Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thinking about Content Licensing

A while back, I got an e-mail from a firm asking me if they could use one of my photos of Atlantic City to create artwork for a piece they were doing on Boardwalk Empire. Could they? Could they? Heck yeah! For about 45 minutes I felt like an absolute rock star. Unfortunately, they quickly got back to me and told me that I had missed their deadline and they had to go another route. Alas, I missed out on a few minutes of my 15 minutes of fame.

Tonight, as I published some code, I got to thinking again about the content I publish here and how I'm happy to have folks use it.

It occurred to me, I really should put up some sort of legal statement that makes the rules of how you can use the content I publish here clear. Of course, I know nothing about the technical pitfalls of this sort of thing.

Luckily, the Creative Commons folks have done the heavy lifting. They even have a quick little tool you can use to to figure out which license of theirs you'd like to attach to your work. I ran through this and arrive at this one:

Creative Commons License
This work by Ben Simon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Going through this exercise has been a good one. It has given me a chance to think about who I want using my content and how I want it to be used. Of course, you may find the Creative Commons too broad - but for me, it seems to work perfectly. Regardless, if you publish content on the web, even as a personal blog, it's probably an important exercise to go through.

Now, when someone stumbles on my work and wants to use it, hopefully, they'll be no roadblocks in their way. 15 minute of fame, here I come!

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