Creative Commons Class Notes

Copyright Explained

  • copy + right = controlling the rights of individuals to copy (and use) intellectual/creative works
  • Usually kick in as soon as a work is put in “fixed form”
  • “On the Internet, even the most basic activities involve the making of copies” (CC Web site)
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” (U.S. Constitution)
Original length of (U.S.) copyright: 14 years after creation of work (with possibility of 14 year extension)
Current length of (U.S.) copyright:  70 years after death of author/creator

Public Domain Explained

The group of works that are not restricted by copyright.

  • copyright has expired
  • copyright has been given up by the owner
  • work doesn’t meet requirements for copyright protection (Works created by the U.S. govt., for example)

“Fair Use” Explained

NOT a law; rather a principle/doctrine

  • suggests that public should be able to use parts of copyrighted materials for commentary, satire, criticism, education
  • if copyright holder disagrees with your Fair Use claim, she can sue
  • ultimately, decisions are based on subjective opinion of judges
Validity of claim based on:
  • purpose and character
    • has work been “transformed”
    • ex: The Harry Potter encyclopedia
  • nature of the work: factual vs. fictional works
  • portion of work used (10% rule)
  • commercial impact on the creator (are they losing money b/c of what you’re doing?)
“Some people mistakenly believe it’s permissible to use a work (or portion of it) if an acknowledgment is provided. For example, they believe it’s okay to use a photograph in a magazine as long as the name of the photographer is included. This is not true. Acknowledgment of the source material (such as citing the photographer) may be a consideration in a fair use determination, but it will not protect against a claim of infringement.”

Creative Commons Explained:

Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

Marking works with creative freedoms — “Some Rights Reserved”

[When we remix/reuse/rip] we are breaking the law because the law was written for a totally different context — Lessig

“A Shared Culture”

Divorcing Remix/Reuse/Sharing/Cultural Intervention and Piracy

Further Exploration

We’re going to experiment with our own remix. I’m going to ask one of you to choose a Creative Commons image on Flickr and make some change to it. Then that person will ‘pass’ it along to the next person on the list who will also make a change. We’ll work this through the entire group, blogging and sharing each step along the way. You can use whatever you want to edit the image, Paint, Photoshop, iPhoto, even PowerPoint. Just make sure that when you save the image you save it as a .jpg or .png file (so we all can continue to work on it). We’ll pick the order for the project in class tonight. Everyone will get one day to complete their step, with the goal of having it done by next Thursday.

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