Most people believe that it is illegal to download music and video files from the Internet, and in most scenarios they are right. Still it can be legal to download files - all you have to do is to look after the Creative Commons mark 'CC'.
Then what is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons, also known as 'CC', is a non-profit organization that allows artists, authors, publishers and musicians the opportunity of creating a flexible copyright law for their works. That means that others are available to legally build upon and to share.
The CC organization has released many copyright licenses known as 'Creative Commons licenses'. The licenses allow the artists to determine which rights they reserve, and which rights they dispense with for the benefit of other artists.
Creative Commons has been described as being at the forefront of the 'Copyleft' movement. The Copyleft which, in contrast to the copyright law, allows every person who receives a copy of the work permission to reproduce, vary or spread the work as long as any copies or variations are also bound by the same Copyleft license law.
Creative Commons seeks to support the building of a larger and richer public area by providing an alternative to the normal 'all rights reserved' copyright; the 'some rights reserved' law.
The artists can login to the 'Creative Commons System' and select what restrictions, attributes or modifications they wish to assign to their works, and then the Creative Commons site will produce three CC licenses for the work.
Creative Commons will provide a commons deed in the licensing rights written in English, a legal code for the license and a digital license code. The digital code can be inserted into websites and search engines, like Yahoo, who has added a new Creative Commons search, which identifies works and recognizes any license condition. The searches can also be set for different types of licenses.
The Creative Commons site also features a website icon that can mark the work as 'Some Rights Reserved' or 'No Rights Reserved'.
There are a variety of license options for the artist so that they can grant some rights to the public and retain some other rights.
Different types of CC licenses:
1. NonCommercial. A non-commercial license lets others copy, distribute, perform works, but only for noncommercial purposes, which also means that anyone using the work cannot profit from it.
2. ShareAlike. A ShareAlike license allows others to distribute works under a license completely identical to the one held by the original copyright holder.
3. NoDerivative Works. A NoDerivative Works allows others to copy, distribute and display the exact copy written works and no derivative works can be created.
4. Attribution. An Attribution license means creative works can be copied, distributed and/or displayed and derivative works can be created, but only if that appropriate credit to the original copyright holder is given.
Creative Commons offers a free tool that let authors, artists, publishers, musicians and even scientists, easily mark their work with the freedoms they want. All in all, you can use CC to change your copyright terms from 'All Rights Reserved' law to 'Some Rights Reserved' law which allows people to share the files.
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