How to protect your artistic works with a Creative Commons license

These alternative licenses improve on existing copyright law by enabling content owners to promote the sharing of their work

By Katherine Noyes, PC World |  IT Management, copyright, creative commons

Which route to take will depend on the specifics of the chosen license and the type of infringement, but in general, “when you find someone that's misusing your material, the most important thing is to start a dialogue,” Duff advises.

Don't get angry or emotional in demanding the immediate enforcement of your rights, he recommends.

“It can be really hard not to take [violations] personally," Duff explains, "especially when you're a small-business owner and this is something you've worked really hard on.”

More often than not, however, the infringing party isn't aware of what they've done. If you're polite, they're more likely to respect your rights, so keep your temper in check and make contact, Duff advises.

The Benefits of Using a Creative Commons License

Numerous high-profile authors (including futurist Cory Doctorow), artists, musicians (such as the rock band Nine Inch Nails), and even government agencies and entities (including the White House) use Creative Commons licenses. You'll find many more case studies on the Creative Commons site.

UK-based landscape photographer Steve Gill believes in making art freely available for personal use, and he uses Creative Commons licensing because he believes it supports that philosophy.

“Most people are honest and are not in the habit of illegally downloading images,” Gill told me. “If they do, they probably just want it for their desktop or personal blog anyway. So long as they are not going to profit by using my image, then I have no problem in them using it.”

Gill hasn't seen evidence of any drawbacks associated with using Creative Commons licensing, he says, but he has identified many benefits.

"The attribution which is required for sharing the image provides a free direct link back to my main image store; the more links back, the wider the audience,” he explains.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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