Permission or Free Culture?

Creative Commons logoDisclaimers like “this video is not owned” and that “no copyright infringement is intended” have zero legal validity.  It used to be that copyright was only enforced against commercial copyright infringement.  But we’re living in copyright crazy times.

In most of the world, any video (music, painting, movie, story poem etc.) that is created is automatically locked into copyright by the videographer/maker.

The reason Lawrence Lessig calls ours “permission culture” is because when you copy ANYTHING under such copyright law without getting permission from the copyright holder (who may not be the creator) you are committing copyright infringement.    copyright jail ~ by question copyright

Copyright infringement used to be a purely civil matter, but as it is “strengthened,” not only is it becoming harder to tell what is infringement, it is becoming criminalized, which means anyone– from school kids to grandparents — needs to be aware of this in self defence.

Since everything starts out copyrighted, sharing it is copyright infringement, which is illegal most places–  unless it is in the public domain or it is licensed to share with a free culture license like Creative Commons.

If you want people to share your story, poem, song, picture, video etc. here is the Creative Commons tool to select the license *you* want.

The Question Copyright “Copyright Jail” is by Nina Paley

Licensing your Tumblog

copyright jail ~ by question copyright

Tumblr is full of people exuberantly infringing copyright as they share culture. Rather than risking copyright infringement, I prefer to stick to free culture works ~ which are either licensed to share or in the public domain.

I also take care to credit and attribute anything I reblog, even if it is public domain work.

Many Tumblr themes come with a built in Copyright All Righs Reserved declaration.

But if you’re like me, if you think culture should be shared freely, you don’t have to leave your tumblog locked up in copyright – you can give your Tumblog a free culture license instead.

Tumblr allows users to publish our blogs under any license we like.
Here’s how:

There is a menu at the top of your dashboard that has a gear icon (second from the right)

When you click the gear you get a menu
>choose EDIT THEME

Now you’ll be in the customize menu, and in the left sidebar at the top you will see “Custom theme” and directly under this
>>click the link that says Edit HTML >

In the Edit HTML sidebar hold down the Control key and press “F” (for find)
and a search bar will appear at the top of the sidebar

in the search box type © 2014
> press the down arrow and it will take you right to the place that says © 2014

This is where you can type in the details of the license information you wish
to replace © 2014 with:

<a rel=”license” href=””><img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0″ src=”×31.png” /></a><br />
<a href=”” rel=””cc:attributionURL””>The NAME OF YOUR TUMBLR</a> by YOUR NAME HERE is licensed under a <a href=”””” rel=””license””>Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License</a>

which will look like this:
Creative Commons License
The NAME OF YOUR TUMBLR by YOUR NAME HERE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Have fun spreading free culture!

Image Credit:
Public Domain Copyright Jail by Nina Paley @ Question Copyright