• Participating in the Creative Commons for MLS

    by  • December 8, 2012 • Presentations • 0 Comments

    A few weeks ago I delivered my Creative Commons presentation online for the Massachusetts Library System. Here’s the recording of that session.

    Participating in Creative Commons from Massachusetts Library System on Vimeo.

    There were also a few comments and questions passed along with with evaluation that I thought I’d respond to here for the benefit of all. (I’ve e-mailed the folks that submitted their contact information to let them know this info is here.) Feel free to address further questions or comments in this post’s comments if you wish to continue the conversation.

    “When various “copyright” situations arise, where is the best place to go to find the answers?”

    Let’s start with a hard one and I’ll try to avoid “it depends” as an answer. Not knowing your particular situation, if you’re the cautious type, I’d say speak to whomever in your library is responsible for this sort of thing. That might be the director, or the relevant city, town, campus attorney. At least, that’s the person to speak to if you have a particular question. However, I will warn you that chances are, if it gets to that point their answer is most likely going to be something along the lines of “ask for permission, failing that, don’t do whatever it is you want to do.” Remember, their job is to help not get your library sued so they’re generally going to be on the cautious side.

    If you’re just looking for some online resources and I’ve just over analized your question, here are a few I’d suggest:

    “Not clear on how to attribute cc images that are used as clip art.”

    I’m going to assume that you’re using clipart that is CC-licensed. The short answer is give credit somewhere pointing back to the source of the clip art. How, depends on the platform on which you’re using the clip art. If it’s on w Web site, I’d put a footer on the page with a hyperlink, or maybe on some sort of credits page if you have one for the site. In print, I’d put it in a footer or at the end of a longer document. In a PowerPoint slide, I generally, put a small URL on the particular slide, while others create a credits slide at the end. Basically, the same way you’d cite a CC-licensed photo.

    “‘Share Alike’ always is bit puzzling–if some of the content in the work has a stricter CC license OR is used based on a Fair Use analysis. The whole “commercial” vs. “non-commercial” definitions…”

    As I understand it, if the source content has a “share alike” license you need to license your new creation under a “similar” license. i.e. the license you use can’t be more restrictive than the license of the content you’re re-used. Yes, this is a but confusing and why I stopped using a share alike license on my content. Once I did that, re-use of my content went up. (Though I can’t actually prove causality on this one.)

    The idea of “what is non-commercial” is one of those problems I raise in my presentation so I don’t have a particular answer. Simply, it ultimately ends up being in the eye of the creator and their opinion trumps yours unless you’d like to settle it in court. However, in my experience most who license their content as non-commercial are pretty liberal in their opinions. For example, I’ve never had someone complain about my use of one of their non-commercially-licensed photos in a presentation for which I was paid to deliver. However, if I was to take their photo and then exclusively sell access to that presentation, most would consider that commercial use.

    “Still wondering about transcriptions of historical documents (docs in public domain). Thinking of deeds and also a diary. Related question too about photographs taken of historical artifacts, for instance a duck decoy or scrimshaw (both 1800’s, but modern photo of both)”

    I remember this question from the end of the session and I think the example helps. Keeping in mind I’m not a lawyer, here’s my current thoughts on this situation. In these cases you’re creating a derivative work based on the out-of-copyright original (either a transcript or photo) and therefore can claim copyright on the new work. If you can claim copyright, you can license it under creative commons should you wish to do so.

    The only situation in which I think giving it a CC license would be useless would be for a transcript of something so common so as to make it easy for someone else to create the same sort of work. For example, if you transcribe the US Constitution, assigning a CC license would be practically worthless since who’s to say someone else is using your transcription or their own. If however, you’re creating a transcript of something that you have the only copy of, then I could see it working.

    “The narration and the slides did not always jibe, making it confusing at times.”

    This is unfortunately a bandwidth issue that can not be completely controlled. I’m very familiar with the platform that was used for this presentation (GoToWebinar) and when I change a slide, that change then needs to propagate to everyone in attendance. Those on a face connection will see those changes sooner, while those on slower connections we have a bit of a delay. Normally this isn’t a problem, but for this particular presentation, since I change the slides very often, the effect is more noticeable.

    About

    Michael Sauers is currently the Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska and has been training librarians in technology for more than 15 years. He has also been a public library trustee, a bookstore manager for a library friends group, a reference librarian, serials cataloger, technology consultant, and bookseller. He earned his MLS in 1995 from the University at Albany’s School of Information Science and Policy. Michael’s twelfth book, Google Search Secrets (w/ Christa Burns) was published October 2013 and has two more books on the way. He has also written dozens of articles for various journals and magazines. In his spare time he blogs at travelinlibrarian.info, runs Web sites for authors and historical societies, takes many, many photos, and reads more than 100 books a year.

    http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/

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