Creative Commons

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This is what the world will be like if the Creative Commons people get their way.
This person's organs may be distributed and used freely by anyone!

Creative Commons is a system of licenses (confusing jargon) that permits individuals (hippies, liberals, fags, etc.) to use or appropriate (steal, manipulate, fuck with) your work (stupid memes, animutations, shitty demo tapes, Wikipedia articles) without obtaining your expressed written permission. Lawrence Lessig (commie bastard) developed this system as an alternative to restrictive copyright laws. Lessig also believes in P2P servers and free exchange of information. He was assassinated in 2006 by the MPAA.

If you label something as Creative Commons, you cannot sue someone for copyright infringement later.

A quick overview of Creative Commons licenses in plain english.

  • CC0 - The most useless as fuck license, since it's identical to saying something is "public domain".
  • CC BY (Attribution) - As long as you state whatever work you ripped off was owned by (insert random faggot here), you can molest the shit out of it for any purpose you want and no one can bitch about it.
  • CC BY NC SA (Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike) - Same thing as CC BY SA, except you can't make any jewgold off of it and have to use the same license.
  • CC BY NC (Attribution Non Commercial) - Same thing as CC BY NC SA, except you could rip off a nonprofit webpage, add a period to make a "derivative work" of the original, then re license all future versions as something you can whore for moniez.
  • CC BY ND (Attribution Non Derivatives)- You can't change anything about what you rip off, but you can whore it for moniez. However, this only applies to the ORIGINAL copy taken from wherever you got it. Any ripoff versions made afterwards based on the original can be re licensed to whatever you want.
  • CC BY NC ND (Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives) - You can copy it as long you credit the original author, but you can't change it in any way at any time, nor can you make any jewgold off of it. Use this license to piss off greedy fucks.

So where's the drama?

Atomic.gif Warning!
Nobody understands the copyright laws. Nobody.
The Creative Commons logo. Its presence here doesn't mean you can rip this article off. Oh, wait--
This image was on Flickr. Is it copyrighted? Who knows?
It is Delicious Cake. Anyone may eat it. (WARNING: No one knows what the "secret ingredient" is, because along the way, someone forgot to attribute someone...ah, damn, who the hell knows.)

Just like all other fine, great, amazing, rose-tinted, sky-blue, green-grassed, happy-fluffy thingies of all happy future utopias, Creative Commons is a constant source of drama because no one understands what the hell they are using the licenses for, and what the hell other people are using the licenses for.

Don't copy this shit...oh, wait--

Creative Commons is intended for works that are to be freely distributed and disseminated. If that doesn't sound good to you, why the hell are you using a Creative Commons license?

Artists are often confused to hell and back by all this license weirdness. Sites like Flickr and deviantART make it dead simple to add a CC license to your artwork, which can lead to a funny situation when said artwork is proudly displayed as having a CC license, yet the artist-scribed image description reads, "don't copy this picture or I'll crush your ballz". And gadzooks, if some people actually use the picture in a way that the CC license permits, massive butthurt ensues.

If you don't know what the hell you're doing, don't use a CC license. Click on the bloody license link and read the Creative Commons Deed (the deed text is as short as possible to enable every idiot to understand it, unlike the actual license, which presents the reader with a text wall); if those terms don't look good to you, you can choose another CC license or don't license the work under CC license.

Just slap a CC license on the side, it fixes everything

As stated above, it's too damn easy to slap a Creative Commons license on a piece of artwork, usually comprised of images stolen from some random source or other. Of course, this is nothing new: people have been wrongly claiming copyright on other people's works since the dawn of time. The only difference here is that people who abuse CC licenses spread the license notices everywhere like candy. This is especially ironic because CC licenses are intended for proper attribution and honest use of copyright for a better tomorrow and all that shit. In short, people who don't know shit about copyright law shouldn't be granted the opportunity to use a nice, easy, simple copyright chooser widget thingy.

Creative Commons solves the big license problem for original content, but it sure as hell doesn't provide any additional security to people who want to reuse the content. You still have to be skeptical about the copyright status of some works, especially since so many people don't know anything about how the licenses they chose are supposed to function.

Triple irony points if you find someone crying about someone redistributing a CC-licensed image that they originally copied from somewhere...

It's teh communism!

Russian Creative Commons CP logo.

CC is extremely confusing to those who distribute images, or would like to rip off pictures. You see, using a Creative Commons license is COMMUNISM. It doesn't allow the picture to be ripped off, as is done in the Proper Capitalist System where everyone is allowed to steal everyone else's work. No, Creative Commons licenses allow people to steal the work, thus causing massive unemployment for image thieves! What's the point of stealing stuff if you are allowed to do that in the first place?


Goatse demonstrates proper use of a Creative Commons logo.
  • Playwright Max Sparber has distributed plays under a Creative Commons license that allows people to duplicate them. He released boyELROY into the public domain. Of course, nobody in the entire world is interested in duplicating the play, nor does anybody know who Max Sparber is.
  • LittleCloud fails to understand the slight contradiction in the following statements:
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


You may not use my artwork anywhere, for any reason, without first being given my expressed permission. [...] You may do the following without my expressed permission, as long as it is strictly for private use only (and not submitted and/or credited as your own): save my artwork to a hard drive or disk, [...].


See Also

External Links


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This article is NPOV. You can help by fucking with it.