Creative Commons Licensing

Today I put one of the relatively painless but important finishing touches on our website: I published a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License for the Farmer Group’s original content.

Why do I say original content? That’s a very important distinction, as I found out. There are only a couple quick questions you have to answer to find the right license before you publish it. However, when you are making up your mind about whether to use a license, there are a few things to consider. Since some of the content for our final project is collected from other sources, we obviously do not own the copyright to them. We can not claim copyright over things like quotes from Lay Bare the Heart or public domain stuff like the videos of Farmer in the Senate of Virginia. What we can claim is some of what we write and any pictures that we take (emphasis is on what WE take, thus “original”), like our pictures of the bust or Farmer’s awards.

What our license says right now is that none of our original content can be used without attributing us, no one can make money off of it, and they can’t modify it. I highly recommend doing this to the other groups, although your copyright situations may vary. We are actually claiming very little from our project with this license, but it still establishes our legal rights over our own work.

Update, 4/19/2008: I think that it is worth adding to this statement that the James Farmer Project’s videos that we have uploaded to YouTube are subject to YouTube’s Terms of Use, which we, the James Farmer Group, agreed to when we uploaded them. YouTube reserves the right “to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business.” Therefore, YouTube may use our work, but with the understanding that the content of our work in the videos is all in the public domain.

One Response to “Creative Commons Licensing”

  1. Reverend Says:

    You couldn’t be more right here. The Creative Commons attribution is extremely important, and let’s others know that you have both done original work, yet are willing to share it freely under certain, very clear, conditions. This will make th questions of sourcing, attribution, and, as you suggest, a certain level of right over your work clear to anyone who comes to your site. It is really cool to see your group think about this stuff.

    So, bravo!