Creative Commons Licenses for Creative Works

As I produce more and more writings on this website and elsewhere, I have started thinking lately about the nature of the works I am sharing with readers.  How are these works protected?  Must I take extraordinary measures to obtain registration or some other acknowledgement of my works in order to have rights in them or the ability to enforce those rights?  

The good news is that here in the United States, once a creative work such as a writing is produced, it gains automatic copyright protection without any type of registration.  Once a copyright is created, all rights rest with the author, who can choose to assign those rights for a fee (royalties), or according to specific parameters such as an acknowledging credit.  The latter are known as creative commons licenses. 

What is a Creative Commons License?

A creative commons license is a license to use or share your creative works, including works published online.  It allows others to use and share your work based on specific conditions you place on the use.  Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates these licenses based on the information that you provide about your work and whatever criteria, if any, you want to place on the work.  The Creative Commons website walks you through acquiring a license for your work. You should consider a creative commons license if you have a creative work to protect, and you desire to grant others the ability to use or share your work based on the parameters that you set.

What types of works are protected by a Creative Commons License?

Creative Commons licenses protect works that are protected under copyright laws, such writings, images, music, audio, and graphic pieces.

Why are Creative Commons licenses great for writers and artists?

·      Creative Commons licenses are free.  You can obtain a license simply by going to the Creative Commons website and choosing the license that is suited to your needs.

·      Facilitates the marketing of your work.  By granting the public the ability to use and share your work, you invite a rapid spread among a large number of people, potentially building momentum and gaining notoriety for your work. 

·      Creative Commons License does not preclude royalties on your works.  The author may still assign licenses to works under a revenue-producing arrangement aside from the creative commons license. 

Why are Creative Commons licenses sometimes not so great?

·      Works cannot always be yanked back under full protection rights.  Once your work has been released under a creative commons license it can be returned to full copyright protection.  However, you cannot enforce full copyright protection against anyone that has used or shared your work under the creative commons license. 

For more information about creative commons licenses, visit the Creative Commons FAQs page.

Have you used creative commons licenses to protect creative works?  Share your story in the comments section.  

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  This post is part of a series of posts called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.


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