At a time when so much of what we create is shared and repurposed via social media, an open and creative licensing system such as Creative Commons is clearly a pragmatic approach. Conventional copyright was constructed for the age of print. The affordances of digital technology have changed the parameters of knowledge sharing and discourse; and our thinking about creativity, intellectual property and copyright is necessarily changing too.
Creative Commons is an alternative to restrictive copyright and provides a sliding scale of copyright management. It enables anybody – whether they be teachers, academics, trainers, students, creative workers or blog writers – to access content and share their ideas freely.
So- what are the benefits to sharing your work under a CC license?
- Raise your profile and reputation: Sharing your work through your learning networks increases your visibility and presence online. The risk of someone sharing your work without attribution is far smaller than your resultant obscurity if you lock it away.
- Collaboration and creativity: Sharing your work enables other to remix and recreate it in different ways. This process sparks creativity and innovation and may in turn lead to new ideas that you can use to forward your own thinking.
- Develop your personal learning networks: Building connections online is about participation and collaboration. The more you share with others the more they are likely to share with you. Developing strong online networks pays dividends and creative commons can enable this.
- The moral dimension: There are strong arguments for sharing publicly funded materials openly. It provides an opportunity for public scrutiny and maximises the impact of public funding.
Need some more convincing?
- This resource from Creative Commons explains the different licensing options available and the process of creating a CC licence for your work.
- Watch this video which explores the social imperative of sharing.