses that CC licenses actually devalue an artists work. With Copyrights, artists sell their work and are paid for it, giving the artist a sense of value and the will to continue. Though CC licenses provide ample promotion by sharing the work, it is no longer exclusive, and the artist does not receive any benefit. Essentially, CC licenses kill the working artist.
-The second article highlights the same concerns as the first, discussing how CC licenses make an artists work ‘free’, and no working artist can compete with free.
After reading the articles, I can say that CC licenses concern me. As a musician, I understand the struggles that can creep up when attempting to sell your work. It is hard to find buyers, and if the general public can download it for free, than we as artists do not make money for our craft, and an entire industry of creators becomes in danger of extinction.
What are the restrictions on a work with the CC BY SA designation?
Restrictions on a work with the CC-BY-SA designation are: that adapters must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, indicate changes made, and distribute under the same license as the original.
What are the restrictions on a work with the CC BY NC ND designation?
Restrictions on a work with the CC BY NC ND designation are: that adapters must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate changes made. In addition, the material cannot be used for commercial purposes, and modifications cannot be distributed.
8) A popular source for Creative Commons Images is: http://search.creativecommons.org/
9) A popular source for Creative Commons Music is: http://www.soundclick.com/
10) A popular source for Creative Commons Clip Art is: http://openclipart.org/
11) To attribute content you reuse with a CC license, you must include: title, name of author, and the license the work is registered under.
THE BIG QUESTION
Do Copyright laws encourage or restrict creativity?
The answer to this question is subjective. Judging by the articles I have read on the topic, there are definitely some mixed views on the subject. Copyleft promotes creativity, with its lenient rules and allowing others to modify creations. Creativity flourishes here. However, seemingly, it makes no money for the original artist. So, does Copyleft encourage creativity for those who create for a living? Or only for those who do it as a hobby? Copyright, on the other hand, hinders creativity and adaptions done by the general public, however, the artist’s creations are protected, and they can see a return for their investments of time and hard work. In some ways, copyrights encourage creativity for the original artist.