Anatomy of a Creative Commons License

This third assignment was about digging deeper into CC licenses. As before, the output needs to be something of use; I’d like to be more creative and experiment with other tools but have no time, and I’m more likely to reuse slides in my workshops so here you have another presentation! (Google slides here).

In analyzing the anatomy of CC licenses, the starting point is the idea already introduced earlier in the course: CC licenses sit alongside copyright, they do not replace it; we simply move from the ‘all rights reserved’ of copyright to the less restrictive ‘let me tell you how you can use my work’ of ‘some rights reserved’. We have the three layers of the license so that everyone can take it in, regardless of whether or not they speak legalese, are machine or human –I’m not implying that lawyers are inhuman or even non-human, but you get my drift. Next we have the four icons describing the conditions they represent, and the six licenses and permissions that result from combining them. The most interesting part for me was learning that there is a difference between licenses and public domain tools, and that waiving one’s rights over one’s works is more problematic than it seems. The Creative Commons license spectrum is a diagram I have reused many times before (and if I had more time I would create a version using the European NC icon, and also translate it into Spanish), always accompanied by the debate ‘is a resource shared under the most restrictive CC license open or not?’ And last but not least, another key point for me to bring forward in my talks: Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses; as such they apply where and when copyright applies –they are not meant to restrict what copyright does not restrict.


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