Binks Is Here

Commentary on the World

Creative Commons Preview

This is a response I wrote to a post Granite made:

“Flying in the face of our capitalist society” is probably a big part of the point.

The other is just making people recognize that there are options - you don’t have to say, “all rights reserved” or put a copyright symbol on all of your work; and you don’t have to release your work into the public domain either. There’s all this wonderful middle ground that really lets you control your work in the way that makes you most happy.

I mean, one time Math’s publication (whose name escapes me for the moment”¦) used an XKCD comic as their front cover image - XKCD operates under a Creative Commons license; so they were able to do that. If XKCD wasn’t Creative Commons licensed, they probably would’ve never used that image. But here’s the beauty - XKCD doesn’t NEED to have a restrictive license model; they can give all the comics away and it’s still a project worth doing.

CC is a symbol for the new reality in which we live - you CAN give it all away and STILL make money (and you can not make money and still have your activities be worthwhile). It’s not easy; and it’s not for everyone; but it’s completely possible.

You might want to take a look at the licenses available from Creative Commons; read up on what restrictions and privileges they offer.


I thought it was a reasonably good comment; so I’m reproducing it here. You might even see a longer post on Creative Commons here in the future; depends how kind Chronos, God Of Time, is to me.

EDIT: Here’s another comment I made there:

You don’t have to show damages and sue for that when someone infringes on your copyright.

You can simply demand that all infringing material be taken down, and that they cease dissemination.

That means that using anything that isn’t CC licensed is a bad idea. Look at Red VS Blue - for their first season they used a Limp Bizkit song during their intro. Evidently, after it became popular, Limp Bizkit started looking for their cut so they had to re-do their intro on all of their videos (and they may’ve been made to pay some damages - I’m not really sure).

A man video taped his young child walking in their living room; put it up on youtube to show to the grandparents. The radio was on. The video was removed for copyright infringement (he was distributing someone else’s music - the song that just happened to be on on the radio)

Things like that are big for podcasts - they need music, and they can’t afford licenses from big record companies; so they look for bands that release their music through CC, so they can integrate it into their own work (which, in this case, is their podcast). When we did our podcast, we requested special permission from a band to use their work.

Just because “it’s on the internet” doesn’t mean you can use it just anywhere - companies have been sued for tons of cash because they copied “key portions” out of online news articles for their internal newsletters - so, they took PORTIONS of articles off of websites (that anyone could access for free), put it in their newsletter that they weren’t even charging for, that was used only internally, and they were prosecuted for it.

A few cases like that and I’d be sticking to CC work myself.

And, as per my previous comment - you can give it away and still make money! Nowadays, there’re dozens of examples, but here’s one: http://craphound.com/down/download.php The author has chosen to make his commercially sold book (I’ve seen it in Chapters myself!) available under a Creative Commons license, and has made the full text available online.

He’s using the “Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 1.0 Generic” license - so; I can download and distribute this book (which, again, is commercially available - he’s making a living off of this thing) to anyone I want, for any reason. I just can’t sell it or create derivative works, and I need to attribute his work to him.

There’re a lot of other people, selling real books, in real stores, making real money, who’re distributing through CC. You’re even seeing some shifts like that in the music world - Barenaked Ladies did a remix contest, where they put up multi-track versions of some of their songs on myspace so people could play with them and create derivative works - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barenaked_Ladies_Are_Me#Remix_contest

There’s a ton happening in CC (and CC like projects); and it’s not all garbage.


I think I need to do a CC post now; show what great stuff is coming out under new and alternative licenses. Like I said in post 1; in this new world it’s about getting maximum value out of your creations - how you calculate that value isn’t necessarily in dollars and cents (and sometimes giving it away for free is the best way to make money)