Thing 13: Creative Commons

Ok, brace yourself.

I love the concept of freedom of speech. So I am extremely suspicious of any layer of red tape that impinges upon my own personal ability to live my life. “Bureaucratic measures” to restrict freedoms.However, we can’t have anarchy so I’m conflicted.

We’re in 2016, “President” Trump has just won an election and so triggered the Twitterati to use a #RIPAmerica hashtag. Britain is in the depths of a Brexit strategy so convoluted that it’s true potential for financial collapse remains thoroughly unclear and Ed Balls is still dividing a nation with his uncoordinated antics on the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor (talented potential winners floundering in his wake). I’m frustrated and, ok, I’m definitely being melodramatic.

In its basic form author copyright, and indeed CC, enables an artist to maintain an element of control. At least as best they can manage. So it is a good thing. In reality, placing restrictions upon a piece of art is relatively meaningless unless appropriate punishment for criminal theft can be enforced. How effectively can it be enforced? In my experience, not very is the answer.  I mean how deep does this rabbit hole go? This blog post has been created – should I place my stamp of ownership on it. And yet the image that accompanies it has been stolen… or has it? Should I check? What about his thesis, her article, those songs, this play, that hat, my words? All rights reserved. All protected, all restricting freedoms.

In short (despite the fact that I appear to have trust issues)…

Pro: I feel somewhat enlightened and empowered by the BY, ND, NC and SA restriction features of Creative Commons that I can place upon my own work.

Con: I now feel restricted and responsible for curbing my own activity in taking inspiration from others.

It gives with one hand and takes with the other. As I say, I’m conflicted but, professionally, I shall reassess and come back morally stronger, ready to think twice before “stealing”.

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