If you aren’t familiar with “Creative Commons (CC)”, here is what it is (quoted from the official website).
Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that increases sharing and improves collaboration.
That is, unlike the mostly used copyright license, “All rights reserved”, which strictly restrict the use of works licensed under it, CreativeCommons allows the content to be licensed in a variety of ways so that it will benefit more people in more ways. There are four basic CC licenses:
- Attribution: You are free to re-use the specified content, provided you give due credits (as set-forth by the creator)
- Share Alike: If you re-use some CC licensed work, you should license the new work under the same license as that of the original work
- Non Commercial: You may use the content freely (attribution not necessary), but ONLY for non commercial purposes
- No Derivative Works: You are asked to use the work/content as is, and not to modify or derive from it
You can license your work under any of these four or their combinations (like Attribution – Non commercial – Share Alike which is the license I use for this post and all other posts of mine on this blog)
Why CC should go mainstream
It could be said without a doubt that there is a huge volume of proprietary scientific and technical information going under-utilized just because the licenses prevent them to be re-used or to derive from them. If CC and such open-rights are used to license these data, much more development could happen. Don’t you think ?
Why not yet?
Because where CC license stands legally is still not clear. Thus, it is understandable that people refuse to license the results of their hard work under CC and see those get adapted or published without any credit.