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Let's talk about Creative Commons licensing


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#1 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 12:50 PM

I had a brief Twitter exchange yesterday that got me thinking about Creative Commons licensing and fiction. If you don't know what Creative Commons licensing is, you can learn about the licenses here. But basically they allow licensees to share (at the very least) your work as long as they credit you. The most open of the licenses allows people to share and adapt your work for both commercial and non-commercial use as long as they credit you.

 

Cory Doctorow uses a lot of CC licensing for his books and even audiobooks. I don't claim to know a lot about all the intricate details of Creative Commons. I'm just starting to dig more deeply into it. But I'm starting to think that I might use CC for some future work to see what happens. My thinking is that A) I don't impose DRM on my ebooks as it is now, B) I would love for people to widely share my books if they love them and think other people will love them, and that would be made easier and more obvious to readers with a CC license.

 

Has anyone thought much about this for themselves, or actually released any fiction under Creative Commons? I'd love to hear your thoughts.



#2 AQCrew

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:47 PM

Cory Doctorow uses a lot of CC licensing for his books and even audiobooks. I don't claim to know a lot about all the intricate details of Creative Commons. I'm just starting to dig more deeply into it. But I'm starting to think that I might use CC for some future work to see what happens. My thinking is that A) I don't impose DRM on my ebooks as it is now, B) I would love for people to widely share my books if they love them and think other people will love them, and that would be made easier and more obvious to readers with a CC license.

 

 

If you're already doing permafree with some of your books (FYI, to anybody newbie reading this: permafree this is a strategy where indie self-pubbing authors list on Amazon and other distributors for free in order to help drive sales to their paid works), then not doing DRM AND adding the CC clause at the beginning of your work makes a ton of sense.  

 

At the same time, you have to be fine with artists using your work in any way that they want -- which means they could use your text and pair it with photographs or video you might not want associated with your writing, and really there's nothing much you can do about it.  But they could also just steal your work and do the same thing, and you'd never know it and that's how things go these days.

 

Is there actually places where you can post your CC fiction for people to find and use that way, sort of how people post images -- for example -- in Wkipedia's WikiMedia Commons?  THAT could be very interesting...



#3 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 09:26 AM

Is there actually places where you can post your CC fiction for people to find and use that way, sort of how people post images -- for example -- in Wkipedia's WikiMedia Commons?  THAT could be very interesting...

 

From what I understand (and again, I'm only just starting to dig deeper on this) the html code you insert for the CC license button/image helps people to find creative commons material. So if you use it on your copyright page in an ebook that you have on Amazon or B&N or wherever, it should be searchable on the web, right? I think?

 

I'm not sure, but maybe Wattpad and those sorts of sites would be places to post CC fiction also? There's a site that I can't think of the name right now, but it's one of those prompt sites that gives you something to write about (Six Minute Fiction? Something like that) and I believe they have you pick a CC license for any stories you write on that site.

 

As far as other people using your work and you have to just deal with it, the Attribution-NoCommercial-NoDerivs license allows people only to download/share the work with attribution to you. It doesn't allow them to change it or use it commercially. That's the strictest license. I haven't read through all the legalese, but I'm not sure whether sharing and disseminating in this sense means only as a whole, or if they would also be free to share quotes and make memes and things like that under that particular license (I'm thinking they probably can) as long as they aren't making money from it and they give credit.

 

But yes, you have to think carefully about CC licensing because like Crew said, if someone does something you don't like with your work that is allowed under the license, then too bad so sad for you. You have to just deal with it. And once you release something under CC licensing, it's pretty much forever. You can choose not to distribute it, of course, but anyone who already has a copy under the CC license is still free to continue using it within the terms of that license.






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