Rewriting Rules of Copyright…?

Image from Creative Commons website

Image from Creative Commons website

So what I find really great about this article is that its talking about all the new possibilities made accessible to people who wanted to innovate certain types of art. The article starts off by mentioning, of course, that music is such a prevalent area in which mixing occurs–which makes sense with the amount of remixes we have circulating the internet. However, like with anything else, the problem boils itself down to making sure everyone’s intellectual and creative property is protected. But how could we do this and still continue to create mixed versions of art? How can we give credit where credit is due but also acknowledge our own contributions?

The answer to this came in the genius form of Creative Commons, which we obviously observed in our class the previous Monday. What I find so interesting however, is that no one really had a way to do this prior to Creative Commons in a way that was both comprehensive and easy to manage. Directly from the article Ariana Cha writes, “[Lawrence] Lessig argues that the current system of copyright laws provides little flexibility — either you give up all permissions for use of your work or you withhold everything. He proposed a solution: a set of copyright licenses that would allow artists to choose to keep ‘some rights reserved’ rather than ‘all rights reserved.'” This is such a brilliant method of encouraging collaboration, especially in an age where everyone is concerned about the exact amount of rights they have once they release something into the beast that is the internet.

As a writer, who also follows other aspiring writers, I’ve sat down to read works that have presently been taken down because the original author has been made aware of plagiarizing of that material on another site. Sometimes its harmless, in which another person wants to genuinely share the work because they love it so much and are a fan–or want to spread the word about the work. But other times its very malicious in which another person will masquerade as a different author claiming that it is her/his original work. Then there are sometimes translated version which also forget to give attribution to the proper author. For this reason, many great novels-in-progress have been taken away or deleted or discontinued because of these writers’ fears that their work will be forever plagiarized. This leads to a decrease in postings as well as many disappointed followers. Its definitely a huge impediment in getting your work out there.

A great thing about these networks is that they’re a good way to not only have your work edited for free, more or less, but also a chance to see if your work is in the right place for a specific audience. This can be so important in relation to projects you are just trying to test out versus serious endeavors that you’re trying to make succeed. The article stresses the importance of the ability to keep creating, and not being afraid to share that creation in the space where the most amount of people can see it. You can get exposure in a way that would be just so much harder to do in real life. A hit on your page or a recommendation could lead to as many as 500-1000 different set of eyes looking at your work and helping to either make it substantial or better. These collaborations are so important on so many levels for people who are aspiring to share their work or make themselves a presence. In the case of the writers I follow, some of their blogs or stories have been so successful that they have led to publications and accolades.

Creative Common will give other writers and artists or collaborators the opportunity to further extend that community in a way that will make the owner feel safe or protected. I think its absolutely amazing to have access to art from places like Nevada or California that I could possibly never come into contact with living just inside of a suburb within New Jersey. The ability to become a part of a different cultural movement, be involved in the development of a novel, piece of music, or photography is incredible. We shouldn’t take those opportunities for granted, but at the same time we need to be aware and conscientious of our roles in crediting where its due. The article ends with this great description of a start-up online record company just to underscore the amazing abilities that things like Creative Commons gives us the opportunity to do–in a way that benefits those who use it and those who created it. If Creative Commons could seriously become the common language that we use in the crazy world that is the internet, I believe we’d be creating a much more tight-knit online community.


  1. I like how you brought up the idea of Creative Commons as a cultural movement. By being able to share work from all over, people are introduced to different types or art and different cultures. It does bring people together in that way, and people should want to use Creative Commons for that reason. Great post!

  2. I like how this post goes very in-depth about Creative Commons because I was a little confused by this site at first. What I will say about this site is that I do think it is a great idea. I think it is original and a great place for artists to turn too in a less formal way. The only concern I had about this was that although I agree it is a great idea, I had heard nothing about this site before this class. Therefore, if they were to advertise more, I think it would reach a greater audience causing a larger participating pool of candidates!

  3. You raised an important point about the flexibility of Creative Commons. Lawrence Lessig’s concept of having “some rights reserved” instead of “all rights reserved,” like traditional copyright laws. I agree that such flexibility definitely encourages collaboration among artists, as well as the creation of new forms of art. Instead of focusing their attentions on legal restrictions and limitations, artists are free to focus all their energies on their works. Such a progression has resulted in the rise of new genres of music, for instance, as well as creative adaptions of previous works.

  4. Your response highlighted many thoughtful points. I agree that Creative Commons is a brilliant creation, encouraging people to make collaboration and gain exposure. Furthermore, while gaining exposure they still feel protected. It is sad that many great writers probably discontinued their work due to fear of plagiarizing. That is why it is so important for more people to gain knowledge about creative commons.

  5. I think Creative Commons was a brilliant creation because, as you highlighted, it facilitates more of a collaboration between artists but also allows them to gain exposure. This really speaks to me because I have personally been plagiarized, so I feel that we really need Creative Commons.

  6. You make a good point that CC is great for up and coming artists hoping to gain exposure. I think it is a great resource for that purpose since people who are careful to avoid copyright infringement will promote artists who want their work to be shared. My only qualm is that if it becomes more mainstream people will start expecting artists to shell out their work for free, which just isn’t right.

  7. I like how you mentioned how before Creative Commons, people either gave up all rights to their works or reserved all rights to their works, there was no in between. I also like how you talked about people contributing on to previous works or modifying them in their own ways to create something different and new, without infringing on the original piece of work that was published. Comparing Creative Commons to a cultural movement is also a very interesting, but very valid, way of looking at what it does for people.

  8. I really like the point you made about how no one really knew how to use others work properly before Creative Commons was created. It really is so helpful and gives you all the information you would need to avoid any problems. It is a great way for artists to share work if they want it to be shared or contribute to them. It is definitely a more safer and protected way to go about finding photos than any other alternative.

  9. I agree that Creative Commons is an excellent source and I liked that you touched on attention and sharing. I think the best part of creative commons is that artists are ideally getting more attention and free advertising so that even if they aren’t necessarily making money up front, it will most likely happen in the long run. Through creative commons, people who mean no harm to the original artist can now use their works for free and the artist can be recognized and gain more attention as you pointed out. I guess, the only problem with creative commons is getting it more attention

  10. Creative Commons Media is a great invention because as you pointed out in your article, it allows artists or photographers to be able to gain recognition or publicity of their artwork. I would not want to plagiarize someones work accidentally and then be sued for my mistake. Creative Commons prevent that from happening and is a wonderful resource for all bloggers.

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