Since the beginning of this blog I have been concerned about Copyright, and have worked through it in stages. I’m not a copyright expert and have no legal training, but I thought I’d share – in case it helps others – some of my thought processes over the last two years or so of my blog:
- I worried, in the beginning, about using other content on this blog, specifically images. I am careful about clearing the use of book cover images with publishers, and I check copyright statements for any other images I use on the blog. I attribute as best I can the creator of these images, and have found that creators (or copyright owners) are usually pretty easy to identify on sites such as Wikipedia and Flickr. But, there are many images that I have not used because I could not clarify their copyright situation.
- I then realised that I hadn’t made the situation clear about my own images and so, many months into the blog, I added a Text Widget for Copyright on Images. In this I stated my policy regarding my use of images from other sources, and I applied a rather loose Creative Commons licence statement for my own images.
- And then it occurred to me that I hadn’t properly clarified copyright on the rest of my content. Under Australian Copyright, anything I publish is automatically copyrighted to me, that is, I do not need to register for copyright in order for my content to be protected under copyright. However, as a (retired) librarian/archivist, I know how frustrating copyright can be – in terms of knowing who owns copyright and how the copyrighted material can be used – and so today I have added a formal Creative Commons license to my blog (in the permanent sidebar) by using the Creative-Commons-Configurator and then adding the resultant html code to a WordPress Text Widget.
My Creative Commons Licence
Because I believe in collaboration, in sharing thoughts and ideas, my goal in choosing a licence was to make it easy for people to use my work without going through major hoops but to retain some rights for myself. The licence I’ve chosen allows others to use my work (text and images in the case of this blog) under the following conditions:
- Attribution. My work can be copied, distributed, displayed, adapted as long as it is attributed to Whispering Gums, with a link, where possible, to this blog.
- NonCommercial. My work can be copied, distributed, displayed, adapted for non-commercial purposes only. Those who wish to use my work for commercial purposes must contact me for permission (wg1775[at]gmail[dot]com)
- ShareAlike. Others may use my work in theirs, as long as they only distribute them under the same Creative Commons license that I’ve used for my work.
Note: None of these conditions overwrite rights protected under relevant copyright laws, such as fair use rights and moral rights. It is simply a licence by which I make clear how I, as a copyright owner, allow my work to be used.
I thank the Creative Commons people for the work they’ve done over the last 10 years in trying to both simplify and free up copyright for those of us who just want to create and share. May their work continue … as the world of creation, repurposing and distribution becomes more diverse and complex.