So far the single most useful thing that I’ve learned about in the copyright class is about the Creative Commons License. Creative Commons creates a middle ground between reserving all rights to your work and giving them all away. As explained on their site:
“The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional ‘all rights reserved’ setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.” There are six licenses available. I will discuss them in terms of photos since, at this time, I’m most interested in finding photos I can use on my blogs.
Attribution. This is the broades license. It let’s me use a photo any way that I want on my blog, even commercially. All I need to do is give credit to the photographer, CC BY…
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. You should be starting to see a pattern here. Credit the photographer (CC BY-NC-SA. . .), change in any way, but only for noncommercial use and license with the same terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs. This is the narrowest license. Credit the photographer (CC BY-NC-ND…), download and share as is and no commercial use.
How do you find photos with a Creative Commons License? I’ve found the ones that I’ve used so far on Flickr. I just search for my topic and creative commons. When I find a photo I like, I check which license it is offered under. The only problem that I’ve had so far is when I find a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs and want to use it on the Muffin. I get paid for those blog posts so this means that I need to find another photo.
This system has made it much easier for me to find photos and I’m not having to take quite as many of my own. Not that I’m giving up my camera but this is a nice alternative when I’m on deadline.