Thing 8: Creative Commons and Copyright

I’ve come across this idea of who can share your work through my arty friends and family who take beautiful photographs and create other digital and potentially sharable artwork. But I’ve never considered that my own, more academic written work might need consideration regarding sharing and re-use.

Creative Commons

What is this?
So it looks to be a non-profit organisation who help people to share information to improve the world. Sounds great!
What sort of licence?
So I go through the ‘choose a license’ page answering how I would like others to be able to share any adaptations they make to my ‘work’ but not for commercial uses….I should have a ‘Attribution non-commercial 4.0 License’.
So I’m reading the F&Qs section and it’s talking about how you should consider seriously whether to license your work with a CC license. There is lots of information about whether you can even use a license as you cannot if your work is already within the public domain! I definitely need to spend some more time reading about this before applying a license. And that seems Ok because there is still quite a lot of time before I actually have my own ‘work’ that might go on this blog beyond the 23 Things course.


Reading the University of Surrey’s page on copyright I realised that I’ve never really questioned broader reasons for why we always attribute ideas and findings to the people who wrote the papers or books that we got them from. We were taught, or at least one of the reasons we were taught to do this was so that people reading your work can verify your ideas. They know that you are not just ‘making **** up’ you have read about the subject and are forming your argument based on peer-reviewed, scientifically vigorous work and can go back and read the articles and books that you have referenced either to broaden their knowledge or check how you’ve understood the information. This is so ingrained into my mind that now when people make comments about something ‘is’ I am questioning or accepting the presence and quality of the research that led to that assertion of ‘truth’.

But is all this referencing also part of copyright? Yes it must be. We are also not allowed to just repeat the ideas and findings that others have written about without attributing them to the authors because the authors (or some other body or organisation) ‘own’ that information, at least until it becomes part of the public domain.

There is much more to know and learn about copyright!


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