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Digital rights Law & Freedom

Quick and Honest Guide to Creative Commons Licenses

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In a way, the best way to fight piracy is by making it impossible for people to do illegal things with your works.

Zacqary Adam Green came up with this handy guide to Creative Commons for his article on copyright reform. Funny as it may seem, it is a very practical and straight-to-the-point analysis of the licenses, since it seems that you can only enforce a license as long as you can afford the legal battle.

In the case of software licensing, it is not recommended to use a Creative Commons license, since they were not designed for that use. CC was thought for artistic works, and although software is considered “art” in some countries’ copyright laws, they are practical works, more than just artistic ones. That is why using a Free Software license is recommended instead. They were designed to cover any technical and practical use for the work that you need to protect. Also, there are organizations like the Software Freedom Law Center that help developers and non-profit organizations to enforce their licenses among many other services with little or no budget.

I don’t know if there is something similar to defend works under a CC or similar free license. Maybe there’s an unexplored business opportunity for law firms.

Categories
Digital rights Law & Freedom GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source News

YouTube offers Creative Commons licensing for video uploads

Today I uploaded my monster truck videos to YouTube and found the surprise that they are now offering the option to publish your videos under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

That is great news! YouTube is the biggest online video community and it was lacking this option, unlike its competitors Vimeo and Blip.tv.

But what does this mean?

Before this, all user uploads were licensed with full copyright, the famous “All Rights Reserved”, which means that if you want to use, distribute, share or remix (create a derivative work) you had to obtain explicit consent from the video author for doing so. This new option of licensing is a very important deal, because it meas that being the big video distributor that YouTube is, it will be a great platform for a lot of commons content that we can share, use and remix (of course, only material published under the CC-BY license by the author).

Although they are not giving users the ability to choose from all the six Creative Commons licenses available, they made a very smart choice of simplifying the options to the users by offering only the most free one. It benefits us all in the tech and culture worlds.

Free Culture = Free World

If you wish to change all your previously uploaded videos to CC license, you can go to your list of uploaded videos, mark the checkboxes on the left on all videos (or just mark the top one to auto select all), click the “Actions” button and select the menu option “Creative Commons (CC-BY)”.

I hope to see CC licensing in other Google products like Picasa web albums, like Flickr does. But anyways, the YouTube offer is a great milestone for Creative Commons. Lets just wait and see what new creations and remixes this move brings to the world.