Creative Commons is a good way for internet users to share content whilst maintaining ownership over their work. Increasingly the internet and editing tools have allowed creative types to use other peoples works as building blocks to create new content. For this reason traditional copyright laws are arguably redundant. If someone has created something completely new out of your work have they really breached copyright? Musicians like like girltalk would be liable to pay much more in royalties than they actually earned from the music under traditional copywriting laws.
CC is a progressive way for users to allow their content to be reproduced, re-used and remixed whilst having the original source attributed. The benefits of this is multifaceted. Firstly, it means the original author is more likely to be attributed. By clearly publishing a CC licence you are reminded viewers that the content is yours and you’d like to be attributed. Also if you allow your work to be reproduced by others, they are more likely to attribute you when they do so, because online copyright laws can be confusing often people avoid attributing the original creator for fear they have infringed on copywriting law. Having the work clearly labelled eliminates this fear.
Secondly, it makes it easier for people to find content for creative projects. This in turn should lead to people having more access to content to re-build, reproduce and remix.
Here’s an example of an effective remix which is more than likely in breach of traditional copyright laws. This series of remix videos has been so effective that it has been reposted by different users multiple times despite having been taken down by youtube for breach of copyright. It has also inspired a fake Facebook profile which has over 30’000 subscribers.
Creative Commons is a great first step in allowing people the freedom to play with content and create new content. It’s a great first step, it would however be more successful if more major publishers embraced it and where more flexible with their licence. Who knows, hopefully any exposure and lack of attribution they are currently suffering will eventually lead to this happening in the future.