Some Creative Commons Pitfalls

CC Logo Indicating Some Restrictions

CC Logo Indicating Some Restrictions

ZDNet Asia featured an article discussing 3 common myths associated with the Creative Commons license which I thought worthwhile here. While it is patterned after FOSS licensing, it is nevertheless important to point out common misinterpretations of CC licenses in the interest of promoting respect for creative works. The article provides legal perspectives on these myths.

The first deals with the jurisdiction of the license. While it is thought of that CC licenses apply in the U.S. alone, there are countries which have ported the license to different copyright legislations. To my fellow Filipinos still in the country too, the Philippines is among those which have “completed ‘ports’ of the license.”

The second deals with the legality of the license. It is based on a legal framework which means that inappropriate usage of a given material is still illegal. Unlike the copyright however, the work is shared and can be used under certain conditions specified by the author. Like the copyright, the work’s author retains the rights “regardless of whether Creative Commons is applied.”

The last myth deals with the common misconception that a work can be used as long as it’s not for profit. While I’m tempted to render this common sense fodder, I simply can’t. At least not until I get to understand how this fits in the bill of fair use. Add the fact that there might be implications on what can be considered as fair use when jurisdiction is applied and I have to say that I absolutely have no idea there.

So one is better off reading what the license has to say of what usage it deems proper just as I have done in a paper I submitted in the past semester. Not only does that accord respect where it is due, it has a lot to say something about the intentions of someone intending to make use of something under the CC umbrella.

When still not sure, better get the author’s explicit permission as they would rather take the time to answer such requests than deal with infringing persons, inadvertent or not.


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