Creative Commons, Learn About it, Use It, Love It

posted in: Eban's Blog | 0

Photo, Kitten Attack, by Raindog

For those of us in the online media managerie, Creative Commons has become part of our daily lives. The way we can protect our creations but still share and allow others to do wonderful, or sometimes freaky things with our work. Above all else, it is a way to get credit for what we create, which in the online media world is often our only currency, as money is not flowing all that freely.

There is one thing that irks me about Creative Commons. It irks me every time I go to Flickr or some other online gallery/sharing site. It is that many people, most actually, have no clue as to what Creative Commons is, or how to use it if they do.

It sucks when you find a perfect picture for a post or media project, only to find it is unsuable.

Yes, there are many people that use services such as Flicker that have valid reasons for not wanting people to share or alter their works, even with attribution. It may be that they are professionals and the work is copyrighted, or even that they just don’t want to share. Either way is fine, but I feel that the real reason so much stuff is unsharable is that people have no clue about Creative Commons.

Many of these folks would probably love to get there work shared, with due attribution. Things like that increase a person’s stock in the online world. Remember, credit is one of the few real currencies active on the web, in the social networking or social media circles at least.

Yes, this another post about the “echo chamber,” or “fish bowl.” We get so caught up in our little world where terms such as social media, Creative Commons, Twitter, socnets, and on and on are just regular parts of our vocabulary, or understanding, or in some cases job description. We, whether it be socnet or app users, media creators, app designers, or service providers often forget that outside the echo chamber resides a  much larger group that have no idea what we are going on about when we talk of such things.

There lies the basis of what irks me. It is not a major irk, but a lingering, nagging irk. I wish services like Twitter would give a better education to it’s users on the power and usefullness of Creative Commons, and let the users know how to list items under Creative Commons. Not just that actually, let them know how using Creative Commons actually benefits and protects them at the same time.

The fact is, putting things under Creative Commons is not all that intuitive on most sites. Well, not to most people, that is. To those of us that already understand Creative Commons and use these services, it is intuitive. We, however, forget that most people, the majority, don’t have this knowledge. It is not that they are idiots, far from it, they just don’t have that specific knowledge yet.

If we were to give them this specific knowledge instead of just talking to those that already possess this knowledge, I might have been able to use that perfect – or is it puuurfect – kitten picture I found this morning.

And yes, you just read all that because I am raw about a cat photo.

Get over it.



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