Copyright thinking

Helen DeWaard was good enough to drop by the blog on Friday and toss in a comment about my thoughts on her blog post.

Thanks for answering the questions, Doug. It’s something I think we (educators) should consider as we share our skills, talents, ideas and meandering professional practices in blogs, tweets, snapchats or instagrams! Put a CC license on creative works as a default setting, even if it’s just that one more bit of work before you publish or post. Teaching our students as we lead by example will help them also consider copyright and sharing in digital spaces. It’s part of moving students from citizenship to leadership that Jennifer Casa-Todd writes about.
I’m sure there will be a future blog post that dips further into the fair dealing conversation you’re looking for – it’s a common thread in Creative Commons conversations as well.

There was sentence in all that that had me thinking over the weekend.

Put a CC license on creative works as a default setting, even if it’s just that one more bit of work before you publish or post.

I don’t do that.  Instead, I’ve opted for the easy (coward’s?) way out.

You actually have to navigate to the “About” page on this blog to see how I have applied copyright to my creations.


I remember creating this very vividly.  It had five important points for me:

  1. it allows me to write about whatever I want, whenever I want, and the license to be inconsistent and “off the record”.  In other words, don’t fact check me because I may change my perspective over time;
  2. it gives an indication to people about how I would expect that people would treat my efforts.  I spend a great deal of time reading the Creative Commons options at the time and chose this one;
  3. it allows me to demonstrate how Creative Commons could be used to place a licensing on work;
  4. it gives me the chance to show others that I value what I do enough to put a license on it.  I think everyone, including students who create content should do so’
  5. it’s applied once on the blog and covers all the content.  I deliberately did it that way to avoid having the statement “in your face” at every turn.

But her statement got me thinking.  Does the fact that I lazily put a blanket statement on just the one page actually make the effort useless?

Answer this question – have you ever checked out my about page?  I would suspect most people, except for the morbidly curious, haven’t.

And, if you haven’t, you won’t have read the license part unless you had stumbled on it with one of my posts talking about licensing.

What makes this even more worth pondering was the inclusion of Deborah McCallum’s post about the MathPod in the same post of mine.  Deborah takes a different approach.  If you read to the bottom of her posts, you’ll see that she applies a full copyright to every post.  To this observer, she obviously takes great pride and places value on her work.  By not doing so, do I value my work less?

There’s also the digital thing.  Many people think of digital has having less copyrightable value than traditional media i.e. books, just because it’s more easily exploited and anyone can create it.

Getting back to Helen’s point – should a blogger or other digital creating type of person take that extra moment to apply their copyright statement to each and every piece of media they create?  Does that carry more importance than one blanket statement on the blog, wiki, website, etc. where it’s hosted?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.  I see myself coming down solidly on both sides of the fence on this one.


OTR Links 10/23/2017

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.