Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beware of Copyright

From the Mises Economics Blog

When an author signs a publication contract, insofar as it contains strict and traditional copyright notices, he is pretty much signing his life away. It used to be that the publisher would maintain control only so long as the book is in print. Today, with digital printing, this means forever: your lifetime plus 70 years.

During this time, you can't even quote significant portions of your own writing without permission from the publisher, and you could find yourself paying the publisher for the rights. You can't read your own book aloud and sell the results. You certainly can't give a journal a chapter.

You are done for. You sold your soul and you can't get it back. Not within your lifetime. Your creation, which copyright is designed to protect, is now the possession of someone else.

So I say to all authors: please look at your contracts. Don't sign your life away. Publish on the condition of Creative Commons. Claim your rights back as a creator and an author.

How does this work? You have to copyright your work if only to prevent others from claiming copyright and thereby binding all other living persons, including you, from publishing it. Once you claim copyright, add that it is published under the Creative Common License 3.0. This rids your manuscript or song or painting of copyright's provision of doom: the requirement that only one institution can control it.

In other words, it makes your creation part of the free market. It can be posted, recorded, shown, photograph, celebrated by one and all forever. Isn't this why you create in the first place? Isn't this what drove you to write, paint, photograph, sing, or whatever? You want to make a difference. You want credit for your work. This permits this.

Read the entire article here.

Read our previous post on "Negotiating a CC License".

Go here to flip through some of the our books which are under the CC license.

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