Saturday, May 14, 2005

Notes from: Power to the librarians? (Creative Commons)

Presentation by Marcus Bornfreund, Project Leader, Creative Commons Canada

- Creative Commons is a copyright tool.  It 
  allows people to reserve some of their 
  copyright and express that to other people.
- Scope of this presentation is technology law 
  and information (no politics).

Intellectual property.
- Definition: A set of rules that aims to 
  balance the rights of a creator with the 
  rights of users.
- Protects the manner in which an idea is 
  expressed.
- "Free as in price" is different from "free 
  as in freedom" (to use, modify, etc.).

2 groups of copyrightable objects:
- Software (not discussed in this 
  presentation).
- Non-software.

Spectrum of restrictiveness.
- "All rights reserved".
 - All copyright is granted to the 
   creator, with some exception (i.e.  
   'fair dealings').  Creator can waive 
   some of these rights.
 - All rights are reserved even without 
   the symbol.  You just need to know 
   (prove?) the date of creation.
- "Some rights reserved".
 - This is a grey area.
- "No rights reserved".
 - Public domain.

- Six creative commons licenses of varying 
  restriction.
- If we can't protect the expression of ideas 
  we are reluctant to share them.  Thus 
  Creative Commons can be thought of as a 
  "sharing space".
- "We are presently in an information 
  revolution", because the structure of 
  information sharing has changed.
- 'Plugs' the value of networks.
- Short movie marketing the Creative Commons 
  licences, and website.

Rundown of some of the CC rights:
- Attribution.
 - Give credit.
- ShareAlike.
 - Derivatives allowed.
- NoDerivataves.
- NonCommercial.
 - Derivatives can not be used for 
   commercial purposes.

- Website walks users through the process of 
  choosing a license.
- Because copyright laws are different in 
  Canada, Canadian licenses are somewhat 
  different from the generic licences.
- CC Canadian licences are legally 
  enforceable.
- CC presented as a solution to the copyright 
  problems of digital objects.
 - Content of blogs and newsfeeds, for 
   example, are copyrightable.

How is CC useful to library and information 
sciences?
- Institutional repositories for digital 
  materials created by members of a University 
  provide a perfect application for CC.  Some 
  inst. repositories have CC license 
  generators built in to them.  We need to 
  understand these licenses so we can explain 
  them to users.  Librarians should be 
  "illuminating the way".
- What do we do when we digitize works with 
  copyright still in effect (it's kind of 
  messy).  New works are easier to apply 
  licenses to.

Questions:
- Q: The more steps you have in the process of 
  submitting something the less likely people 
  will submit (in the context of inst. 
  repositories).  Please comment on this.
- A: "It's a bit of a juggling act".  In some 
  cases a single license can be applied to the 
  entire collection.

- Q: How would you attach the CC logo to a 
  .pdf document?
- A: It can be imbedded in the document 
  itself.

- Q: Is CC for traditionally published works 
  as well (i.e. books, journals)?
- A: It is exceptionally applicable to digital 
  works, but it can (and, perhaps, will) be 
  applied to all sorts of things including 
  books, journals, etc.

Some final words:
- Don't get attached to the product, get 
  attached to the idea.
- Something to worry about: What if you can 
  convince scholars to share their work, but 
  they pick the most restrictive license?
- This is just the beginning of a revolution 
  and we have to pace ourselves and work 
  through it intelligently.
--Notes by Charles Dunham