Share Alike, Love Alike

In an era in which Internet freedoms are being hotly debated and tossed about, Creative Commons swooped in and made many aspects of Internet sharing simpler.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit, which Aaron Swartz, an activist and developer of reddit, helped begin, that works legally to create licenses that allow companies and more importantly, general information to be honored.

According to their site, “The CC Affiliate Network consists of 100+ affiliates working in over 70 jurisdictions to support and promote CC activities around the world.”

To do so, CC made free labels that show how information (art, ideas, writing) could be shared. There are several levels, and the different labels represent them.

These mean things like, share- alike, no-derivs (don’t change the shared item), noncommercial, and attribution (tell people this was mine!)

This way, people know very clearly what to do with info once they come upon it and wish to use it.

Critic and researcher David Berry said, “Where we would benefit from making space available for the political, the Creative Common’s ideological stance has the effect of narrowing and obscuring political contestation, imagination and possibility.”

Meanwhile, the only people that seem to be doing any case studies on CC are its own site…Go figure.

A study they did in 2011 showed serious benefit to open sharing, “The direct and measurable benefits of making [Public Sector Information] available free and unrestricted typically outweigh the costs. When one adds the longer-term benefits that we cannot fully measure, cannot even foresee, the case for open access appears to be strong.”

The great seem to outweigh the less alright.

According to The Blog Herald, there are a bunch of benefits from CC that we don’t normally consider.

These include: Search Engine Benefit: Since Google and Yahoo! use CC-oriented info, everyone’s CC work will appear on them more often.

Greater Copyright Clarity: ….This one speaks for itself. Yay clarity!

More Likely to be Quoted: On top of this, people are more likely to confer with you about the things they wish to use of yours.

Less Time Dealing with Infringement: Also self explanatory!

An Actual License: Right now if info is not under CC, it’s under “implied license” which benefits no one and pretty much means “do whatever, don’t get caught, and if you get caught we won’t do anything.”

Hope you have found yourself informed. Happy Thursday!

-Lani Prunés, Contributing Writer


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