Creative Commons

by Krishna on April 21, 2007

This is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. I just added a Creative Commons license for the content of this blog — “Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License”. The link leads to a simple description of the license — there is another link on the same page that leads to the full legal verbiage of the license.

Basically, if you write or publish anything in the United States, you are automatically entitled to the copyright of your work. Others may not copy or use your work, except under “fair use” doctrines, which provides limited use of copyright material without explicit permission.

The idea behind Creative Commons is that it provides an easy, accessible way for the general public to create a license for their creative works without the help of a lawyer. The license can be tailored to various considerations, such as if you are comfortable with someone copying and selling your work. You can choose your license through this simple interface here.

From the perspective of users of creative works (like articles, photos, etc.), Creative Commons makes it very convenient to consume and share good content. It removes the worry about violating someone’s copyright by over-extending fair use. Many sites, including Flickr, allow you to search for such content.

The best way to use Creative Commons content is to extend it further. For example, you could combine text and photos to create your own work and share it with friends or publish it for others.

There are also other documentation licenses, notably the GNU Free Documentation License used by Wikipedia. Here is a list of such licenses.

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