My Disappointment With Creative Commons

It was in the early months of 2003 that I first adopted a Creative Commons License. The transition was a smooth one, for almost five years before that, I had used my own copyright policy, one that closely mirrored the By-NC-ND Creative Commons License. Changing out the original code for the CC one made almost no difference in the user experience and was more of a codification than a change.

However, after half a decade of licensing virtually every word I pen under a Creative Commons License, I’ve started to look back with a sense of disappointment.

I don’t think I was ever unreasonable with my expectations for CC. I was already well-versed in copyright law and didn’t expect CC to make the plagiarists go away or cure unrelated copyright ills. I knew the bad guys would ignore CC the same as they ignored my license and I knew CC couldn’t fix other intellectual property issues.

However, I did expect Creative Commons to help out in a few ways, ways in which CC has had very little impact.

Statistical Analysis

Though I haven’t kept hard statistics for most of the past ten years, I have kept track of my work as well as technology and time would allow me. As such, consider the following statistics as educated approximations.

Before CC After CC
Number of attributed uses of my work per week 1-2 1-2
Number of emails requesting use per week 2-4 3-6
Number of uses in strict compliance of CC License 0 0

Looking at the numbers, it is easy to feel that Creative Commons changed little. However, it is important to remember that these numbers are in the face of growing traffic, a book release and a generally larger audience. If nothing had changed, one would still expect the numbers to go up at least slightly.

Instead, the only numbers that went up were the emails I received asking permission to use my work, the exact problem that CC was supposed to resolve.

Even after adding a Creative Commons License and displaying it prominently on my site, the issue of viewers asking to use my content was so great that I kept a stock letter to send to those who did ask. The letter simply directed to them to the CC license and explained to them what the terms meant.

It is important to reiterate that these are approximations. The numbers would wax and wane heavily based upon the time of the year. They were highest when high schools and colleges were in session and lowest in the dead of summer.

At certain times, especially between Halloween and Valentine’s Day, the numbers could be several times higher.

Also, it is important to note that, both with and without Creative Commons Licensing. Between half and three-quarters of all use of my work was plagiarized.

The Problem

The problem with CC is that, even after five years of being in the limelight, most users either don’t know of or don’t understand Creative Commons.

Evidence of this can be found all over the Web. For one example, take a look at this image on Flickr that Thursday at ThursdayBram.com tipped me off to.

The image clearly shows that the photo is licensed under a Crative Commons License, likely added by Flickr’s CC integration, but the comments indicate that the image is “All Rights Reserved”.

The image itself has been removed but others remain with a similar copyright duplicity.

Though it is easy to write off such situations as simple mistakes, the product of easy CC integration and boilerplate descriptions, but it is a confusion about CC licenses and their role in copyright that make such mistakes both possible and as common as they are.

If you look around the Web, you’ll see all kinds of misconceptions about CC including the notion that CC is a different kind of copyright law and that it is anti-copyright.

Though the CC Organization has battled these perceptions in some cases, it seems, over all, to be powerless to stop the swelling tide of user ignorance.

Moving Forward

The CC Organization, for its part, has moved forward with changes and additions to its licensing scheme. It’s new CC+ and CC0 aim to expand the functionality of Creative Commons deeper into the commercial world and the public domain respectively.

Though the initiatives are both necessary and very exciting, they are likely to only exasperate the existing confusion. I say this because, even as someone who studies copyright heavily and has used CC licenses for over five years, even I am hard pressed to clearly state what each of the initiatives do or how they work.

Though they are both simple ideas, they require a great deal of explanation before most people “get it”. Considering that few current users of CC licenses are likely to require either CC+ or CC0, they could wind up hurting the Commons by adding more fuel to the misconceptions.

And it is those misconceptions that are holding the CC revolution back.

Battling Misconceptions

Of course, the real issue with the misconceptions isn’t that Creative Commons is expanding, but that it is expanding without investing heavily into user support.

Currently, your average CC user visits the site, selects the license, grabs the code and walks away. Though this is very convenient, it doesn’t do much to encourage them to use the license in a correct manner.

Outside of some videos and comics that explain the broad strokes of CC, there is precious little on the nuts and bolts of using CC. No HTML code for using content on your own site, no simple guidelines for changing your mind, save in a buried link off the license page, and precious little clarification about what each of the terms mean in real-world situations.

Creative Commons can not be faulted for this because they, reasonably, expect that people will take a serious interest in the rights they surrender in their work and carefully read everything provided. However, users have been told to expect an easy and approachable form of copyright licensing. Creative Commons appeals to your average Webmaster simply because it doesn’t force them to think about these ugly issues.

In short, Creative Commons is forced to perform a balancing act between being a robust enough solution to survive a strange legal climate and being simple enough to be grasped by laypeople, many of whom are unfamiliar with even the basics of copyright law.

The CC organization struck the balance well, but in doing so created an entity that is neither simple enough for widespread use by those unfamiliar with it nor robust enough to calm fears of many who take the most interest in copyright issues.

Fixing the Commons

Unfortunately, since much of the confusion lies in the realm of copyright law itself, there may be little that CC can do to fix the current climate. However, if I were going to suggest a few ways to improve the commons, my thoughts would include the following:

  1. Improved Education: CC seems to invest heavily in new initiatives and bringing CC to new countries. It may be time to step back and focus on educating existing users. Like college professors forced to teach high school English, it may be necessary to include some remedial copyright education. Also, the effort would need to focus more on real-world situations, rather than ideals.
  2. Focus on the Web: CC tries to be all thing to all people, including those in print, movies and elsewhere. However, most CC use is taking place on the Web and a focus there makes more sense than a broad push across all media.
  3. Freeze on New Initiatives: Though the new initiatives are great, they risk injecting even more confusion into the system. If they aren’t necessary at the moment and aren’t fixing an immediate problem with the system, then they should be held off on until understanding of CC Licensing is more broad.
  4. Better Outreach: CC needs to empower volunteers to point out and help correct errors in applying CC licenses. Some do already, but often with a more hostline tone and, at times, inject new misconceptions. Official documents created by the CC organization that are easy to understand that volunteers and good citizens can reference easily would help with a lot of this.
  5. Clearly Define CC’s Limitations: Even after the Virgin Mobile case, there has been no clear push to explain what CC doesn’t do. This is only going to create more cases like that one and more disagreements on the Web.

Clearly, there are other things that could be improved, but this would be a tremendous start in clearing the air and confusion that seems to surround CC.

Conclusions

I want to make it clear that this is not designed to be an attack on Creative Commons, but rather, a constructive criticism. My goal is not to sway people way from the Commons, but to improve it and help it achieve its goal. I have a long history on this site of defending Creative Commons, as well as its extensions, and plan to continue doing so.

The reason is that Creative Commons was founded to solve a very serious problem and has, by in large, done a very good job at tackling it. Because of them, artists, bloggers and musicians alike can encourage reuse of their work, without surrendering all of their rights. Users, in turn, can find content for their own works and sites without fear of being sued.

But while the CC principle is the best solution available to a very large and grand problem, it is finding itself somewhat bogged down in the tactical side of the problem. The process of taking its tools and applying them to real world situations seems to be stumping both artists and users.

To work, Creative Commons needs to spend equal time addressing the practical as well as the philosophical. Simply offering the tools for free and trusting the world to use them well is no different than giving everyone in the world a hammer and expecting them to build houses.

The CC initiative is great, but more has to be done before the utopia envisioned can be even close to realized.

58 Responses to My Disappointment With Creative Commons

  1. Sue says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always thought of Creative Commons as a way to use the images, content, music, whatever without first getting permission. Copyright is still retained by the original author, it's just that permission is not needed to republish, as long as (depending on the level of CC) it's attributed, it's not used for commercial purposes and no works are derived from it. So in a sense, it's not mutually exclusive to have the copyright notice and a creative commons license.Ignorance of the law is no excuse though, and ignorance of the license is probably a remnant of the early days on the web when everyone felt it was all fair game. Scrapers, of course, excluded. They're just baaaad. :) It's sites like yours that help us all to learn, Jonathan. Keep up the great work.

  2. Sue says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always thought of Creative Commons as a way to use the images, content, music, whatever without first getting permission. Copyright is still retained by the original author, it's just that permission is not needed to republish, as long as (depending on the level of CC) it's attributed, it's not used for commercial purposes and no works are derived from it. So in a sense, it's not mutually exclusive to have the copyright notice and a creative commons license.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse though, and ignorance of the license is probably a remnant of the early days on the web when everyone felt it was all fair game. Scrapers, of course, excluded. They're just baaaad. :)

    It's sites like yours that help us all to learn, Jonathan. Keep up the great work.

  3. Sue says:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always thought of Creative Commons as a way to use the images, content, music, whatever without first getting permission. Copyright is still retained by the original author, it's just that permission is not needed to republish, as long as (depending on the level of CC) it's attributed, it's not used for commercial purposes and no works are derived from it. So in a sense, it's not mutually exclusive to have the copyright notice and a creative commons license.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse though, and ignorance of the license is probably a remnant of the early days on the web when everyone felt it was all fair game. Scrapers, of course, excluded. They're just baaaad. :) It's sites like yours that help us all to learn, Jonathan. Keep up the great work.

  4. Sue: You are correct. You can, as I do on this site actually, have both a Creative Commons License and use the copyright symbol. That's not a duplicity at all in and of itself.The problem with the image is the "All Rights Reserved". If you use a CC license, you are surrendering some rights to the work so "All Rights Reserved" is not technically accurate. Most people who use CC use the tag line "Some Rights Reserved" instead.I think a lot of people are just now really starting to deal with copyright in a meaningful way. Before the Web, it really was not something Joe Citizen messed with that much but now with the Web and file sharing, it is bumping into the lives of everyday people more and more often. That's where the education and the need for more education is coming from.Very welcome for the site and thank you for the compliments!

  5. Sue: You are correct. You can, as I do on this site actually, have both a Creative Commons License and use the copyright symbol. That's not a duplicity at all in and of itself.

    The problem with the image is the "All Rights Reserved". If you use a CC license, you are surrendering some rights to the work so "All Rights Reserved" is not technically accurate. Most people who use CC use the tag line "Some Rights Reserved" instead.

    I think a lot of people are just now really starting to deal with copyright in a meaningful way. Before the Web, it really was not something Joe Citizen messed with that much but now with the Web and file sharing, it is bumping into the lives of everyday people more and more often. That's where the education and the need for more education is coming from.

    Very welcome for the site and thank you for the compliments!

  6. Sue: You are correct. You can, as I do on this site actually, have both a Creative Commons License and use the copyright symbol. That's not a duplicity at all in and of itself.The problem with the image is the "All Rights Reserved". If you use a CC license, you are surrendering some rights to the work so "All Rights Reserved" is not technically accurate. Most people who use CC use the tag line "Some Rights Reserved" instead.I think a lot of people are just now really starting to deal with copyright in a meaningful way. Before the Web, it really was not something Joe Citizen messed with that much but now with the Web and file sharing, it is bumping into the lives of everyday people more and more often. That's where the education and the need for more education is coming from.Very welcome for the site and thank you for the compliments!

  7. Sue says:

    Ah, I get it now. Yes, all rights reserved and some rights reserved are mutually exclusive. Guess I'll have to look closer when I use a Flickr image (and I use a lot of them). Fortunately, most people at Flickr reply quickly when you ask to use a photo, and at least in my case, are willing to give permission.P.S.Did I tell you I really like how you've improved this site? It's absolutely gorgeous.

  8. Sue: Thanks for pointing out the error in my circle, I'm glad it is more clear now. My wife is the artist in the family, I can't even draw a circle…I think you did tell me but I appreciate it greatly! I'm trying to include more visuals including images and video. It's been a lot of fun and I think it's made the site not just easier on the eyes, but more effective. That's just me though. I know of a few that will disagree…

  9. Sue says:

    Ah, I get it now. Yes, all rights reserved and some rights reserved are mutually exclusive. Guess I'll have to look closer when I use a Flickr image (and I use a lot of them).

    Fortunately, most people at Flickr reply quickly when you ask to use a photo, and at least in my case, are willing to give permission.

    P.S.

    Did I tell you I really like how you've improved this site? It's absolutely gorgeous.

  10. Sue says:

    Ah, I get it now. Yes, all rights reserved and some rights reserved are mutually exclusive. Guess I'll have to look closer when I use a Flickr image (and I use a lot of them).

    Fortunately, most people at Flickr reply quickly when you ask to use a photo, and at least in my case, are willing to give permission.P.S.

    Did I tell you I really like how you've improved this site? It's absolutely gorgeous.

  11. Sue: Thanks for pointing out the error in my circle, I'm glad it is more clear now. My wife is the artist in the family, I can't even draw a circle…

    I think you did tell me but I appreciate it greatly! I'm trying to include more visuals including images and video. It's been a lot of fun and I think it's made the site not just easier on the eyes, but more effective.

    That's just me though. I know of a few that will disagree…

  12. Sue: Thanks for pointing out the error in my circle, I'm glad it is more clear now. My wife is the artist in the family, I can't even draw a circle…I think you did tell me but I appreciate it greatly! I'm trying to include more visuals including images and video. It's been a lot of fun and I think it's made the site not just easier on the eyes, but more effective. That's just me though. I know of a few that will disagree…

  13. Sue: Just noticed, when I captured the image I put the circle in the wrong place. Changing it out now…

  14. Dawn says:

    The problem is, some of those of us who don't license our works under a CC license because of the commercial nature of that work end up dealing with people who assume everything is now under CC license and therefore they can just use anything they want to. Some people even think CC has succeeded copyright in the legal system, which couldn't be further from the truth. Creative commons has muddied the water pretty badly, people were just clueless about copyright before, now they're got more to be confused about.Not to mention that the CC license misuse is damaging to the creative commercial market. While there are people who state that the license can be used to "build up creative items" there's already millions of works in public domain and the CC license misuse throws commercial artists wide open to monetary losses even if they don't use them.After all, who is going to pay commercial artists if they can just get it free from someone who didn't really consider what flooding the market with "free" work would do or who didn't even realise that the license they used basically lets anyone do anything with their work? It's hard enough making money in creative careers what with dealing with people who think that anything creative is "effortless" and "easy" to do, add in a flood of free creative material from people who don't bother to read what licenses they're applying before they put it up? And it creates a whole new headache for unvalued and underpaid professional artists.CC licenses? Great idea in theory, in practice it's responsible for no end of grief. Licensing should not be a "one size fits all, throw it out there and ignore it" job. But even the CC website itself has frequent propoganda, that plays up the "good" while downplaying the "bad" one of the comics even characterises people who don't use CC? As "controlling", but people who use them? Are characterised as "understanding". The drawbacks are largely hidden from public view. So in my opinion, it's an overhyped, underplanned, badly presented system that only really works in academic circles. Realistically? The amount of time people have spent bigging CC up would have been better spent spreading good information so people can understand licenses and how they work enough to build their own rather than blindly using a flawed system that is hurting more artists than it is helping.

  15. Liz says:

    Your comment at my site led me to yours and for that I am extremely grateful. There seems to be a wealth of information here. I am particularly impressed by your perspicacity – it is a real pleasure to read your article and this one in particular has been of interest to me. I suspected that the 'unwashed masses' didn't have a clue about Creative Commons and if by chance they had heard the two words, they would not recognise the symbolic representation in a sidebar, nor understand the implications. The article did clear up 2 issues for me; firstly the ability to use the CC licence as well as the Copyright licence. Secondly, the use of Flickr images. I am always very hesitant about using any images that are not my own. The only images I use on my blog, have been taken from my own photo album. This can sometimes cause me to lose out on illustrating my article appropriately, for want of a photograph that I do not have in my album.

  16. Dawn: I understand and agree that, in a way, CC may have further muddled the copyright issue on the Web in its entirety. There are some who do think that everything on the Web is CC, which I suppose is a step above public domain at least, and treat the content accordingly.That's yet another area where the education and public outreach by CC has been lacking and yet another space for improvement.However, I'm not ready to criticize anyone who licenses work under CC. Not only would it be hypocritical, but I encourage everyone to make their own decisions about such things. Does a wide body of CC licensed work make it harder to sell work to others? I'm dubious about that. CC licensed work seems to be used mostly by people who can't afford to pay for work. I use it occasionally for images on this site and doubt that I would be in a position to pay for images regularly, save maybe dollar stock photos.The second problem is that companies that use content from others are typically concerned about covering all legal bases and pay for a work, with a contract in hand, rather than just trust a CC license found on the Web.Is it probably that it is having a negative effect? Yes. But I'd guess the effect is not as strong as thought, after all, as my own experience shows, CC work isn't being used that much anyway.Liz: Thank you for the compliments, they are greatly appreciated. I'm glad that the article helped clear up some issues but definitely feel free to ask if there are any questions that I can answer.I will gladly do what I can!

  17. Liz says:

    Your comment at my site led me to yours and for that I am extremely grateful. There seems to be a wealth of information here. I am particularly impressed by your perspicacity – it is a real pleasure to read your article and this one in particular has been of interest to me. I suspected that the 'unwashed masses' didn't have a clue about Creative Commons and if by chance they had heard the two words, they would not recognise the symbolic representation in a sidebar, nor understand the implications.

    The article did clear up 2 issues for me; firstly the ability to use the CC licence as well as the Copyright licence. Secondly, the use of Flickr images. I am always very hesitant about using any images that are not my own. The only images I use on my blog, have been taken from my own photo album. This can sometimes cause me to lose out on illustrating my article appropriately, for want of a photograph that I do not have in my album.

  18. Liz says:

    Your comment at my site led me to yours and for that I am extremely grateful. There seems to be a wealth of information here. I am particularly impressed by your perspicacity – it is a real pleasure to read your article and this one in particular has been of interest to me. I suspected that the 'unwashed masses' didn't have a clue about Creative Commons and if by chance they had heard the two words, they would not recognise the symbolic representation in a sidebar, nor understand the implications. The article did clear up 2 issues for me; firstly the ability to use the CC licence as well as the Copyright licence. Secondly, the use of Flickr images. I am always very hesitant about using any images that are not my own. The only images I use on my blog, have been taken from my own photo album. This can sometimes cause me to lose out on illustrating my article appropriately, for want of a photograph that I do not have in my album.

  19. Dawn: I understand and agree that, in a way, CC may have further muddled the copyright issue on the Web in its entirety. There are some who do think that everything on the Web is CC, which I suppose is a step above public domain at least, and treat the content accordingly.

    That's yet another area where the education and public outreach by CC has been lacking and yet another space for improvement.

    However, I'm not ready to criticize anyone who licenses work under CC. Not only would it be hypocritical, but I encourage everyone to make their own decisions about such things. Does a wide body of CC licensed work make it harder to sell work to others? I'm dubious about that. CC licensed work seems to be used mostly by people who can't afford to pay for work. I use it occasionally for images on this site and doubt that I would be in a position to pay for images regularly, save maybe dollar stock photos.

    The second problem is that companies that use content from others are typically concerned about covering all legal bases and pay for a work, with a contract in hand, rather than just trust a CC license found on the Web.

    Is it probably that it is having a negative effect? Yes. But I'd guess the effect is not as strong as thought, after all, as my own experience shows, CC work isn't being used that much anyway.

    Liz: Thank you for the compliments, they are greatly appreciated. I'm glad that the article helped clear up some issues but definitely feel free to ask if there are any questions that I can answer.

    I will gladly do what I can!

  20. Dawn: I understand and agree that, in a way, CC may have further muddled the copyright issue on the Web in its entirety. There are some who do think that everything on the Web is CC, which I suppose is a step above public domain at least, and treat the content accordingly.That's yet another area where the education and public outreach by CC has been lacking and yet another space for improvement.However, I'm not ready to criticize anyone who licenses work under CC. Not only would it be hypocritical, but I encourage everyone to make their own decisions about such things. Does a wide body of CC licensed work make it harder to sell work to others? I'm dubious about that. CC licensed work seems to be used mostly by people who can't afford to pay for work. I use it occasionally for images on this site and doubt that I would be in a position to pay for images regularly, save maybe dollar stock photos.The second problem is that companies that use content from others are typically concerned about covering all legal bases and pay for a work, with a contract in hand, rather than just trust a CC license found on the Web.Is it probably that it is having a negative effect? Yes. But I'd guess the effect is not as strong as thought, after all, as my own experience shows, CC work isn't being used that much anyway.Liz: Thank you for the compliments, they are greatly appreciated. I'm glad that the article helped clear up some issues but definitely feel free to ask if there are any questions that I can answer.I will gladly do what I can!

  21. Dawn says:

    The problem is, some of those of us who don’t license our works under a CC license because of the commercial nature of that work end up dealing with people who assume everything is now under CC license and therefore they can just use anything they want to. Some people even think CC has succeeded copyright in the legal system, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Creative commons has muddied the water pretty badly, people were just clueless about copyright before, now they’re got more to be confused about.

    Not to mention that the CC license misuse is damaging to the creative commercial market. While there are people who state that the license can be used to “build up creative items” there’s already millions of works in public domain and the CC license misuse throws commercial artists wide open to monetary losses even if they don’t use them.

    After all, who is going to pay commercial artists if they can just get it free from someone who didn’t really consider what flooding the market with “free” work would do or who didn’t even realise that the license they used basically lets anyone do anything with their work? It’s hard enough making money in creative careers what with dealing with people who think that anything creative is “effortless” and “easy” to do, add in a flood of free creative material from people who don’t bother to read what licenses they’re applying before they put it up? And it creates a whole new headache for unvalued and underpaid professional artists.

    CC licenses? Great idea in theory, in practice it’s responsible for no end of grief. Licensing should not be a “one size fits all, throw it out there and ignore it” job. But even the CC website itself has frequent propoganda, that plays up the “good” while downplaying the “bad” one of the comics even characterises people who don’t use CC? As “controlling”, but people who use them? Are characterised as “understanding”. The drawbacks are largely hidden from public view. So in my opinion, it’s an overhyped, underplanned, badly presented system that only really works in academic circles. Realistically? The amount of time people have spent bigging CC up would have been better spent spreading good information so people can understand licenses and how they work enough to build their own rather than blindly using a flawed system that is hurting more artists than it is helping.

  22. Dawn says:

    Mr bailey, I don't criticise those who know what they're doing and who use CC licenses properly, I criticise the people who don't bother to think about it or use the licenses appropriately, who take it as an "easy" way out that doesn't require any thinking on their part. I also criticise those companies who are pushing the "ease" of CC licensing without giving equal time to the drawbacks of CC licensing. The CC license idea is a high ideal, but at it's heart the licenses are still promoted as "some people cannot afford/create their own work, they deserve help" when in reality being unable to afford something or make it themselves doesn't mean anyone deserves it for free.Not to mention those of us who don't use CC licenses because we're commercial artists? Tend to get blasted a lot for being "selfish" and "controlling" because we won't let every tom, dick and harry maul our output simple because tom, dick and harry can't afford or be bothered to learn to create something themselves from scratch. Needless to say CC has done a fair amount of damage to judge from the amount of people who get very angry because not every artist licenses their work under it.I find a lot of promoters of CC licensing at the grass roots level simply are looking to get their hands on the work of other people. CC license is a good ideal but it's being increasingly perverted by greedy individuals who only promote it for their own gain, which wasn't supposed to be the ideal behind CC, it was supposed to support and help artists, not allow them to be exploited.Actually it does interfere with commercial interests frequently. There's enough copyright infringement in the upper reaches of commercial industries without giving certain companies yet another way to exploit the creative output of other people. I've heard of any number of people who presumed that only bob the layman would be using their work on his website, then have discovered that in reality the ones using it aren't bob, they're Samuel the executive on $150K yearly.As for your claim that the big companies are tighter about copyright infringement? I would have thought that the case of the dog photo being ripped off by virgin alone would have spelled out the fact that many big business can be downright sloppy or inconsiderate when it comes to copyright. There's rampant problems with theft particularly in graphic design circles due to teachers essentially teaching their students that the world wide web = clipart central. The amount of companies I have dealt with who've tried to consign all outright theft to "fair use" is quite large, mostly because most companies do not keep a copyright lawyer on staff and thus have no clue about copyright so they end up holding up "free use" as a sort of get out of jail free card and hoping the person doesn't have the legal wherewithal to drag them into court.Creative commons is a great ideal but it just doesn't work in a world where there are people who will exploit and abuse both CC and the artists who use it.

  23. @According to Dawn:I think we can all agree that the CC is not perfect, and as Mr. Bailey has pointed out, there are things that can be improved. But copyright infringement is copyright infringement. As you point out, there is infringement with or without the CC. The CC just makes it more clear and easier to distinguish between works that are available for derivative works. I highly doubt that the CC is in such common use that people just assume it and don't notice the odd case when it is not used. Mr. Bailey's experience seems to indicate just the opposite, that people don't notice when it is in use. As far as the CC undercutting commercial artists, tough. If your art does not provide any greater value than the art of those that do not wish compensation, then either you are not much of an artist, or you choose the wrong form of art to exploit commercially.

  24. @According to Dawn:

    I think we can all agree that the CC is not perfect, and as Mr. Bailey has pointed out, there are things that can be improved. But copyright infringement is copyright infringement. As you point out, there is infringement with or without the CC. The CC just makes it more clear and easier to distinguish between works that are available for derivative works. I highly doubt that the CC is in such common use that people just assume it and don't notice the odd case when it is not used. Mr. Bailey's experience seems to indicate just the opposite, that people don't notice when it is in use.

    As far as the CC undercutting commercial artists, tough. If your art does not provide any greater value than the art of those that do not wish compensation, then either you are not much of an artist, or you choose the wrong form of art to exploit commercially.

  25. @According to Dawn:

    I think we can all agree that the CC is not perfect, and as Mr. Bailey has pointed out, there are things that can be improved. But copyright infringement is copyright infringement. As you point out, there is infringement with or without the CC. The CC just makes it more clear and easier to distinguish between works that are available for derivative works. I highly doubt that the CC is in such common use that people just assume it and don't notice the odd case when it is not used. Mr. Bailey's experience seems to indicate just the opposite, that people don't notice when it is in use. As far as the CC undercutting commercial artists, tough. If your art does not provide any greater value than the art of those that do not wish compensation, then either you are not much of an artist, or you choose the wrong form of art to exploit commercially.

  26. Dawn says:

    Mr bailey,

    I don’t criticise those who know what they’re doing and who use CC licenses properly, I criticise the people who don’t bother to think about it or use the licenses appropriately, who take it as an “easy” way out that doesn’t require any thinking on their part. I also criticise those companies who are pushing the “ease” of CC licensing without giving equal time to the drawbacks of CC licensing. The CC license idea is a high ideal, but at it’s heart the licenses are still promoted as “some people cannot afford/create their own work, they deserve help” when in reality being unable to afford something or make it themselves doesn’t mean anyone deserves it for free.

    Not to mention those of us who don’t use CC licenses because we’re commercial artists? Tend to get blasted a lot for being “selfish” and “controlling” because we won’t let every tom, dick and harry maul our output simple because tom, dick and harry can’t afford or be bothered to learn to create something themselves from scratch. Needless to say CC has done a fair amount of damage to judge from the amount of people who get very angry because not every artist licenses their work under it.

    I find a lot of promoters of CC licensing at the grass roots level simply are looking to get their hands on the work of other people. CC license is a good ideal but it’s being increasingly perverted by greedy individuals who only promote it for their own gain, which wasn’t supposed to be the ideal behind CC, it was supposed to support and help artists, not allow them to be exploited.

    Actually it does interfere with commercial interests frequently. There’s enough copyright infringement in the upper reaches of commercial industries without giving certain companies yet another way to exploit the creative output of other people. I’ve heard of any number of people who presumed that only bob the layman would be using their work on his website, then have discovered that in reality the ones using it aren’t bob, they’re Samuel the executive on $150K yearly.

    As for your claim that the big companies are tighter about copyright infringement? I would have thought that the case of the dog photo being ripped off by virgin alone would have spelled out the fact that many big business can be downright sloppy or inconsiderate when it comes to copyright. There’s rampant problems with theft particularly in graphic design circles due to teachers essentially teaching their students that the world wide web = clipart central. The amount of companies I have dealt with who’ve tried to consign all outright theft to “fair use” is quite large, mostly because most companies do not keep a copyright lawyer on staff and thus have no clue about copyright so they end up holding up “free use” as a sort of get out of jail free card and hoping the person doesn’t have the legal wherewithal to drag them into court.

    Creative commons is a great ideal but it just doesn’t work in a world where there are people who will exploit and abuse both CC and the artists who use it.

  27. Dawn says:

    Actually Brian, some of the biggest sites have implemented/pushed CC license auto branding without bothering to explain to their people what the licenses actually do. From my perspective, it's hardly unknown, I get Creative commons thrown in my face often enough by enthusiastic but ignorant promoters of it, and even more by people who are just plain unable to understand that their inability to pay for or produce their own work does not mean I'm going to let them misuse work my customers have paid for.Would you state the same to a hardworking person of any other career who was being undercut by either cheap poorly made work or having their market depressed systematically by a sudden influx of people who've got absolutely zero idea of how much damage they're doing to their peers by misusing something that is supposed to help? I somehow doubt it.Quality and value unfortunately don't come into it. Artist's struggle with a market that treats their work as not "real" work enough as is without being systematically undercut by ignorance. Fact is if people do not value their own work enough to research CC properly before applying, why should anyone else value it and by extension, indeed why should they value anyone's work?

  28. Dawn: I agree with the criticisms that you're offering. One of the things I was trying to get across in the article is that there is not enough education about CC and that is an element of that. I also agree that companies that are using CC, such as Flickr are doing so without adequately explaining what is going on. I have to give some light praise to Blip.tv though, I was just on their site today and their CC integration is much more robust with some clearly worded warnings. As far as being blasted as "selfish" I would take a stand against anyone who said that. I've always felt that these are personal and business decisions we all must make and that they should be respected, no matter what. I disagree with anyone who says otherwise. Are CC licenses being used to exploit artists? Almost certainly. I've talked before about people who abuse the spirit of CC. However, that is going to be an issue with any copyright license and is not unique to CC. Open source, public domain and other copy left licensing schemes have similar vultures.Do some people who can afford to pay for a work use CC? Of course. It would be very difficult to write a license so that only the poor could use the work for free and that would be against the spirit of CC. Though Steve the Executive certainly can use the commons and probably does, I've found that the most common users of my work are college students, teachers and every day people. However, anyone who is upset that Steve the Executive used his CC work clearly did not think through what using a CC license meant. This goes back to the education problems I mentioned above.As far as the Fox case you're referring to goes, I never said big companies were perfect. Mistakes happen, including embarrassing one. If you want to add the Virgin Mobile case or even the Christopher Knight debacle you could as they are major IP flubs as well, the former even involving CC. Big companies, however, have more to lose and legal teams to help them not lose it. Compare the mistakes of a big company to the mistakes of Joe user and there's a huge difference most of the time.The problems regarding the education in graphic design shops and courses, once again, I agree. I speak with attorneys regularly and they voice this concern as well. One even did an audit of a graphic design shop and found that 100% of the work from one employee was infringing. There is a strong need for better copyright education. You will receive no argument from me and much of what I'm doing here is an attempt to help with that.All in all, I agree both with the ideals of CC and that it is flawed. However, I think the flaws can be fixed if the organization is willing to dedicate to addressing them.Brian: You are right that I agree that CC is flawed and can be improved and you are also correct that much of the infringement is regardless of CC. I saw no change in my infringement rates when I made the switch and don't think it's made an impact one way or another in the amount of plagiarism I deal with.I can't say I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about the ability to compete with free though. The reason is two fold. First, I know many great artists that don't demand compensation. Second is that people will take lower quality to get something that is free. I think there are ways to compete with free, and know many artists that do, but I'd be a fool to say that it has no impact.Dawn (2): On that note, I think many of the issues you refer to don't have their roots in CC, but rather, that the misuse of CC is a symptom of a larger issue. There's a lot of misunderstanding about copyright law and that disease has impacted CC very directly. I don't know if CC has made this worse or better, it is hard to tell, but these problems existed long before CC was ever around, something my own experience shows very well.

  29. Dawn says:

    I think to a certain extent the problems do lie in the CC itself as well as in bad education.CC can work very well for certain types of creative work, other types it just doesn't seem to work very well on. I think that is part of the problem, you can't really compare all the creative works all the time. The original Creative commons was based on GPL licenses which are for programming code, something very different from a photograph or a painting. It's very hard to build a one size fits all system for one thing, never mind several different creative disciplines and I think in attempting to do so, CC has failed to take into account every possible situation. They tried to simplify but all they've done is create a system that can't really cover the depth of licensing needed.The definition of commercial use for Creative commons is very poorly defined in particular, if a big newspaper uses a photo in a news article, is it commercial? if a mall pipes in creative commons licensed music, is that commercial? Is commercial solely limited to making money? or is it defined by something else?There's also the role of cultural movement within copyright, which I think is something severely underestimated by promoters of CC. I particularly think their depiction of people who use or don't use CC in some of the creative commons site materials? Doesn't help very much.It isn't just the artists that CC can be bad for, when you think about it, it's frequently a form of entrapment for other people as well. Just because something says it's free to be used, doesn't mean it is but people trust the CC notices. This problem crops up a lot in my job, it's sometimes hard to get people to understand that just because a "render" site is giving away awesome artwork and saying they've given permission for it's reuse doesn't mean they actually have the right to grant the right to use it. So the "render" site might get off scott free but the person who used the work and thus is only guilty of ignorance might get in trouble.Or there's things like a photographer might put up something under CC, a company might use it, the photographer might change the license then sue the company claiming it was never under CC. In copyright cases in certain countries the company would have to prove their innocence. If they've not retained enough information to prove that the work was free to use? They could be liable for an infringement they did not commit.Really my whole issue is just that far from being an easy system to use, CC just opens up a can of worms, yet we're being told the can is full of yummy candy by so many people including the creators of CC themselves.

  30. Dawn: I agree with the criticisms that you're offering. One of the things I was trying to get across in the article is that there is not enough education about CC and that is an element of that. I also agree that companies that are using CC, such as Flickr are doing so without adequately explaining what is going on. I have to give some light praise to Blip.tv though, I was just on their site today and their CC integration is much more robust with some clearly worded warnings.

    As far as being blasted as "selfish" I would take a stand against anyone who said that. I've always felt that these are personal and business decisions we all must make and that they should be respected, no matter what. I disagree with anyone who says otherwise.

    Are CC licenses being used to exploit artists? Almost certainly. I've talked before about people who abuse the spirit of CC. However, that is going to be an issue with any copyright license and is not unique to CC. Open source, public domain and other copy left licensing schemes have similar vultures.

    Do some people who can afford to pay for a work use CC? Of course. It would be very difficult to write a license so that only the poor could use the work for free and that would be against the spirit of CC. Though Steve the Executive certainly can use the commons and probably does, I've found that the most common users of my work are college students, teachers and every day people. However, anyone who is upset that Steve the Executive used his CC work clearly did not think through what using a CC license meant. This goes back to the education problems I mentioned above.

    As far as the Fox case you're referring to goes, I never said big companies were perfect. Mistakes happen, including embarrassing one. If you want to add the Virgin Mobile case or even the Christopher Knight debacle you could as they are major IP flubs as well, the former even involving CC. Big companies, however, have more to lose and legal teams to help them not lose it. Compare the mistakes of a big company to the mistakes of Joe user and there's a huge difference most of the time.

    The problems regarding the education in graphic design shops and courses, once again, I agree. I speak with attorneys regularly and they voice this concern as well. One even did an audit of a graphic design shop and found that 100% of the work from one employee was infringing. There is a strong need for better copyright education. You will receive no argument from me and much of what I'm doing here is an attempt to help with that.

    All in all, I agree both with the ideals of CC and that it is flawed. However, I think the flaws can be fixed if the organization is willing to dedicate to addressing them.

    Brian: You are right that I agree that CC is flawed and can be improved and you are also correct that much of the infringement is regardless of CC. I saw no change in my infringement rates when I made the switch and don't think it's made an impact one way or another in the amount of plagiarism I deal with.

    I can't say I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about the ability to compete with free though. The reason is two fold. First, I know many great artists that don't demand compensation. Second is that people will take lower quality to get something that is free. I think there are ways to compete with free, and know many artists that do, but I'd be a fool to say that it has no impact.

    Dawn (2): On that note, I think many of the issues you refer to don't have their roots in CC, but rather, that the misuse of CC is a symptom of a larger issue. There's a lot of misunderstanding about copyright law and that disease has impacted CC very directly. I don't know if CC has made this worse or better, it is hard to tell, but these problems existed long before CC was ever around, something my own experience shows very well.

  31. Dawn: I agree with the criticisms that you're offering. One of the things I was trying to get across in the article is that there is not enough education about CC and that is an element of that. I also agree that companies that are using CC, such as Flickr are doing so without adequately explaining what is going on. I have to give some light praise to Blip.tv though, I was just on their site today and their CC integration is much more robust with some clearly worded warnings. As far as being blasted as "selfish" I would take a stand against anyone who said that. I've always felt that these are personal and business decisions we all must make and that they should be respected, no matter what. I disagree with anyone who says otherwise. Are CC licenses being used to exploit artists? Almost certainly. I've talked before about people who abuse the spirit of CC. However, that is going to be an issue with any copyright license and is not unique to CC. Open source, public domain and other copy left licensing schemes have similar vultures.Do some people who can afford to pay for a work use CC? Of course. It would be very difficult to write a license so that only the poor could use the work for free and that would be against the spirit of CC. Though Steve the Executive certainly can use the commons and probably does, I've found that the most common users of my work are college students, teachers and every day people. However, anyone who is upset that Steve the Executive used his CC work clearly did not think through what using a CC license meant. This goes back to the education problems I mentioned above.As far as the Fox case you're referring to goes, I never said big companies were perfect. Mistakes happen, including embarrassing one. If you want to add the Virgin Mobile case or even the Christopher Knight debacle you could as they are major IP flubs as well, the former even involving CC. Big companies, however, have more to lose and legal teams to help them not lose it. Compare the mistakes of a big company to the mistakes of Joe user and there's a huge difference most of the time.The problems regarding the education in graphic design shops and courses, once again, I agree. I speak with attorneys regularly and they voice this concern as well. One even did an audit of a graphic design shop and found that 100% of the work from one employee was infringing. There is a strong need for better copyright education. You will receive no argument from me and much of what I'm doing here is an attempt to help with that.All in all, I agree both with the ideals of CC and that it is flawed. However, I think the flaws can be fixed if the organization is willing to dedicate to addressing them.Brian: You are right that I agree that CC is flawed and can be improved and you are also correct that much of the infringement is regardless of CC. I saw no change in my infringement rates when I made the switch and don't think it's made an impact one way or another in the amount of plagiarism I deal with.I can't say I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about the ability to compete with free though. The reason is two fold. First, I know many great artists that don't demand compensation. Second is that people will take lower quality to get something that is free. I think there are ways to compete with free, and know many artists that do, but I'd be a fool to say that it has no impact.Dawn (2): On that note, I think many of the issues you refer to don't have their roots in CC, but rather, that the misuse of CC is a symptom of a larger issue. There's a lot of misunderstanding about copyright law and that disease has impacted CC very directly. I don't know if CC has made this worse or better, it is hard to tell, but these problems existed long before CC was ever around, something my own experience shows very well.

  32. Dawn says:

    I think to a certain extent the problems do lie in the CC itself as well as in bad education.

    CC can work very well for certain types of creative work, other types it just doesn't seem to work very well on. I think that is part of the problem, you can't really compare all the creative works all the time. The original Creative commons was based on GPL licenses which are for programming code, something very different from a photograph or a painting. It's very hard to build a one size fits all system for one thing, never mind several different creative disciplines and I think in attempting to do so, CC has failed to take into account every possible situation. They tried to simplify but all they've done is create a system that can't really cover the depth of licensing needed.

    The definition of commercial use for Creative commons is very poorly defined in particular, if a big newspaper uses a photo in a news article, is it commercial? if a mall pipes in creative commons licensed music, is that commercial? Is commercial solely limited to making money? or is it defined by something else?

    There's also the role of cultural movement within copyright, which I think is something severely underestimated by promoters of CC. I particularly think their depiction of people who use or don't use CC in some of the creative commons site materials? Doesn't help very much.

    It isn't just the artists that CC can be bad for, when you think about it, it's frequently a form of entrapment for other people as well. Just because something says it's free to be used, doesn't mean it is but people trust the CC notices. This problem crops up a lot in my job, it's sometimes hard to get people to understand that just because a "render" site is giving away awesome artwork and saying they've given permission for it's reuse doesn't mean they actually have the right to grant the right to use it. So the "render" site might get off scott free but the person who used the work and thus is only guilty of ignorance might get in trouble.

    Or there's things like a photographer might put up something under CC, a company might use it, the photographer might change the license then sue the company claiming it was never under CC. In copyright cases in certain countries the company would have to prove their innocence. If they've not retained enough information to prove that the work was free to use? They could be liable for an infringement they did not commit.

    Really my whole issue is just that far from being an easy system to use, CC just opens up a can of worms, yet we're being told the can is full of yummy candy by so many people including the creators of CC themselves.

  33. Dawn says:

    I think to a certain extent the problems do lie in the CC itself as well as in bad education.CC can work very well for certain types of creative work, other types it just doesn't seem to work very well on. I think that is part of the problem, you can't really compare all the creative works all the time. The original Creative commons was based on GPL licenses which are for programming code, something very different from a photograph or a painting. It's very hard to build a one size fits all system for one thing, never mind several different creative disciplines and I think in attempting to do so, CC has failed to take into account every possible situation. They tried to simplify but all they've done is create a system that can't really cover the depth of licensing needed.The definition of commercial use for Creative commons is very poorly defined in particular, if a big newspaper uses a photo in a news article, is it commercial? if a mall pipes in creative commons licensed music, is that commercial? Is commercial solely limited to making money? or is it defined by something else?There's also the role of cultural movement within copyright, which I think is something severely underestimated by promoters of CC. I particularly think their depiction of people who use or don't use CC in some of the creative commons site materials? Doesn't help very much.It isn't just the artists that CC can be bad for, when you think about it, it's frequently a form of entrapment for other people as well. Just because something says it's free to be used, doesn't mean it is but people trust the CC notices. This problem crops up a lot in my job, it's sometimes hard to get people to understand that just because a "render" site is giving away awesome artwork and saying they've given permission for it's reuse doesn't mean they actually have the right to grant the right to use it. So the "render" site might get off scott free but the person who used the work and thus is only guilty of ignorance might get in trouble.Or there's things like a photographer might put up something under CC, a company might use it, the photographer might change the license then sue the company claiming it was never under CC. In copyright cases in certain countries the company would have to prove their innocence. If they've not retained enough information to prove that the work was free to use? They could be liable for an infringement they did not commit.Really my whole issue is just that far from being an easy system to use, CC just opens up a can of worms, yet we're being told the can is full of yummy candy by so many people including the creators of CC themselves.

  34. Dawn says:

    Actually Brian, some of the biggest sites have implemented/pushed CC license auto branding without bothering to explain to their people what the licenses actually do. From my perspective, it’s hardly unknown, I get Creative commons thrown in my face often enough by enthusiastic but ignorant promoters of it, and even more by people who are just plain unable to understand that their inability to pay for or produce their own work does not mean I’m going to let them misuse work my customers have paid for.

    Would you state the same to a hardworking person of any other career who was being undercut by either cheap poorly made work or having their market depressed systematically by a sudden influx of people who’ve got absolutely zero idea of how much damage they’re doing to their peers by misusing something that is supposed to help? I somehow doubt it.

    Quality and value unfortunately don’t come into it. Artist’s struggle with a market that treats their work as not “real” work enough as is without being systematically undercut by ignorance. Fact is if people do not value their own work enough to research CC properly before applying, why should anyone else value it and by extension, indeed why should they value anyone’s work?

  35. @Dawn – You are wrong about what I would say. I certainly would say the same to those people. The Universe does not owe anyone a living. In my own profession, people have been railing against "out-sourcing" which exactly what you describe, the sudden influx in the market of people willing to work for much less. I either have to show myemployer that I am worth more than they are, or be willing to get less compensation.I am all for reasonable, legitimate copyrights and compensations. However, the CC doesn't even make a dent in restoring the landscape to what is "reasonable". Before the copyrights laws exploded beyond rationality, most works of artistic merit either entered the public domain immediately or shortly. The public domain is much more permissive than the CC, that's for sure.Certainly, it is a very bad thing if artists are placing their works under the CC without knowing it, or understanding it. But the CC does not significantly change the landscape. The digital age has radically reduced the cost of production of many types of artwork. This lowers the baseline for a reasonable compensation for your work, and increases the availability of other, cheaper works. I stand by my statement. If you cannot convince others to pay you to use your artwork rather than use inferior, cheaperwork, then that is your problem, not theirs. Of course, I absolutely agree that using your artwork without compensation or permission when that workis copyrighted with all rights reserved, (i.e. not CC) is totally wrong. And I also agree that you should not allow yourself to feel pressured to use the CC if you do not wish to. You have the right to compensation foryour work. But on the same token, you should not be angered if the same person then decides to usesomebody elses work because it is cheaper. As far as the issues of people changing the license after the use in order to sue, that scam also works with copyright, so it is nothing new. If it actually starts happening, people will just start saving a history.

  36. @Dawn –

    You are wrong about what I would say. I certainly would say the same to those people. The Universe does not

    owe anyone a living. In my own profession, people have been railing against "out-sourcing" which exactly what you describe, the sudden influx in the market of people willing to work for much less. I either have to show my

    employer that I am worth more than they are, or be willing to get less compensation.

    I am all for reasonable, legitimate copyrights and compensations. However, the CC doesn't even make a dent in restoring the landscape to what is "reasonable". Before the copyrights laws exploded beyond rationality, most works of artistic merit either entered the public domain immediately or shortly. The public domain is much more permissive than the CC, that's for sure.

    Certainly, it is a very bad thing if artists are placing their works under the CC without knowing it, or understanding it. But the CC does not significantly change the landscape. The digital age has radically

    reduced the cost of production of many types of artwork. This lowers the baseline for a reasonable compensation for your work, and increases the availability of other, cheaper works. I stand by my

    statement. If you cannot convince others to pay you to use your artwork rather than use inferior, cheaper

    work, then that is your problem, not theirs.

    Of course, I absolutely agree that using your artwork without compensation or permission when that work

    is copyrighted with all rights reserved, (i.e. not CC) is totally wrong. And I also agree that you should not

    allow yourself to feel pressured to use the CC if you do not wish to. You have the right to compensation for

    your work. But on the same token, you should not be angered if the same person then decides to use

    somebody elses work because it is cheaper.

    As far as the issues of people changing the license after the use in order to sue, that scam also works with

    copyright, so it is nothing new. If it actually starts happening, people will just start saving a history.

  37. @Dawn –

    You are wrong about what I would say. I certainly would say the same to those people. The Universe does not

    owe anyone a living. In my own profession, people have been railing against "out-sourcing" which exactly what you describe, the sudden influx in the market of people willing to work for much less. I either have to show my

    employer that I am worth more than they are, or be willing to get less compensation.I am all for reasonable, legitimate copyrights and compensations. However, the CC doesn't even make a dent in restoring the landscape to what is "reasonable". Before the copyrights laws exploded beyond rationality, most works of artistic merit either entered the public domain immediately or shortly. The public domain is much more permissive than the CC, that's for sure.Certainly, it is a very bad thing if artists are placing their works under the CC without knowing it, or understanding it. But the CC does not significantly change the landscape. The digital age has radically

    reduced the cost of production of many types of artwork. This lowers the baseline for a reasonable compensation for your work, and increases the availability of other, cheaper works. I stand by my

    statement. If you cannot convince others to pay you to use your artwork rather than use inferior, cheaper

    work, then that is your problem, not theirs. Of course, I absolutely agree that using your artwork without compensation or permission when that work

    is copyrighted with all rights reserved, (i.e. not CC) is totally wrong. And I also agree that you should not

    allow yourself to feel pressured to use the CC if you do not wish to. You have the right to compensation for

    your work. But on the same token, you should not be angered if the same person then decides to use

    somebody elses work because it is cheaper. As far as the issues of people changing the license after the use in order to sue, that scam also works with

    copyright, so it is nothing new. If it actually starts happening, people will just start saving a history.

  38. Dawn says:

    Brian,

    It's one thing to fight against an influx of cheap outsourcing in a standard job market, quite another to fight against a tide of free work provided by well intentioned but clueless amateurs and/or people who just simply didn't read the license terms of CC in a freelance market. Your response shows a lack of understanding for just how much damage such things can do the independent contractor and/or their employers.

    The world doesn't owe me a living, but I feel I have a right to complain when my market is being flooded by free work so much that next to nobody who produces quality can make a living. Plus it helps feed into the myth that art should be "free" because it's "easy" and "fun to do" when all these people start just giving their work away which puts more pressure on artists because we get earaches over "only caring about the bottom dollar", unfortunately I like most professional artists do like to have food on the table. After all nobody expects a plumber/kitchen fitter/carpenter or any other professional to work for free and provide all their own tools but plenty of people expect artists to work for free.

    I am a good artist, but the ones making money hand over fist are cheap and often fueled by cheap materials. I have to pay more for my materials since I only use quality materials and produce a high quality service, someone who throws together a bunch of free poorly made 3D renders in half an hour can sell their work a lot cheaper than I can sell a 50+ hour digital painting and still make a living. It's impossible for decent artists to compete with the cheap badly made stuff and of course, many customers can't tell or don't want to know the difference between quality and cheap stuff. People will often settle for cheap just because it's cheap, not because of the quality or value for money.

    Your comments on the impact digital has made on production are profoundly off the mark, you have completely failed to take into account overheads for digital artists it seems. As a digital artist, I have several large expenses that regularly impact my production, upgrading my tools and mediums is a big cost. Rather than driving down the cost for work, digital has driven it up since good legal digital art tools are rather more expensive than a canvas, some brushes and a pack of oils are. Indeed many other creative disciplines which have taken to the web still require large amounts of set up money. Music for instance can involve a whole slew of programs, instruments, synthesizers, specialist recording equipment if people want to make something good. That equipment has to be upgraded/replaced when it breaks down. So no, the digital age has not taken away the expense of being a good artist.

    Furthermore your comments show a profound lack of understanding about the history of copyright law. The original copyright laws were enacted during the 1920's in order to prevent the exploitation of artists during the explosion of mass production. They were extended later by the corporations, so no, before the copyright laws really exploded as you say, work did not just go straight into public domain, unless you believe the original copyright laws were the explosion. Technically, there were still some laws such as the right of author to be contended with in certain countries before 1920's as well. The extension of copyright has got nothing to do with us smaller artists and everything to do with big corporations like Disney. I agree, the length is getting a little silly but it's not like that is my fault. It also seems slightly ridiculous to try and strip protection from the small artists just because the big boys abuse it.

    While I don't always think copyright works out for everyone in the way they want it, the system has worked well enough for over 80 years, it's protected artists from exploitation and now people think it should change just because they can't use other people's work? Excuse me if I don't feel very sorry for people whose whole platform is based on wanting something they don't own.

  39. Dawn says:

    Brian,It's one thing to fight against an influx of cheap outsourcing in a standard job market, quite another to fight against a tide of free work provided by well intentioned but clueless amateurs and/or people who just simply didn't read the license terms of CC in a freelance market. Your response shows a lack of understanding for just how much damage such things can do the independent contractor and/or their employers.The world doesn't owe me a living, but I feel I have a right to complain when my market is being flooded by free work so much that next to nobody who produces quality can make a living. Plus it helps feed into the myth that art should be "free" because it's "easy" and "fun to do" when all these people start just giving their work away which puts more pressure on artists because we get earaches over "only caring about the bottom dollar", unfortunately I like most professional artists do like to have food on the table. After all nobody expects a plumber/kitchen fitter/carpenter or any other professional to work for free and provide all their own tools but plenty of people expect artists to work for free.I am a good artist, but the ones making money hand over fist are cheap and often fueled by cheap materials. I have to pay more for my materials since I only use quality materials and produce a high quality service, someone who throws together a bunch of free poorly made 3D renders in half an hour can sell their work a lot cheaper than I can sell a 50 hour digital painting and still make a living. It's impossible for decent artists to compete with the cheap badly made stuff and of course, many customers can't tell or don't want to know the difference between quality and cheap stuff. People will often settle for cheap just because it's cheap, not because of the quality or value for money.Your comments on the impact digital has made on production are profoundly off the mark, you have completely failed to take into account overheads for digital artists it seems. As a digital artist, I have several large expenses that regularly impact my production, upgrading my tools and mediums is a big cost. Rather than driving down the cost for work, digital has driven it up since good legal digital art tools are rather more expensive than a canvas, some brushes and a pack of oils are. Indeed many other creative disciplines which have taken to the web still require large amounts of set up money. Music for instance can involve a whole slew of programs, instruments, synthesizers, specialist recording equipment if people want to make something good. That equipment has to be upgraded/replaced when it breaks down. So no, the digital age has not taken away the expense of being a good artist.Furthermore your comments show a profound lack of understanding about the history of copyright law. The original copyright laws were enacted during the 1920's in order to prevent the exploitation of artists during the explosion of mass production. They were extended later by the corporations, so no, before the copyright laws really exploded as you say, work did not just go straight into public domain, unless you believe the original copyright laws were the explosion. Technically, there were still some laws such as the right of author to be contended with in certain countries before 1920's as well. The extension of copyright has got nothing to do with us smaller artists and everything to do with big corporations like Disney. I agree, the length is getting a little silly but it's not like that is my fault. It also seems slightly ridiculous to try and strip protection from the small artists just because the big boys abuse it.While I don't always think copyright works out for everyone in the way they want it, the system has worked well enough for over 80 years, it's protected artists from exploitation and now people think it should change just because they can't use other people's work? Excuse me if I don't feel very sorry for people whose whole platform is based on wanting something they don't own.

  40. Dawn,First, we both agree about people who want to use works that they don't own, have no right to, for free. I don't want you to get a penny less for your works than you are entitled to. I want to see you get as much for yourworks as you possibly can. I would be very happy for you if you get rich from your art. I still fully support Lane Hartwell and still think she was in the right, despite all the claims of "fair use".Also, if there really is a significant number of works being made freely available because of the use of the CC by users that really did not intend to make their use freely available, then I agree that this is a problem that hurts both you and them and needs to be dealt with. I agree that you have a right to complain about your market being flooded with free work, just as I have a right to complain about the out-sourcing, or the cost of bread or anything else we don't like. But underlying your whole argument is this idea that those artists don't have the right to give their art away for free. That's where we part company. If you can't compete in your market, that is your problem, not the market's problem. The fact that consumers will settle for cheap low quality goods means that those consumers are not in you customer base. Saying that you want the cheap low quality goods to go away is just wanting to expandyour customer base by penalizing those customers. It's like wishing that all the other car manufacturers except Ferrari would go out of business. I am sure that would make Ferrari very happy, but it is not an outcome to be wished. I certainly do understand the fact that you have overhead costs. You apparently did not understand what I was saying about the impact of the digital age. The digital age has reduced the barrier to entry in many markets for artists. As you complained, this means that those markets have an influx of low quality, cheapgoods, many of which are made by people who are indeed "just having fun" or fooling around and arenot trying to make money. Sure, this makes it harder for you to make a living, but that is just the realityof your market. It is your choice to make art using higher quality, higher overhead materials and methods. There is no guarantee that this choice you have made will be cost effective. I really do hope so, that thereare still people that are willing to pay top dollar for high quality. But if there are not, that is your problem, andyour market has changed and perhaps you need to re-think your choice.and despite your comment to the contrary, I have a very good understanding of copyright law and the history of copyright law. The "original copyright laws" were certainly not not "first enacted during the 1920's". The first U.S. copyright law was enacted in 1790, with protection for photographs and paintings added in 1865 and 1870 respectively. I know of no significant changes to the copyright laws in the 1920's. However, the duration of copyrights have been continually increased to the point of absurdity (and I do not blame small artists as you implied) and prior to 1978, copyrights only applied to registered works and those explicitly marked as copyrighted. That means that before 1978, the vast majority of works went directly into the public domain and did not require any compensation to the maker. I do not want to "strip protection from the small artists", what ever gave you that idea? Please do make yourart, sell it for the most you can, and woe betide anybody that even thinks about using it without permission and compensation.

  41. Dawn,

    First, we both agree about people who want to use works that they don't own, have no right to, for free. I don't

    want you to get a penny less for your works than you are entitled to. I want to see you get as much for your

    works as you possibly can. I would be very happy for you if you get rich from your art. I still fully support Lane Hartwell and still think she was in the right, despite all the claims of "fair use".

    Also, if there really is a significant number of works being made freely available because of the use of the CC by users that really did not intend to make their use freely available, then I agree that this is a problem that hurts both you and them and needs to be dealt with.

    I agree that you have a right to complain about your market being flooded with free work, just as I have a

    right to complain about the out-sourcing, or the cost of bread or anything else we don't like.

    But underlying your whole argument is this idea that those artists don't have the right to give their art

    away for free. That's where we part company. If you can't compete in your market, that is your problem,

    not the market's problem.

    The fact that consumers will settle for cheap low quality goods means that those consumers are not in

    you customer base. Saying that you want the cheap low quality goods to go away is just wanting to expand

    your customer base by penalizing those customers. It's like wishing that all the other car manufacturers except

    Ferrari would go out of business. I am sure that would make Ferrari very happy, but it is not an outcome to be wished.

    I certainly do understand the fact that you have overhead costs. You apparently did not understand what I

    was saying about the impact of the digital age. The digital age has reduced the barrier to entry in many markets for artists. As you complained, this means that those markets have an influx of low quality, cheap

    goods, many of which are made by people who are indeed "just having fun" or fooling around and are

    not trying to make money. Sure, this makes it harder for you to make a living, but that is just the reality

    of your market. It is your choice to make art using higher quality, higher overhead materials and methods.

    There is no guarantee that this choice you have made will be cost effective. I really do hope so, that there

    are still people that are willing to pay top dollar for high quality. But if there are not, that is your problem, and

    your market has changed and perhaps you need to re-think your choice.

    and despite your comment to the contrary, I have a very good understanding of copyright law and the history of copyright law. The "original copyright laws" were certainly not not "first enacted during the 1920's". The first U.S. copyright law was enacted in 1790, with protection for photographs and paintings added in 1865 and 1870 respectively. I know of no significant changes to the copyright laws in the 1920's. However, the duration of copyrights have been continually increased to the point of absurdity (and I do not blame small artists as you

    implied) and prior to 1978, copyrights only applied to registered works and those explicitly marked as copyrighted. That means that before 1978, the vast majority of works went directly into the public domain and did not require any compensation to the maker.

    I do not want to "strip protection from the small artists", what ever gave you that idea? Please do make your

    art, sell it for the most you can, and woe betide anybody that even thinks about using it without permission and compensation.

  42. Dawn,First, we both agree about people who want to use works that they don't own, have no right to, for free. I don't

    want you to get a penny less for your works than you are entitled to. I want to see you get as much for your

    works as you possibly can. I would be very happy for you if you get rich from your art. I still fully support Lane Hartwell and still think she was in the right, despite all the claims of "fair use".Also, if there really is a significant number of works being made freely available because of the use of the CC by users that really did not intend to make their use freely available, then I agree that this is a problem that hurts both you and them and needs to be dealt with. I agree that you have a right to complain about your market being flooded with free work, just as I have a

    right to complain about the out-sourcing, or the cost of bread or anything else we don't like. But underlying your whole argument is this idea that those artists don't have the right to give their art

    away for free. That's where we part company. If you can't compete in your market, that is your problem,

    not the market's problem. The fact that consumers will settle for cheap low quality goods means that those consumers are not in

    you customer base. Saying that you want the cheap low quality goods to go away is just wanting to expand

    your customer base by penalizing those customers. It's like wishing that all the other car manufacturers except

    Ferrari would go out of business. I am sure that would make Ferrari very happy, but it is not an outcome to be wished. I certainly do understand the fact that you have overhead costs. You apparently did not understand what I

    was saying about the impact of the digital age. The digital age has reduced the barrier to entry in many markets for artists. As you complained, this means that those markets have an influx of low quality, cheap

    goods, many of which are made by people who are indeed "just having fun" or fooling around and are

    not trying to make money. Sure, this makes it harder for you to make a living, but that is just the reality

    of your market. It is your choice to make art using higher quality, higher overhead materials and methods.

    There is no guarantee that this choice you have made will be cost effective. I really do hope so, that there

    are still people that are willing to pay top dollar for high quality. But if there are not, that is your problem, and

    your market has changed and perhaps you need to re-think your choice.and despite your comment to the contrary, I have a very good understanding of copyright law and the history of copyright law. The "original copyright laws" were certainly not not "first enacted during the 1920's". The first U.S. copyright law was enacted in 1790, with protection for photographs and paintings added in 1865 and 1870 respectively. I know of no significant changes to the copyright laws in the 1920's. However, the duration of copyrights have been continually increased to the point of absurdity (and I do not blame small artists as you

    implied) and prior to 1978, copyrights only applied to registered works and those explicitly marked as copyrighted. That means that before 1978, the vast majority of works went directly into the public domain and did not require any compensation to the maker. I do not want to "strip protection from the small artists", what ever gave you that idea? Please do make your

    art, sell it for the most you can, and woe betide anybody that even thinks about using it without permission and compensation.

  43. Dawn says:

    Actually Brian,Much of the cheap poor quality work flooding the art market is not just down to CC work. The ignorant CC users are really the final hole in the dam as it were.I have never argued that artists don't have a right to give their art away for free if they knowing do so. Indeed, I myself do produce the occasional reusable piece. I however do not think willful ignorance is a reasonable excuse for damaging the already depressed art market. To me the problem lies not only in the poor spread of real information on CC licenses but also the refusal of many artists to educate themselves in precisely what those licenses mean and do.What I'd like is for a load of myths that CC is reinforcing to go away, the myth that artists "have" to give their work away for free being one. The myth that artists are "selfish" or "controlling" if they choose not to give away their art is another. My problem is more in line with being put out by what I see as the poor marketing of CC and ignorance/corruption of it's grass roots level promotion which is putting further pressure on artists to meet a specific set of myths which are basically spread by people who are only interested in one thing, getting their hands on the hard work of others without paying for it.What I was commenting on was your assumption that overheads have dropped, they have not, if one actually does pay them. The only time overheads are low or non-existent is when someone is perhaps still living at home with their parents paying the bills, using a computer that their parents brought them and using pirated software. Overheads remain as high as ever. Whether someone pays them or not depends on their situation and/or their moral compass.Not all of us are in the US which has always been notorious for red tape on copyright policies. My mistake, 1920 is generally regarded as the watershed for public domain/copyrighted content, ie anything before 1920 can be reasonably assumed to be in the public domain. However the act of 1978 you talk about? Prior to that work could only go into the public domain if it was published and lacked a declaration of copyright. The key word there being "published". Unpublished works were protected under state copyright law while the 1909 copyright law regarding published works with statements of copyright came under federal law in the US. So no, works did not just leap straight into public domain the minute they were finished in the US prior to that. In other countries the dates and times are different, though for some reason people always seem to think US copyright law is applicable everywhere when in fact it's not and there are some significant differences between the US standards and other Berne convention member nation standards.The impression you gave in your prior comment that I responded to? Was almost one of anger at copyright itself and those who support it.

  44. No, I have no problem with copyright itself, I think it is an important institution. It is copyright extensions and automatic renewals that I have a problem with. I have a smaller problem with auto-copyright attachment, butI am not completely happy with it. I realize that what I said about things going into the public domain was a simplification, but it was generallytrue. Once published, without the copyright marking or registration, and the work was in the public domain. I am also aware that overhead's have not necessarily dropped for you. However, publication and distribution costs have dropped for many types of digital media, as well as content creation costs for many types as well. This has produced a lower barrier to entry for creation of those types, allowing more artists to participate. Thus you have more lower cost works available on the market, driving profits down for people like you. This is the reality, and I can't say that I would like higher costs, greater barriers to entry or even fewer artists. That is the market you are in, you have to deal with it. While I support a reasonable copyright, I also support the free market.By the way Dawn, do you have an on-line portfolio? I would love to see your work.

  45. Dawn says:

    Brian,

    It’s one thing to fight against an influx of cheap outsourcing in a standard job market, quite another to fight against a tide of free work provided by well intentioned but clueless amateurs and/or people who just simply didn’t read the license terms of CC in a freelance market. Your response shows a lack of understanding for just how much damage such things can do the independent contractor and/or their employers.

    The world doesn’t owe me a living, but I feel I have a right to complain when my market is being flooded by free work so much that next to nobody who produces quality can make a living. Plus it helps feed into the myth that art should be “free” because it’s “easy” and “fun to do” when all these people start just giving their work away which puts more pressure on artists because we get earaches over “only caring about the bottom dollar”, unfortunately I like most professional artists do like to have food on the table. After all nobody expects a plumber/kitchen fitter/carpenter or any other professional to work for free and provide all their own tools but plenty of people expect artists to work for free.

    I am a good artist, but the ones making money hand over fist are cheap and often fueled by cheap materials. I have to pay more for my materials since I only use quality materials and produce a high quality service, someone who throws together a bunch of free poorly made 3D renders in half an hour can sell their work a lot cheaper than I can sell a 50+ hour digital painting and still make a living. It’s impossible for decent artists to compete with the cheap badly made stuff and of course, many customers can’t tell or don’t want to know the difference between quality and cheap stuff. People will often settle for cheap just because it’s cheap, not because of the quality or value for money.

    Your comments on the impact digital has made on production are profoundly off the mark, you have completely failed to take into account overheads for digital artists it seems. As a digital artist, I have several large expenses that regularly impact my production, upgrading my tools and mediums is a big cost. Rather than driving down the cost for work, digital has driven it up since good legal digital art tools are rather more expensive than a canvas, some brushes and a pack of oils are. Indeed many other creative disciplines which have taken to the web still require large amounts of set up money. Music for instance can involve a whole slew of programs, instruments, synthesizers, specialist recording equipment if people want to make something good. That equipment has to be upgraded/replaced when it breaks down. So no, the digital age has not taken away the expense of being a good artist.

    Furthermore your comments show a profound lack of understanding about the history of copyright law. The original copyright laws were enacted during the 1920′s in order to prevent the exploitation of artists during the explosion of mass production. They were extended later by the corporations, so no, before the copyright laws really exploded as you say, work did not just go straight into public domain, unless you believe the original copyright laws were the explosion. Technically, there were still some laws such as the right of author to be contended with in certain countries before 1920′s as well. The extension of copyright has got nothing to do with us smaller artists and everything to do with big corporations like Disney. I agree, the length is getting a little silly but it’s not like that is my fault. It also seems slightly ridiculous to try and strip protection from the small artists just because the big boys abuse it.

    While I don’t always think copyright works out for everyone in the way they want it, the system has worked well enough for over 80 years, it’s protected artists from exploitation and now people think it should change just because they can’t use other people’s work? Excuse me if I don’t feel very sorry for people whose whole platform is based on wanting something they don’t own.

  46. Dawn says:

    Personally I also think the extensions have gone to far largely driven by the greed of companies who can't bear that they might lose work to public domain despite having made money over and over again on it. Corporate greed shouldn't be setting the tone for the small guy imho because big business and small business just don't need the same sort of protection but at the same time, giving up rights without consideration is also bad business for the small guys.Certain costs might have dropped in terms of replication, but there's still significant cost involved in creation if one is not a thief and/or lucky enough to have others pay their overheads. Also prints aren't exactly cheap for all they're easily available. Many of the printing services either cost the artist or take a large percentage of the profit.A free market is one thing, a market that is basically being sabotaged by selfish myth spreading groups and ignorant people is quite another. I don't mind competing with artists who've got some business sense, but when I'm getting cheated out of paying jobs because people are basically painting career artists as selfish and greedy for asking for payment for their work? That is kind of irritating. That's one of the things I don't like about Creative commons, is the starry eyed idea being put forward by it that by using it one is automatically helping other artists when in reality it can have the exact opposite effect.Unfortunately since I am still on the look out for a decent host and designing my website again, the only existing portfolio I have is the one linked under my name which is a bit of a hodge podge of older digital work, sketches, and generally unfinished items. I really need to update that fully and clean it up, but I just haven't had time with my offline business.

  47. No, I have no problem with copyright itself, I think it is an important institution. It is copyright extensions and

    automatic renewals that I have a problem with. I have a smaller problem with auto-copyright attachment, but

    I am not completely happy with it.

    I realize that what I said about things going into the public domain was a simplification, but it was generally

    true. Once published, without the copyright marking or registration, and the work was in the public domain.

    I am also aware that overhead's have not necessarily dropped for you. However, publication and distribution costs have dropped for many types of digital media, as well as content creation costs for many types as well.

    This has produced a lower barrier to entry for creation of those types, allowing more artists to participate.

    Thus you have more lower cost works available on the market, driving profits down for people like you.

    This is the reality, and I can't say that I would like higher costs, greater barriers to entry or even fewer

    artists. That is the market you are in, you have to deal with it. While I support a reasonable copyright, I

    also support the free market.

    By the way Dawn, do you have an on-line portfolio? I would love to see your work.

  48. No, I have no problem with copyright itself, I think it is an important institution. It is copyright extensions and

    automatic renewals that I have a problem with. I have a smaller problem with auto-copyright attachment, but

    I am not completely happy with it. I realize that what I said about things going into the public domain was a simplification, but it was generally

    true. Once published, without the copyright marking or registration, and the work was in the public domain. I am also aware that overhead's have not necessarily dropped for you. However, publication and distribution costs have dropped for many types of digital media, as well as content creation costs for many types as well.

    This has produced a lower barrier to entry for creation of those types, allowing more artists to participate.

    Thus you have more lower cost works available on the market, driving profits down for people like you.

    This is the reality, and I can't say that I would like higher costs, greater barriers to entry or even fewer

    artists. That is the market you are in, you have to deal with it. While I support a reasonable copyright, I

    also support the free market.By the way Dawn, do you have an on-line portfolio? I would love to see your work.

  49. Dawn says:

    Personally I also think the extensions have gone to far largely driven by the greed of companies who can't bear that they might lose work to public domain despite having made money over and over again on it. Corporate greed shouldn't be setting the tone for the small guy imho because big business and small business just don't need the same sort of protection but at the same time, giving up rights without consideration is also bad business for the small guys.

    Certain costs might have dropped in terms of replication, but there's still significant cost involved in creation if one is not a thief and/or lucky enough to have others pay their overheads. Also prints aren't exactly cheap for all they're easily available. Many of the printing services either cost the artist or take a large percentage of the profit.

    A free market is one thing, a market that is basically being sabotaged by selfish myth spreading groups and ignorant people is quite another. I don't mind competing with artists who've got some business sense, but when I'm getting cheated out of paying jobs because people are basically painting career artists as selfish and greedy for asking for payment for their work? That is kind of irritating. That's one of the things I don't like about Creative commons, is the starry eyed idea being put forward by it that by using it one is automatically helping other artists when in reality it can have the exact opposite effect.

    Unfortunately since I am still on the look out for a decent host and designing my website again, the only existing portfolio I have is the one linked under my name which is a bit of a hodge podge of older digital work, sketches, and generally unfinished items. I really need to update that fully and clean it up, but I just haven't had time with my offline business.

  50. Dawn says:

    Personally I also think the extensions have gone to far largely driven by the greed of companies who can't bear that they might lose work to public domain despite having made money over and over again on it. Corporate greed shouldn't be setting the tone for the small guy imho because big business and small business just don't need the same sort of protection but at the same time, giving up rights without consideration is also bad business for the small guys.Certain costs might have dropped in terms of replication, but there's still significant cost involved in creation if one is not a thief and/or lucky enough to have others pay their overheads. Also prints aren't exactly cheap for all they're easily available. Many of the printing services either cost the artist or take a large percentage of the profit.A free market is one thing, a market that is basically being sabotaged by selfish myth spreading groups and ignorant people is quite another. I don't mind competing with artists who've got some business sense, but when I'm getting cheated out of paying jobs because people are basically painting career artists as selfish and greedy for asking for payment for their work? That is kind of irritating. That's one of the things I don't like about Creative commons, is the starry eyed idea being put forward by it that by using it one is automatically helping other artists when in reality it can have the exact opposite effect.Unfortunately since I am still on the look out for a decent host and designing my website again, the only existing portfolio I have is the one linked under my name which is a bit of a hodge podge of older digital work, sketches, and generally unfinished items. I really need to update that fully and clean it up, but I just haven't had time with my offline business.

  51. Dawn says:

    Actually Brian,

    Much of the cheap poor quality work flooding the art market is not just down to CC work. The ignorant CC users are really the final hole in the dam as it were.

    I have never argued that artists don’t have a right to give their art away for free if they knowing do so. Indeed, I myself do produce the occasional reusable piece. I however do not think willful ignorance is a reasonable excuse for damaging the already depressed art market. To me the problem lies not only in the poor spread of real information on CC licenses but also the refusal of many artists to educate themselves in precisely what those licenses mean and do.

    What I’d like is for a load of myths that CC is reinforcing to go away, the myth that artists “have” to give their work away for free being one. The myth that artists are “selfish” or “controlling” if they choose not to give away their art is another. My problem is more in line with being put out by what I see as the poor marketing of CC and ignorance/corruption of it’s grass roots level promotion which is putting further pressure on artists to meet a specific set of myths which are basically spread by people who are only interested in one thing, getting their hands on the hard work of others without paying for it.

    What I was commenting on was your assumption that overheads have dropped, they have not, if one actually does pay them. The only time overheads are low or non-existent is when someone is perhaps still living at home with their parents paying the bills, using a computer that their parents brought them and using pirated software. Overheads remain as high as ever. Whether someone pays them or not depends on their situation and/or their moral compass.

    Not all of us are in the US which has always been notorious for red tape on copyright policies. My mistake, 1920 is generally regarded as the watershed for public domain/copyrighted content, ie anything before 1920 can be reasonably assumed to be in the public domain. However the act of 1978 you talk about? Prior to that work could only go into the public domain if it was published and lacked a declaration of copyright. The key word there being “published”. Unpublished works were protected under state copyright law while the 1909 copyright law regarding published works with statements of copyright came under federal law in the US. So no, works did not just leap straight into public domain the minute they were finished in the US prior to that. In other countries the dates and times are different, though for some reason people always seem to think US copyright law is applicable everywhere when in fact it’s not and there are some significant differences between the US standards and other Berne convention member nation standards.

    The impression you gave in your prior comment that I responded to? Was almost one of anger at copyright itself and those who support it.

  52. Everyone:I'm sorry for the delay in responding. I had typed in a response a few days ago but apparently the reply never posted. I really don't have much that I can add over the course of the conversation though other than I've really enjoyed the discussion. At this point, I've been out of it so long I don't feel like it's my place to say anything. Still, I want to say thank you to both of you for sharing your thoughts and insight. Dawn: To make one suggestion, I would encourage you to take a look at Media Temple for hosting. It's been good to me and this site. If you need other hosting recommendations, I'll gladly pass a few along, I've been around the block a few times on these issues.

  53. Everyone:I'm sorry for the delay in responding. I had typed in a response a few days ago but apparently the reply never posted. I really don't have much that I can add over the course of the conversation though other than I've really enjoyed the discussion. At this point, I've been out of it so long I don't feel like it's my place to say anything.

    Still, I want to say thank you to both of you for sharing your thoughts and insight.

    Dawn: To make one suggestion, I would encourage you to take a look at Media Temple for hosting. It's been good to me and this site. If you need other hosting recommendations, I'll gladly pass a few along, I've been around the block a few times on these issues.

  54. Everyone:I'm sorry for the delay in responding. I had typed in a response a few days ago but apparently the reply never posted. I really don't have much that I can add over the course of the conversation though other than I've really enjoyed the discussion. At this point, I've been out of it so long I don't feel like it's my place to say anything. Still, I want to say thank you to both of you for sharing your thoughts and insight. Dawn: To make one suggestion, I would encourage you to take a look at Media Temple for hosting. It's been good to me and this site. If you need other hosting recommendations, I'll gladly pass a few along, I've been around the block a few times on these issues.

  55. [...] are still several misconceptions about Creative Commons and licensing in [...]

  56. [...] And all the time they steal other innocent bloggers creativity, those same innocents believe that they are safe because they have placed a copyright symbol or a Creative Commons License on their work. (Read more at Plagiarism Today). [...]

  57. [...] But using Creative Commons is not a simple task. You have to first find the work you want to use, resize it so that it fits in your blog and then provide proper attribution, something that is rarely done correctly. [...]

  58. [...] Practical Attribution: Finally, the service provides clear, simple terms for what constitutes attribution. This avoids many of the controversies seen with Creative Commons Licensing. [...]

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