Creative Commons: Copyright for the Digital Age


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I presented this talk on April 16, 2010 at the Leadership 3.0 symposium in Santa Clara, California.

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  • Used to be an obscure area of law, only relevant to book publishers, music and movie studios – 50 yes ago major industries and insitutions needed to worry about copyright.
  • Reading the news, a blog, looking up the weather, watching a video of someone’s cat. These are all technically acts of copyright infringement b/c your browser automatically makes a copy of these works.Printing out the day’s news for distribution in your classroomResponding to an email (which automatically copies the full text of the original email in the response). Sending your friend a photograph of a funny billboard or sign. Emailing a copy of any photograph you didn’t take yourself.Taking a video of a friend singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” and posting it on YouTubeThese are everyday activities that everyone engages in… the only reason it seems ok is that copyright holders CHOOSE not to go after these sorts of uses. So current law relies on the generosity of copyright holders to function as we expect it to.
  • So what is copyright? What does it protect? What is the purpose?Copyright protection has been around a long time – in fact, The U.S. Constitution states: Congress shall have power … to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.So the purpose of copyright law is to provide an incentive to creators to create.
  • You don’t have to do anything, except create. You are automatically covered by copyright the moment your works is “fixed in a tangible medium”
  • Life of the author plus 70 years95 years for corporate worksWhenever in danger of falling into the PD – new laws are passed to keep them under copyright
  • There are limits built in to copyright – it is not an absolute right. The fair use of a copyrighted work, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. Fair use is great and allows a great deal of uses of copyrighted work – but it does involve guess work.
  • the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the work taken, and the effect on the value or market for the original work.
  • If you get it wrong, it can cost you. Each infringement can cost you a minimum of $750, all the way up to $150,000. Just for ONE work. So if you think about each and every email you respond to as a copyright infringement – well, you do the math. That’s a huge sum of money. And while the email case sounds crazy, we’ve seen this sort of punishment coming down in music file-sharing cases. A jury found a woman named Jaime Thomas liable for 2 million dollars for sharing a handful of songs on a P2P network. This is something many many people have done – probably most of your students, have downloaded songs from the internet. So the system just relies on non-enforcement.Again, our legal system is currently relying on non-enforcement of the actual law in order to function as we expect.
  • Copyright started out protecting only for 14 years, and only published books. But by 1976 all kinds of creativity was being protected for much longer periods of time. The along come personal computers and the internet, and now pretty much everything we do is regulated by copyright.
  • As a producer of content, CC gives you the option to change the default rules.
  • So what is creative commons: Show “Get Creative” Video
  • Instead of All Rights Reserved, you get to pick and choose what you want and what you want others to be able to do with your work.
  • Getting a cc license is easy – you just pick which of these four license conditions you want to apply
  • Allows others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit in the manner specified.All CC licenses require attributionSome people require www linkbacks as part of the attribution clause.
  • Allows others to copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based upon it.For the purposes of CC licenses, syncing music in timed-relation with a moving image is a derivative work.
  • Lets others copy, distribute, display, and perform the work for noncommercial purposes only.The author retains the commercial rights.Users may still request to use the work commercially, which may cost money.
  • Allows others to distribute derivative works only under a license that is the same as, or compatible with, the license that governs the work.This is the only license term that mandates the new work be placed into the commons - copyleft
  • You’ll be given an icon to place on your website or content, to signal to others how you want your work to be used and shared. You can get the license from our website – it’s completely free.
  • Human readable deedLawyer readable legal codeMachine readable metadata
  • They work within the system to help creators change the default rules. So we are not “anti-copyright” because we rely on copyright for our licenses to function.
  • Instead, they just help you to change the deal that’s given to you by default by law.
  • You may still make fair use of a CC licensed work – e.g., if the creator has not given permission for commercial use, but you make a fair commercial use, then the license does not stop you from doing that. You can also ask the creator for permission to go beyond the scope of the license.
  • CC licenses provide legal certainty where fair use does notCC licenses often give you broader permissions than fair useAlso, fair use may not allow you to copy the entire work – you’re only allowed to take a “reasonable amount”Fair use may not allow commercial uses, if there would be market harmBut CC licenses allow you to copy the whole thingAnd some allow commercial use without worry
  • Thousands of people around the world use CC licenses for their creative works.
  • Whether you read the news, look up info on wikipedia, watch videos on youtube – these passive info gathering activities used to not be regulated by copyright but now they are – by accident of collision of law and tech
  • As a consumer of content, CC is helpful
  • For example, video downloads on  and music downloads on Jamendo.  Kids make videos and can take the music off of Jamendo without worrying about copyright infringement.   They can also build on other people's videos on Blip. 
  • Students can get free songs to use for presentations and videos under CC from Jamendo – they can use this stuff legally without worrying about copyright infringement and file sharing issues
  • They can get images for projects and presentations from Flickr
  • "Open educational resources (OER) are learning materials that are freely available for use, remixing and redistribution."
  • Non-linear approach to learning resources – you can mix and match, take whatever you need and nothing more
  • “Book clubs for OER” – average people who are experts in something offer their expertise to peers – all volunteers
  • You can use any of the tools I showed you before for finding CC stuff generally
  • In today’s world it’s important for students to understand technology and copyright – not only when they are suing other ppl’s work, but when they are creating their own. They need to understand that they are “copyright owners” and that they have a choice about how to put their work out into the world.
  • The utah division of administrative rules created this rule to expressly allow public school teachers to license teaching materials they create under a CC license without having to ask permissionThe purpose of this rule is to provide information and assurance to public school educators about sharing materials created or developed by educators primarily for use in their own classes or assignments. The intent of this rule is to allow or encourage educators to use valuable time and resources to improve instruction and instructional practices with assistance from appropriate materials developed by other educators….Utah educators may share materials under a Creative Commons License and shall be personally responsible for understanding and satisfying the requirements of a Creative Commons License…The presumption of this rule is that materials may be shared. The presumption is that Utah educators need not seek permission from their employers to share personally-developed materials.
  • Creative Commons: Copyright for the Digital Age

    1. 1. Creative Commons: Copyright for the Digital Age<br />Lila Bailey<br />Creative Commons Counsel<br />Leadership 3.0<br />
    2. 2. Copyright law is increasingly relevant to daily life<br />
    3. 3. On any given day you and your students (arguably) commit multiple acts of copyright infringement in the course of everyday activities<br />
    4. 4. ©<br />
    5. 5. Protection is automatic<br />
    6. 6. Lasts for a very long time<br />
    7. 7. Covers all forms of creativity: literature, art, music, architecture, software, choreography, video, blogs, podcasts, etc.<br />
    8. 8. Exclusive rights to copy, <br />distribute, display, perform, <br />& make derivates<br />
    9. 9. Fair Use<br />
    10. 10. Fair use involves balancing <br />four factors, hard to predict<br />
    11. 11. Copyright infringement can be very expensive<br />
    12. 12. This situation is the result of ever-increasing legal protection colliding with unprecedented technological change<br />
    13. 13. In a digital world, we are all producers of copyrighted content<br />
    14. 14. You are a copyright owner<br />
    15. 15. You have a choice about how you want to share your creativity and knowledge with others<br />
    16. 16. Creative Commons<br />
    17. 17. Keep only the rights you want – some rights reserved<br />
    18. 18. A simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions for your <br />creative work.<br />
    19. 19. What is a Creative Commons License?<br />
    20. 20. Step 1: Choose Conditions<br />
    21. 21.
    22. 22.
    23. 23.
    24. 24.
    25. 25.
    26. 26. Your license, expressed three ways<br />
    27. 27. Human<br />Readable <br />Deed<br />
    28. 28. Lawyer<br />Readable<br />Legal<br />Code<br />
    29. 29. Machine<br />Readable<br />Metadata<br />
    30. 30. CC Licenses are built on top of copyright<br />
    31. 31. CC Licenses do not replace, substitute or provide an alternative to copyright<br />
    32. 32. CC Licensesdon’t affect fair use<br />
    33. 33. CC licenses pick up where <br />fair use leaves off<br />
    34. 34. Who uses Creative Commons licenses?<br />
    35. 35. CC License Users<br />
    36. 36. There are over 350 million CC licensed objects on the web today.<br />
    37. 37. In a digital world, we are all consumers of copyrighted content<br />
    38. 38. Creative Commons creates space for you (and your students) to use content and technology legally<br />
    39. 39. Without having to guess at what the copyright holder will allow<br />
    40. 40. Or what fair use will cover<br />
    41. 41. Creative Commons means you don’t have to ask and you don’t have to guess because permission is already granted<br />
    42. 42. How can students use CC licensed content?<br />
    43. 43.
    44. 44.
    45. 45. How else can you find CC licensed material?<br />
    46. 46.
    47. 47.
    48. 48.<br />
    49. 49. Creative Commons + Education =<br />Open Educational Resources<br />
    50. 50. CC enables translation of educational resources into different languages.<br />
    51. 51.
    52. 52. CC enables evolution of educational resources through peer and student edits<br />
    53. 53.
    54. 54. CC fosters innovation in education<br />
    55. 55.
    56. 56. Flat Word Knowledge<br />*New textbook business model<br />*Free online versions of textbooks<br />*Affordable physical copies<br />*Customizable by educators<br />
    57. 57.
    58. 58. CK-12<br />*Non-profit organization<br />*Offers free, customizable, digital textbooks<br />*Standards aligned<br />*Teacher’seditions<br />
    59. 59.
    60. 60. Connexions<br />*Repository of OER broken into small modules<br />*Organized into larger courses<br />*Collaborative environment<br />*It’s all free<br />
    61. 61.
    62. 62. Peer-2-Peer University<br />*Online community of open study groups<br />*Short university level courses<br />*Lead by volunteers<br />*Copyright for Educators course<br />*Working on formal accreditation<br />*It’s free!<br />
    63. 63. How do you find OER?<br />
    64. 64.
    65. 65. Creative Commons in the classroom<br />
    66. 66.
    67. 67. Teaching high school students about the changing legal and technical issues in journalism<br />
    68. 68.<br />
    69. 69. What can administrators do to encourage CC and OER in classrooms?<br />
    70. 70. develop policies allowing student and teacher use of the Internet at school<br />(don’t block it!)<br />
    71. 71. develop policies allowing or encouraging teachers to use CC-licensed OER in classrooms<br />
    72. 72. develop policies allowing or encouraging teachers to license teaching materials that they create under CC<br />
    73. 73. Utah Rule R277-111:<br />Sharing of Curriculum Materials by <br />Public School Educators<br />
    74. 74. Questions?<br />