There are a number of misconceptions that many people have regarding the images, sounds, music, video and text that they find on the Internet. Here are some common misconceptions and responses to why you as an individual should be careful what you reuse from the Internet:
What's the best way to avoid having to struggle with the complex ideas of copyright? Use public domain and Creative Commons content!
The following table highlights some items that are currently in the public domain. For more information see Cornell University's Guide to Copyright.
|Date of publication||Conditions||Copyright Term|
|Before 1923||None||Public domain|
|1923 through 1977||Published without a copyright notice||Public domain|
|1923 through 1963||Published with notice||If the copyright was not renewed, then it is in the public domain. If the copyright was renewed, then 95 years after publication.|
|1964 through 1977||Published with notice||95 years after publication|
|1978 to 1 March 1989||Published without a copyright notice||Public domain OR 70 years after the death of the author (plus many other restrictions) depending on whether or not the item was registered|
|1 March 1989 through 2002||Date of creation||Depends on the date of creation|
|After 2002||None||70 years after the death of the author (plus many additional detailed restrictions)|
|Anytime||Works prepared by employees of the U.S. government as part of their duties||Public domain|
"Creative Commons develops, supports and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." - From Creative Commons.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that has developed free tools for creating copyright licenses. Content owners can define how their work can be reused and users can license items that match their usage of the work. Below is a listing of Creative Commons licenses, with their allowed use explained. For more information on each of these licenses, click on the type of license or the logo:
|Type of License||Logo||Allowed Use|
|Attribution CC BY||Distribute, remix, tweak and recreate (also commercially) as long as the creator is attributed.|
|Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA||Distribute, remix, tweak and recreate (also commercially) as long as the creator is attributed AND whatever you create is also licensed under the same CC license.|
|Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND||Redistribution for commercial and non-commercial purposes - cannot be modified, and the creator must be attributed.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC||Distribute, remix, tweak and recreate NON-COMMERCIALLY as long as the creator is attributed.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA||Distribute, remix, tweak and recreate NON-COMMERCIALLY as long as the creator is attributed AND whatever you create is also licensed under the same CC license.|
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND||Redistribution for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes - cannot be modified, and the creator must be attributed.|
When licensing Creative Commons content, you may want to ask yourself (1) if you're using the item for commercial or non-commercial purposes, (2) are you changing the work in any way, and (3) does the item have a "ShareAlike" or "SA" license. IF the item has a ShareAlike license, you must ALSO license the work under the exact same license.