Friday, September 12, 2008

Creative Commons is Cooler than Copyright

The only thing cooler than my alliterative title, is the Creative Commons licensing, and the philosophy behind it. Everyone knows what Copyright is, ya know, the little "c" in a circle thing (©), and how it essentially means that the author has "all rights reserved" on his/her intellectual property.

Creative Commons is cooler than Copyright, because it allows and even promotes sharing, adapting, and resharing creative works. This is incredibly important, so much so, that any educator who isn't aware of Creative Commons licensing should not be teaching, period. A creator chooses who can use it (commercially or not?), whether it can be adapted (and if you have to share it similarly once you do), and how the creator should be attributed to the original work.

While I was teaching, my students loved asking me about legality (remember, this is the digital generation where downloading music and watching videos online is quite common). When I shared Creative Commons with them (by performing one of my compositions, then inviting them to remix it as they pleased), they understood, and fell in love with it.

Again, why an educator wouldn't know and use a license where their property (including lessons plans, worksheets, presentations, podcasts, images, etc!) can be shared and adapted, befuddles me to no end. I learned early that good teachers create, but master teachers borrow, steal, and remix. Doing it legally, by using Creative Commons, everybody wins!

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