Creative Commons Deed

This is wierd.
I’m seeing more and more blogs with this logo on, and I can’t decide what’s happening;
– are people just collecting all these little logos so their site looks busier / prettier / more ‘tech’ / ‘geeky’ ?
– are people seriously believing that this little logo has any sort of real effect whatsoever ?

Having this declaration gives no more backup to you than saying “Oi, dickweed, I wrote it so don’t copy it’ or even just having a © on your page does it ? The large print may be all nice and cuddly, but the fine print, when it comes down to it, means very little.
If you are ripped off, it gives you no more legal redress than if it were not there.
It does not help fund you in any way, shape or form.

It’s as effective as all those copyright notices (which are backed by companies with serious money) on music CD’s, program CD’s, DVD’s….. did I mention filesharing ?

One part of strikes me as particularly odd “You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work”. So… I read on jimjamblogger that DVD’s are to be cut in price by Hollywood studios, that jimjamblogger says he thinks “this is good”. I also feel that this is good, and I therefore, when blogging to my page, I elaborate on this sentiment and discuss bootlegging / piracy / economics / demographics. Surely though, I have built on his original work ? Surely therefore I have broken the deed ?
But are you licensing me when I look at your page ? Or are you licensing yourself ?
If it’s the latter, why proclaim it ? Why ? All you are actually doing is saying that you are fully aware of all copyright issues, and that for you to then break them yourself when putting something on your blog would be very foolish. What ? They wouldn’t come after you ? So why have you got a logo that implies you would go after someone else then ? Oh, and saying that you only read the front page before you registered (I assume you do actually have to register for this deed thing) would be no defence would it. Ever told a customer that they should have read the small print ? Ever used the small print against a company ? Never ever sign anything unless you fully understand it. What ? It’s only on the net so it’s not that bad and doesn’t really matter ? Then why the hell have you got that frigging logo then ?
If it’s the former, why is there not a disclaimer screen before I see what I cannot mention elsewhere ? Why is this logo buried at the bottom of a (sometimes ridiculously long) links list ? Why not give a EULA to read and click through before I see your site ?

I can see why someone who maintains a high profile weblog would want to protect what is in effect their intellectual property, especially if writing were their living, but on a bog standard blog ? What’s the point ?

And if you did find a site somewhere that had copied some of your words, or even a picture, how exactly are you going to prove that they nicked it from you ? Server logs don’t last forever, and given that RSS feeds rattle ascii around the planet on millions of different pathways, you’d have to do a hell of a lot of hunting to do – for it is you who would have to do it – to even begin proving your case. Which I doubt you would be able to.

If it goes up on the net, we all know that you should be prepared for anyone to read it, and anyone to nick it. That’s a fact. Hell, Googlebot wanders into your site, steals your words, copies your images – it sure as shit doesn’t read and respect any deed does it ? It’s search results do not warn (even the image search results are flawed – it says that an image may be protected by copyright. As far as I understand, as soon as I have photographed or drawn an image, it’s copyright lies with me in the entirety unless it is of another person in which case that should be resolved with that person). We can try to protect our work (work ? it’s just random key tapping. If that is classed as ‘work’ then wow – I’m fulltime employed !) using robots.txt and secure areas, but we still know we are running a risk that eyes we would rather stay away will pry into those corners.

Like I say, I don’t understand this need for generic, 10 a’penny blogs to carry this little logo.

Oh yes, and just to illustrate the background upon which this must have been based – you don’t think it was an act of altruism that got this thing written do you ? – it says this as the bottom of the main linked page;
“This is a human-readable summary..”
which implies that the full document is not readable by humans.

If you’ve not seen what I’m on about, it’s the Creative Commons Deed

10 thoughts on “Creative Commons Deed

  1. I think that’s almost the point. MT are including in their rollout a piece of legalese, but do not make it entirely clear what the implications are when you tick it. Who does fully read a EULA anyway ?

    And I wasn’t criticising you (or Smeg who also has one) – it just strikes me as a very odd thing to have on a blog.

  2. Why odd? Not everyone thinks the stuff they put on their blogs is so unimportant they will delete it every week or so. If the Creative Commons License stops even one person from stealing a bloggers content then it’s worth the pixel space. MT provides the function to add it, but you have to run through a process to get it added, which includes descriptions of the various options. Sure, you don’t have to read it, and can just click away, but they can only lead a horse to water, not make them drink.

  3. I don’t delete it, I just move it off the net – or did.
    It’s not worth the space because if someone wants to nick it, they will do just that, and having that pixel space filled by this deed gives you no additional legal rights, nor the means to fight against someone who has ‘nicked’ your content.
    So if it gives no rights, gives no assistance, then why bother ?

    Like I said, for your everyday blog, I don’t really see the point…..

  4. Adobe’s Photoshop is copyrighted, protected by patents, has inbuilt protection against piracy, they have a legal department, and their work, their product, has taken many many hours to create, hours that they have paid for. Yet despite all that, it is probably one of the most pirated programs on the net today.
    Their warnings are real, and they will pursue people.
    Doesn’t help them does it ?

  5. Why do you think it gives you no legal rights? Creative Commons Licenses are enforcable, in court, in the US, thats the point of them. If someone ripped my content off, passing it off as their own, and I felt so inclined, I would be able to take them to court and enforce the context of my license.

    Would *I*, over the content of my blog as it stands now? Highly unlikely. But what if I posted something in the future, which did need it? Having the license in place now means all my future work is covered.

    They are working with the University of Oxford to port it to the UK (http://creativecommons.org/projects/international/uk/) and make it so it stands up in a court there also.

    Use it for everyday blogs? Nope, not much point, but what if your everyday blog becomes something different, or something gets picked up on?

    and it’s not a lot of pixel space to give over for something like that, if you care about your content.

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