The internet provides a worldwide platform for your creative work. That’s good and bad. While it offers the potential for tremendous exposure, it also makes your work vulnerable to theft. Yes, you want others to share your work because it increases your exposure. But you also want to maintain control.
© 2012, Ursula Marinelli. All rights reserved.
Anyone who uses or shares your copyrighted work must get your permission. If they don’t, the penalties can be steep. According to the Purdue University Copyright Office, penalties can include jail time along with paying the actual cost of damages and profits – ranging from $200 to $150,000 per work – and all attorney and court fees.
However, granting permission could become a full-time job. In reality, many people are oblivious to this requirement and will cut and paste without requesting your permission. Or they may be fully aware of the law, but steal your work anyway -- through plagiarism or blatant copyright infringement. This is where the use of Creative Commons can help.
The Creative Commons website explains, “Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.”
Their “tools” are six different standard licenses that grant a variety of permissions to use your creative work. They range from Attribution, allowing others to distribute, change, build upon, and profit from your work, as long as they give you credit – to Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, only granting permission to share your work, with credit, unchanged and with no commercial benefit.
To let people know how they may use your work, simply mark it with one of the license logos and include the URL to the actual license as well as your copyright notice.
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under
© 2017, Ursula Marinelli. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons is an easy way to help you expand exposure of your creative work while allowing you to maintain control over how it’s used.
"www.creativecommons.org/licenses/. Accessed 4 February 2017."
"www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/penalties.html. Accessed 4 February 2017."