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Why I Use Creative Commons

posted Jan 20, 2012, 8:31 AM by Kyle Willey
    Though I don't outright say it, most of my projects on this site are licensed under a CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license (all of Drifting, Zombie Flavored Doom, Our Glorious DIshwasher). This is pretty much as restrictive as it gets under Creative Commons, but it also means a couple things for my work that benefit me.

    First, anyone can redistribute my work. They can't sell it (NC stands for non-commercial), and they have to give me credit (BY stands for attribution), but they can both modify it and show it to others without any fear of legal action (noting, of course, that the SA means "share alike" and anyone who uses my products in theirs must keep my license). But, since I don't sell my stuff myself this isn't hurting me in any way, and all it really means is that I lose a little bit of traffic, which I shed no tears over. I'm more concerned that I cannot track how much people are following my work, since I use that to determine what I should work on next, but I often just work on whatever I feel like.

    Second, I increase awareness of the Creative Commons license and foundation, meaning that by producing some free stuff I encourage others to produce free stuff. Admittedly, I grew up half-immersed in the FOSS movement so I have a long-standing desire to share my stuff to anyone who will listen, but I do feel that it is perhaps a better alternative to current copyright law in a digital age. After all, it costs me nothing if people share my work. It still gets credited to me no matter where it goes; I've never seen people fail to attribute the creator, and while I may have gripes with certain methods of sharing files being on the verge of commercial, I'm not overly concerned with it.

    Third, even though what I write isn't exactly enlightening (at least by my own judgments), it still adds to the sum of human knowledge, and I believe that it should be free for all to access. It may not be a giant contribution, but it would be almost stingy of me to prevent others from saying that I said what I said. I'm not really a fan of things like journal archives where you have these massive amounts of human knowledge available to only a select few. I mean, sure I'm probably a little unduly influenced by science fiction works like The Right to Read, which is eerily similar to how I have to use my electronic aspects of textbooks. I just feel that if I have something to contribute, even if it's not much, I'm going to buck the trend and give it away, because I can't think of anything less ethical than restricting knowledge that could benefit society.