What is a Creative Common and those other nagging IP questions…

Now I’ve been blogging for about 3 months or so and I’ve racked up a ‘massive’ 60+ articles – seriously. I’m getting a steady stream of views, some comments and people are actually Googling for my blog – scary!

So for this post I wanted to investigate the rules regarding picture usage, specifically on blogs such as my own.

I am using two sources for guidance – the first, the Creative Commons (which is sadly not a district in Dubai Media City) guidelines and secondly the Chartered Institute of Public Relation’s IP Guide.

This is my own photograph – if you use it without my permission, I will find you… lol

I have used licenses from the Creative Commons to ‘protect’ some of my earlier blog postings. But honestly, I keep forgetting to copy/paste over the code and have since given up. (Now that people are seeking me out, and that I have some pretty decent multimedia content there now, perhaps I should begin again…)

I am specifically looking for guidance on how I can use the images that I am locating on Google searches within my blog. The following articles seem most relevant:

Does a Creative Commons license give me all the rights I need to use the work?

It depends. All CC licenses contain a disclaimer of warranties, meaning that the licensor is not guaranteeing anything about the work, including whether she owns the copyright, has received permission to include third-party works within her work, or secured other rights such as through the use of model releases if a person’s image is used in the work.

You may want to be sure that permission was obtained to use any third party content contained in the CC licensed work you want to use.

How do I properly attribute a work offered under a Creative Commons license?

All CC licenses require users to attribute the original creator(s) of a work, unless the creator has waived that requirement or asked that her name be removed from an adaptation or collection. CC licenses have a sophisticated and flexible attribution requirement, so there is not necessarily one correct way to provide attribution. The proper method for giving credit will depend on the medium and means you are using, and may be implemented in any reasonable manner, although in the case of an adaptation or collection the credit needs to be as prominent as credits for other contributors.

The CIPR guidance is excellent as well as it covers different angles. The most pertinent for me today is the following paragraph.

Images downloaded from the Internet and put into a presentationMembership Logo of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
If it’s on the Internet, anybody can use it, right? Wrong: you can use it if it is explicitly marked ‘copyright free’ (or a similar phrase). Otherwise, you are running the risk of being sued for copyright infringement. Rights owners often belong to organisations that track down and chase cases of unauthorised copying.

Now I think this is pretty clear. Although its probably impossible to track down and punish every blogger out there, we should endeavour where possible to attribute creative work to the author/designer.

Now that I have my new Canon digital camera I intend to use a lot more of my own images where possible and pledge to be more vigilant in my use of Googled imagery.

A Summary of Creative Common Licenses

Creative Commons at a glance

Obtained from Squidoo within an article by Kimberly Dawn Wells


About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit www.mepra.org, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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