Creative Commons Licensing

Online authors - which is anyone who works online - are concerned about how to protect and how to share the products of their work. On one hand, writing a blog (or posting one's print-work on a blog) or working on a wiki gets the work Out There. On the other hand, digital reproduction makes it easy to grab, sample, adapt, and alter the work. And on the third hand, IP creators are concerned about how to handle the collaborative efforts: mashups, adaptations, embedding images and videos and music in a page, or creating the collective document that is a wiki.
IP = intellectual property, sometimes called "original" work. Poem, novel, musical score, scholarly article or book, photo, drawing, software application are all IP. So are notes on a classroom blackboard, a chalk drawing on a building wall, and a shopping list. When published to the web, a work is automatically copyrighted, just as it is in any other form of publication. Unless the creator allows rights, work's use is governed by copyright laws (all rights reserved) unless the creator explicitly changes those rights. Issues surrounding IP are complex and deserve a page on this wiki.

Things have changed. Getting work published no longer means simply "putting a work out to be read." Work on the Internet isn't just read, it's commented on, shared further, tagged, linked, incorporated, mashed up, adapted, reworked, republished, collaged ... Issues surround these uses include where the boundaries are, what makes for fair use on the Internet, when a work ceases to be original, when a work becomes original by being reworked... and how to carry IP rights from one iteration to the next.

The common sense of the matter is that print-based copyright isn't up to the features and speed of the new medium, so we change copyright to suit. The idea is to make it possible for IP creators to specify what rights they want to protect and what they will permit.

[Need a short history of copyright link.]

Here are some starting points

New Methods of Production and Distibution

Three Frees
Net people and sharers define two three aspects of free
  • free as in beer: free content or code
  • free as in speech: speak. but the speaker owns the words
  • free as in puppy - Free for the taking, but you have to take care of it.

Free content

Free as in beer.
There seems to be something to be gained by providers in making content sharable.


OpenEducationalResources. MOOCs, course materials, textbooks ...

Remember that you are not starting from scratch. Nobody ever creates something from nothing. That's why we call this section ‘repurpose' instead of ‘create'. We want to emphasize that you are working with materials, that you are not starting from scratch. Downes, Siemens, Cormier. Change2011 MOOC, How this course works



Free New Media Content

[Need a list linked to digital poem and other works that can only be "read" online or on a computer screen: hypertexts, dataminers, ... ]

Open Source

Free as in beer - and free as in speech.


Digital rights management, watermarking, and other ways of tracking work. The main issues here surround the loss of value when content is protected by DRM. DRM tends to make the content accessible on only one platform, prevents copy and paste and other forms of adapting content for personal use. Because DRM requires a system-wide way of producing and distributing, DRM has acted as a gatekeeper, certifying authenticity and editorial approval. That is changing fast with the advent of Author for iBooks.

MashUps and adaptations of works, tagging

Gorillaz mashups

Music Mashups
The general argument is that the mashup uses iconic source material to create a new work.
Data Mashups

The Commons

Questions for discussion concerning IP

A Case

Who controls the use of and ownership of this collection of links, tags, and annotations? I posted them and now anyone can use them for their own devices, possibly making money or gaining fame or a grade from them. I gain value from them because they are useful to me. But I don't have to make them public. What motivation do I have to share them? What do I gain and what do I lose? If "they increase in value when they are shared," as some would argue, how does that work? What's value in that case?

Someone should explore the gaps and overlaps between the legal and social practices of IP. That is, even when the legal matters are clear, people continue to share without permission. What's going on there?
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