Activity 9: Choosing a licence

A blog by @mircwalsh

Activity 9: Choosing a licence

This activity requires us to research the various creative commons licenses and decide which ones we would attribute to our blog and to justify our choices.

Copyright and creative commons licenses are something I have worked with extensively both personally in my work as a journalist and teacher and professionally when teaching my class about copyright.

When explaining the importance of copyright to my students I give examples from my past to try and emphasise the importance of copyright.
For examples I once discussed a pitch for an article with a college lecturer of mine in class. I was told that it wasn’t a great idea yet days later discovered my college lecturer had written on the same topic in the local paper. Did this breech copyright? Well not exactly but it was quite a blow and upsetting that my idea which was quite an original one was taken. About a year later I myself had an article published and it was reused word for word by a different organisation without attribution. Was this a breach of copyright? Yes it definitely was. I chose not to do anything about it but did ask to be credited.

My third examples comes from a couple of years ago when creating a website for a new company the company wanted to use a specific logo they found on Google images. Yes the logo was pretty cool but I wasn’t too sure about them just using this logo so I search for the original source. After much searching the original creator and owner was Google. Imagine the legal trouble this new start up would have faced if they had used a Google logo as their own!!

My advise is to always think about the person who originally created the work and how they might feel to see their work reused.

Below is a diagram I use with my students and one that I think clearly illustrates the various creative commons licenses.

Look through the different licenses and ask yourself what do you want the work to be used for.

1. Do you want it to be reused and people to make money from it?

2. Do you want it to be reused for non commercial reasons?

3. Do you want to be credited for your work?

4. Do you want people to be able to edit your work.

The license I personally choose is Non Commercial.

I don’t mind if people share my work or edit my work but I don’t want businesses making money from it. Everything I do and every blog post I write is with the aim of educating others so this license does just that with the protection of my content not being used for commercial purposes. From time to time I have had commercial websites approach me asking for permission to republish my work and when that happens I give them permission but ask for attribution.