Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Attempt at Finding the Balance: Creative Commons

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I came across Jamendo while watching a video on YouTube. I happened to like the background music used and I ended up downloading the same, legally.

Yes. The words “free” “legal” and “download” can harmoniously co-exist in a sentence and made possible by the Creative Commons licenses.

A CC or Creative Commons license is based on copyright. However, unlike the traditional and encompassing “all-rights reserved” ,  it creates a more flexible copyright model for the modern day creator by transforming it to “some rights reserved”. Depending on the creator, there are six types of licenses to choose from. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators -such as but not limited to copying, distribution and derivative works. Generally anything that can come under the traditional copyright can be covered by CC such as books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings, just to name a few.

In an era where media is created and transformed by remixes and mash ups, there is a need for a more flexible way of protecting the owners against intrusions brought about by technological advancement. This is where CC supposedly comes into play -by giving the creators the freedom to choose how their work is to used. In doing so CC aims to "develop, support and steward the legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation."

While CC may address some of the issues concerning intellectual property, it does not totally eradicate the copyright wars and the prevalent infringement which are top concerns in the age of globalization and information technology. These issues are best addressed by policy makers, with the assistance of nonprofit organizations who have in-depth knowledge of the matter at hand. Like in all things, balance must be achieved between restriction and permission. Until such tension is attained CC is an alternative method upon which creators/owners can protect themselves and remixers to find new material without violating the law.

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Entry No. 11
Soleil Flores

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