Copyright laws and common courtesies have always been something that I have been aware of in general sense, but I have never quite understood exactly what protections are extended to those who both create and enjoy material over the web and other mediums.
Through my research, I found it useful to look at the various vocabulary found on the web to help my understanding of intellectual property, copyrights, and the creative commons movement.
Intellectual property was the first term I decided to look into to help my understanding for this blog post. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property can be defined as:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
This definition seems easy to understand – if you create something such as music, poetry, logos, or art, that is considered your intellectual property and you have rights to said property. Simple enough.
Next, copyrights are essentially laws that give legal protection to literary or creative works and their owners. Copyright laws can be seen as a way for the owners of music, art, or literature to ensure that others do not use their property without their consent.
Generally, it is illegal and immoral to use an artist’s work without their direct permission. However, there are some protections offered to the general public in terms of using copyrighted materials, including the “fair use” principle. “Fair Use” refers to certain circumstances in which a user usually does not need to seek permission of a work’s creator before using their material. Examples of “fair use” include:
- the quotation of works;
- the use of news of the day; or
- the creation of accessible formats for print disabled people.
Finally, Creative Commons (CC) is another way in which creators can freely offer their work to the general public through free copyright licenses that allow art and other works to be shared freely, while still ensuring credit remains with the creator.
In terms of my own work, I’m likely to choose the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. I believe that anyone who would like to share my work has the freedom to do so, as long as credit is given to me in the redistribution of the work. I’m just one guy rambling on about nothing..if someone finds that interesting and would like to share it with others, be my guest!
Until next time,