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July 07, 2003

Licensing your video content - digital copyright and the Creative Commons

Addition (October 19, 2003) - I've just posted my new tutorial article entitled Creative Commons Licensing For Digital Media (audio and video) on streamingmedia.com. How-to, and why-to use CC for your audio and video projects.

These days, just about everyone that creates content is concerned about copyright.  Likewise, content creators and consumers alike know that copyright is as much about allowing use of content as it is about restricting it.  After all, there's not much use in publishing your stuff if no one's allowed to make use of it (RIAA/MPAA, take notice)!  The Creative Commons, a project of Stanford Law School, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and others, aims to help.  From the CC website:

Creative Commons has developed a Web application that helps people dedicate their creative works to the public domain -- or retain their copyright while licensing them as free for certain uses, on certain conditions. ... Creative Commons licenses are not designed for software, but rather for other kinds of creative works: websites, scholarship, music, film, photography, literature, courseware, etc.  [more explanation of licenses]

While initially developed for Web pages, Creative Commons licenses can now be tagged to MP3 files.  The CC technique not only tags content with an approriate license, but it also provides a way to drive traffic to the content creator's website.  The technique here can easily be applied to video and audio content encoded using RealNetworks, Windows Media, or QuickTime tools.  There's never been a better way to both protect copyright and advertise public access to digital video.  And there's no excuse not to do it. Protect your content, empower your viewers, and contribute to the success of CC...all at once!

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