Minds of Carolina as Leader: Intellectual Property Rights and the Creative Commons
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Minds of Carolina will also place UNC-Chapel Hill at the cutting edge of intellectual property rights activities. We will provide contributors with mechanisms by which they can easily offer Creative Commons (www.creativecommons.org) licenses to their content. Creative Commons “is a non-profit corporation founded on the notion that some people may not want to exercise all of the intellectual property rights the law affords them.” Creative Commons seeks to develop licenses and other means by which authors and more generally, creators of intellectual property of all types, can reserve some rights to their works but not strictly limit copying and use as does the US federal copyright laws. Use of a Creative Commons license allows creators to gain widespread exposure and distribution of their products and to be in the mainstream of scholarly exchange while ensuring some protection of their property.
Creative Commons, launched in the fall of 2002, offers four free licences that “help people tell the world that their copyrighted works are free for sharing -- but only on certain conditions” and which contributors may mix and match as their needs require. The four licenses described on the CC webiste are:
- Attribution. Permit others to copy, distribute, display,
and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only if they give
the creator credit.
Example: Jane publishes her photograph with an Attribution license, because she wants the world to use her pictures, provided they give her credit. Bob finds her photograph online and wants to display it on the front page of his website. Bob puts Jane's picture on his site, and clearly indicates Jane's authorship.
- Noncommercial. Permit others to copy, distribute, display,
and perform the work and derivative works based upon it only for noncommercial
Examples: Nick publishes his photograph with a Noncommercial license. Nora incorporates a piece of Nick’s image into a collage poster. Nora is not allowed to sell her collage poster without Nick’s permission.
- No Derivative Works. Permit others to copy, distribute,
display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works
based upon it.
Example: Sara licenses a recording of her song with a No Derivative Works license. Joe would like to cut Sara's track and mix it with his own to produce an entirely new song. Joe cannot do this without Jane's permission (unless his song amounts to fair use).
- Share Alike. Permit others to distribute derivative works
only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
Example: Nick’s online photo is licensed under the Noncommercial and Share Alike terms. Nora is an amateur collage artist, and she takes Nick’s photo and puts it into one of her collages. This Share Alike language requires Nora to make her collage available on a Noncommercial plus Share Alike license. It makes her offer her work back to the world on the same terms Nick gave her.
These licenses were created by legal professionals and legal scholars including Lawrence Lessig (Stanford), James Boyle (Duke), and Michael Carroll (Villanova) to allow for sharing of materials in the very spirit of the Minds of Carolina project, that is, bringing our common intellectual insights and inspirations to the others, especially the citizens of North Carolina.