I first learned about Creative Commons licenses last semester when I took Anthropology 370 with Ethan. We were encouraged to read up on what the licenses were and choose the one that suited us best for our class blog posts. I read up on the options then but until now I hadn’t actually read up on the real ideas behind Creative Commons. The internet has really changed the way we look at creative works. These days works are a lot more open to collaboration. People can combine, re-mix or re-use —. While copyright law is still very important, it’s not very well-adapted to the technology of today. I think creative commons fills this gap.
Creative Commons allows for custom licensing that is much more flexible than traditional copyright law. While traditional copyright still has its place, Creative Commons is great for may works, especially online. Creative Commons does raise some interesting questions about intellectual property. To what degree is your work your own? How much access should others get to it? How can other use your work? The most open creative commons license allows for others to do pretty much anything with your work as long as they credit the original source to the creator. It could even be distributed commercially. This is a far cry from traditional licensing. The story Ethan told about his own book that was released online under creative commons licensing is what really got me thinking about this. The fact that someone distributed his book commercially in a slightly modified form, and that it was fine under the licensing seemed so odd to me. While I like the idea of things being open source and open to remixing by others, allowing others to use it commercially is a step too far for me. However, that brings up one of the coolest aspects of Creative commons. You get to choose exactly how others can use your work. So this blog post can be (and is) available for remixing but not commercial use.