A Creative Commons License is a powerful tool that can help you use the word-of-web to easily spread your ideas. Introduced in 2002 by a non-profit organization of the same name, Creative Commons is a form of copyright that falls in the middle of traditional public domain and copyright laws.
Copyright: Public Domain and Copyright…Two Extremes
On the one extreme, “Public Domain” describes work or intellectual property that is not owned or controlled by any person or entity. The term indicates that these works are “public property”, and available for anyone to use for any purpose.
A great example of this is the book The Science of Getting Rich, written by Wallace D. Wattles. This book is considered public domain work and provided the foundation for Rhonda Byrne’s runaway best seller The Secret!
As you might guess The Secret is covered under traditional copyright laws, which means that all rights are reserved by the owner of the work. In essence no part of the work may be shared etc, without the express written permission of the owner.
Traditional Copyright Laws Butt Heads with the Internet
The web has created an avalanche of “work or intellectual property”. That coupled with the massive distribution offered by the web, pits traditional copyright against the viral nature of the web.
- What if you want to share your work and make it available to as many people as possible?
- What if you want to allow people to post your work on their site and tell others about it?
- What if you want to allow others to reuse and build upon your work?
- How can you use the massive word-of- web power to promote your ideas?
Creative Commons License…The Middle Ground
For example; let’s say that you have just written a free e-book. And you would like to share this with as many people as possible. You post it to your website, but you would like for other people to be able to post it to their site, include it in their seminar, or send it to someone who really needs the information etc. You can create a Creative Commons License that will automatically give them your permission. The caveat is that they agree to abide by the terms of your creative commons license.
Where Do You Get a Creative Commons License?
Visit the Creative Commons website. Six licensing options offer different combinations of permissions and restrictions. In addition to a wealth of information, you will find a license selection tool to help you figure out the right license.
Take the time to learn how to “mark” your works with the Creative Commons License. You will find detailed information on marking your web content, text, images, audio and videos! And then let the word-of-web works its magic!