Last night at the 5 Spot I talked to a perfect person concerning all of this copyright business. She’s a friend of mine who I believe studies entertainment law at Belmont—I can never remember, plus I’m suffering from a touch of whiskey amnesia—and she is a guru on the subject. She’s the one who recommended the film Copyright Criminals, and turned me on to Creative Commons. Prior to visiting their website, I had noticed  Creative Commons on Flickr. When searching for images to use for projects you can select to search for copyright free images through creative commons under their advanced search options.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that is part of the copyleft movement who seeks to build a culture of sharing, and allow for an alternative to the harsh “all rights reserve”; they prefer the much gentler  “some rights reserved”. The founders address copyrighting in the digital era and the subject of intellectual property.  They support groups that are interested in exploring progressive approaches to sharing images, music, video, and other intellectual property. It’s easy to license your work through their website and you can choose the level of rights you’d like to pertain to your work. There are four major of grouping for the licenses: Attribution, requiring attribution to the author, Share Alike, allowing derivatives of the work, Non-Commercial, requiring the work not be used commercially, and No Derivatives, allowing only the original work to be used. It’s an efficient and streamlined system that allows for our work to reach larger audiences while still maintaining certain rights regarding its usage. You can learn more at creativecommons.org. And, next time you’re desperate for photos, check out Flickr’s Creative Commons library. I believe they have over 200 million licensed photos on there.

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