Digi Domi

Sharing my passion for technology and learning.

CC for everything?

I was at a conference a few months ago, presenting a poster and a thought suddenly occurred to me. With people taking photos on their mobile devices do we need to protect our work more?

Previously I had never really thought of putting a Creative Commons (CC) license on my presentation slides or posters, as it was obvious they were mine ( I was the one stood next to them, or delivering them). But with so much sharing of content, including Instagramming of presentation slides (or frames for my Prezi peeps), should I make sure people know where the content came from? After all I work in a University that emphasises the importance of protecting your work and deterring plagiarism through the use of Turnitin software. How would I feel if someone had re-created my slides (frames) as their own at a conference I was attending? I wouldn’t be happy about that, but I feel fairly safe that, in the professional community I involve myself,  this wouldn’t happen. So perhaps I’m being paranoid.

If that is the case then I really shouldn’t have wondered if we should start adding CC to our tweets. After all, these may be my most valuable output from a conference, on occasions replacing any other sort of note taking. Yes, thankfully Twitter does take care of this to a certain degree with re-tweets always referring to the original poster. But CC takes care of more than just crediting your work to you. It can tell people whether you want to share your work, whether you mind if people make changes or share it commercially. This made me think, how would I feel if someone shared one of my tweets in a conference presentation they were getting paid for giving? Okay, I realise this is unlikely, I’m not suffering from delusions of grandeur but a girl can dream! I certainly don’t mind my tweets being shared, it is really part of the deal when you sign up to Twitter. There is no way to make a Tweet unshareable, if there were I’m sure certain companies, celebrities and officials would have enabled it.  Sharing is one thing, but sharing for profit? That’s part of the reason CC was invented, and I’m not sure I’d like the thought of an idea I’ve shared freely being used by someone else for profit, even if it’s only a small part of it.

Undoubtedly this is just me over thinking things, and perhaps I should try to get out of my head more often, but I do believe it is important to think carefully about what counts as our work these day. We should also consider how much we give away for free.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a great thing and I’m happy to keep doing it, look at this blog you are reading! Ideas make the world go round and it’s one of the most powerful, beautiful and inspirational aspects of modern living in the social tech world. It’s not the initial giving away I’m interested in, its considering what could legally happen to that information afterwards, and the fact that people could profit from unprotected work, even something as simple as a tweet.

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