Thursday deadline on CC/IP and other issues of creating.

The permission to post section from “Bootcamp” for today’s deadline perked my interest. I took this concept to mean linking, as well as using material that is not your own. While basic copyright laws stipulate what over usage of someone’s material and/or theories entail, and that the author clearly denotes the origin, this can be hit or miss on the web; people lie. Dealing with links though, judging from how many of them I have seen from my time online, I can not imagine many of these publishers of online content send off bundles of emails, and hold up their creativity to wait for a response. Does linking constituted theft of IP? In my opinion no. In some ways it is a replica of one’s works, yet I see this act as the online equivalent of an in-text citation within a term paper. Lorelle on WordPress had a good point to make though:

“However, if you are using a link to their blog or website in a way that makes you money, takes money away from them, or exploits their site for your own benefit, then I recommend you get permission as the perspective on the outgoing link has changed.”

At this point, one’s IP is being misused in my opinion. Segue.

Intellectual Property

I eventually settled on Entrepreneur.com’s intellectual property page as my resource for a quick look at IP practice and theory. The website is meant to be an aide to rising kings and queens of industry, and offers a succinct explanation of what could be understood as individual property in the realms of ideas and creation.  Entrepreneur.com boils down IP to the creation of intellectual/artistic works (copyright laws), novel inventions (patent laws), and the protection of just about any use or merger with the term Olympic and those intertwined rings (trademark laws). Looking over the website’s description, I was happy to see some common sense understandings of just how far one’s rights extended toward complete control of IP.

“Ideas or concepts do not have copyright protection. Copyright protects the expression of the idea, but not the ideas themselves.”

Or

“Patents protect processes, methods and inventions that are “novel,” “non-obvious” and “useful.””

I was especially happy to see this last one as it implies some common sense review by the PTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). Or so I hope.

Yet I think they missed the mark on this one

“A trademark word example would be “Rollerblades.”

If that was the case I am guessing that the producer of the refrigerator in my kitchen, an Amana, has some answering to do. In fact, looking into the history of the refrigerator, it appears that the terms was understood and used by companies as a generic word for what they produced. The Association of Home Appliance Manufactures gives a short history about it here. With that being the case, broad terms such as “Rollerblade” should not be allowed to be trademarked and controlled. This brings me back to the Olympic ceremonies, a historical and contemporary event which pits humanity into peaceful (fencing/greco roman wrestling ???) competition. My take on this sees the term as highly pliable to many events, as long as they do not take it upon themselves to masquerade as what the majority of us would call, “the real deal.”

Moving beyond that rant, I think a quick look at the American Bar Association’s copyright page, which details the association’s copyright and intellectual property policy, gives a good impression of just how restrictive and airtight some will want to make human creativity and thought http://www.americanbar.org/utility/copyright.html.

This leads me to a quick discussion of the Creative Commons movement, which is quite interesting and thanks to the CC website, very easy to use. By merging legal savvy with digital technology, the creators of the CC movement have made it extremely simple for online creators to customize their copyright experience. Much like my bank; a business which I place little to no trust in, though it is a necessity of my existence. Looking over the CC website, I am impresses by how efficient it is, and when compared to today’s social and economic patterning, corporationesque. Major aspects of advertising and successful business interface techniques are here, including badges and icons (hypericonomy in practice), ease of use, and creation. What we have here is a one stop shop for all your copyright needs, and its free, and its meant to negate or at least offset what I will call broadsword greed.

One a more serious note, using the create a license page  I think I have settled on my choice for CC. I find the idea of copyrighting, trademarking, and patenting everything to be silly game based on ego and greed, which I feel does stifle growth in just about any realm. With that being said, my own ego wants my work to be noted as just that, my own. People who steal generally make me angry, and that includes intellectual property as well as a CD. If anything the stealing of IP is worse in my opinion because I am not producing CD’s, but IP’s, and I cannot produce posts at the same rate as record labels and CD manufacturers. With that being said, I have chosen to use a CC license. It is as follows: <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US”><img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0″ src=”http://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-sa/3.0/88×31.png&#8221; /></a><br />This work by <span xmlns:cc=”http://creativecommons.org/ns#&#8221; property=”cc:attributionName”>Matthew Adams</span> is licensed under a <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US”>Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License</a>.

All gibberish aside, I will be allowing people to use my work, change it for their own needs, but they will have to use it with the understanding that any derivative work must be allowed the same copyright freedoms as my original work which they used. I chose not to allow commercial use of my work. If someone’s going to be making money off of something I did, I expect payment.

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6 Responses to Thursday deadline on CC/IP and other issues of creating.

  1. Thank you for citing my article on copyright and permission to cite and link other sources.

    Just a note. Copyright law does NOT specify the limits to Fair Use. That is determined by the copyright owner. Copyright law implies that Fair Use should not impinge upon the copyright owner’s ability to profit from their intellectual property, but what does that mean to a photograph or music or film? Artwork? Can you copy a corner of a photograph and call it Fair Use? Does the whole thing plus a link qualify? Maybe? Depends upon the definition of Fair Use by the owner.

    As we educate others about copyright laws, it is important to teach them to do more than place a copyright notice on their site. They must explain what their copyrights are in a copyright policy. They must define Fair Use, citation, and linking so there is no misunderstanding. They need to define when a request for permission must be made, and when it is acceptable to use the content as defined by their Fair Use policy without permission.

    You are right that Creative Commons (rarely known as CC) did a good job streamlining the copyright license, but it is still not a complete license, nor respected in international law, though acceptance is growing. It helps to cut through all the BS and confusion, but it is still not enough. The policy must be spelled out in a language that is clear and understandable, defining usage beyond their license. It’s a good starting point, though.

    You spelled it out best in your last paragraph. Excellent.

    I recommend you study the amazing work of Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, the world’s expert in grassroots copyright law and defense.

    • madams2013 says:

      Thanks for the points, and pointer, I will be sure to check out Bailey’s work. Question, are there any well respected international limitations on just how far fair use specification can go in the artistic creations disseminated across the web? I am more versed in the generally agreed upon understandings of fair use in educational and academic settings. Getting into artistic creations though, if someone took it upon themselves to clearly specify that the corner of their picture was centrally important, or the baseline of their bands music was now their IP, can they? Would it stand up in court, or has it in the past?

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  3. This Eric is commenting. I agree that it’s annoying if people/corporations try to copyright/trademark/whatever universally-used words. See this incident where Benchmade tried to claim the term “Balisong” for butterfly knives: http://www.assistedknife.com/index.cfm/fa/subcategories.main/parentcat/29189/subcatid/69882. They may as well be claiming the term “butterfly knife” for how ubiquitous the term Balisong is.

    Also, a tip: Take all that CC code and enter it in text mode instead of visual mode. At the top-right of the text entry box in the post editor, you can pick between each mode. Text mode will show you all of the html mark-up, entering the CC code there will make the image and text display correctly.

    • madams2013 says:

      Thanks for the tip. I was just putting the entire code in the post to visualize what the CC license looked like beyond the icons, but I will try that. I attempted to place it as a text entry in my widget area, which as you can see did not work too well.

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