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Get Creative

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GET CREATIVE: being the origin and adventures of the creative commons licensing project. These are Jack and Meg White. Also known as the White Stripes. They're a band from Detroit; they make rock and roll without a bass guitarist. This is Steve MacDonald, of the veteran band Redd Kross. Steve thought the White Stripes could use a bass player. So he appointed himself. e took the White Stripes' album, called "White Blood Cells," and re-recorded it, laying a bass track down on every song Then he released the results as mp3s on Redd Kross' website he even made up a new cover and title -- "Redd Blood Cells." MacDonald began putting these copyrighted songs online without permission from the White Stripes or their record label During the project he bumped into Jack White who gave him spoken assent to continue It can be that easy when you skip the intermediaries. Collaboration across space and time. Creative co-authorship with people you've never met. Standing on the shoulders of your peers It's what the internet is all about It can be that easy when you skip the intermediaries. But couldn't it be easier still? Not many of us are liable just to bump into Jack White and get the green light And he's not going to let just anyone play the bass over his songs in any case But what about other artists who might want you or me to play along? Shouldn't we be able to if they don't mind? Enter one of the internet's most famous citizens A face familiar the world over, a public identity rivaled only by a handful of corporate giants and global superstars the big copyright C Everyone knows what big C stands for Big C means All Rights Reserved Big C means Ask Permission Big C protects copyright owners and notifies the rest of us of their ownership Time was you had to put big C on anything you wanted to copyright or else it entered the public domain a commons of information where nothing is owned and all is permitted You had to put the world on notice to warn them, that was Big C's job And it was a useful one What changed? The law. By the late 1980s, US law had changed so that works become copyrighted automatically the moment they're made The moment you hit save on that research paper the second the shutter snaps closed the instant you lift your pen from that cocktail napkin doodle your creation is copyrighted, whether Big C makes a cameo or not So, suddenly, there's no quick way of knowing whether something is owned or not The new rules may be clear about how you get to own a work you don't have to do anything but they say nothing at all about how you should go about announcing that you want to allow certain uses of your work So what? Well, if you're a digital filmmaker whose every frame must be cleared by an army of lawyers before making the cut, or if you're in a band whose label won't let you put a song on a filesharing network or if you're a professor trying to put together online course materials or if you're a DJ, chasing down permission to use every snippet of song in your sonic collage If you're one of these people, then you know "So what." We interrupt this brainstorm to call the lawyers! You drop what you're doing and call all the lawyers. You ask for permission even to use a work whose author doesn't mind if you use it because you have no idea what the author's intent is you ask for permission, even to share some of your rights Or you venture forward unsure what your rights and risks are, exactly Or, in a haze of legal doubt, you do nothing Bottom line, Big C is out of a job, the middlemen are not Enter Creative Commons. Creative Commons wanted to find an easy way to help people tell the world up front that they want to allow some uses of their work We called the experts, the US Copyright Office, for their advice Their response? There's no real answer. Get creative. So we got creative! How? Our CC brand marks works that are governed by Creative Commons licenses a set of standardized copyright licenses that are available, free of charge, on our website We wrote these licenses so that lawyers and courts could read them Then we translated them into a language you can read And then we translated them into a language computers can read Now, CC isn't meant to compete with copyright, but to compliment it It allows you to retain your copyright, while granting the world permission to make certain uses of it, upon certain conditions If the Big C is like a red light, then CC is a green light If the Big C says, "No Trespassing," the double C says "Please come in." If the Big C says "All Rights Reserved," CC says "Some Rights Reserved." So you can use the power of the net to find works free to share and build upon and to invite other people to transform or trade yours, so that you can get creative Not only with what you make, but how you make it available So you can collaborate across space and time so you can be a co-author with somebody you've never met so you can stand on the shoulders of your peers All without asking permission, because permission has already been granted Creative Commons: get creative. It's easy when you skip the intermediaries

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 37 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 3,634
Posted by: creativecommons on Jul 10, 2009

CC’s signature animated film covers the basics of why we formed, what we do, and how we do it.

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