Creative Commons License – Protecting your copyright online

English: Tree of choice for creative commons l...

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As bloggers we all worry to some degree about other people basically pinching our work and passing it off as their own. With the internet being so hard to police and so massive we couldn’t possibly search constantly to make sure our work is not being passed off as someone else’s elsewhere what can we do?

The true answer is not a lot, without some hugely elaborate program that could search down infringements of our copyright we are very limited in protecting our work.

However, we can at least do a few things to demonstrate that we are aware of the possibility of others trying to pass our work off as their own and that we disapprove of this and ask that we are properly recognised as the true owner of the copyright.

One of these things is the ‘Creative Commons License‘ in the sidebar of my blog you will notice that I have the following statement:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you wish to share my work please attribute it as Copyright (c) Sharon Howard Thank You

Accompanied by the logo :

The Creative Commons Licence is a free to use tool that helps you to retain the copyright to your work whilst allowing others to share it so long as they give you credit for it:

There is no registration to use the Creative Commons licenses. Licensing a work is as simple as selecting which of the six licenses best meets your goals, and then marking your work in some way so that others know that you have chosen to release the work under the terms of that license.

All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. Every Creative Commons license works around the world and lasts as long as applicable copyright lasts (because they are built on copyright). These common features serve as the baseline, on top of which licensors can choose to grant additional permissions when deciding how they want their work to be used.

(Source: )

Now of course this doesn’t fully protect your work, and to be honest there is little chance of ever having a 100% risk free way of sharing your work without risking plagiarism, but at least you will feel more comfortable that ‘most’ people will respect this and acknowledge the source – you when sharing your work.

You can go one step further and register with which goes a bit further in utilising the historical  ‘poor man’s copyright‘ mechanism of emailing you (rather than posting) a digital imprint of your work to act as a copyright protection. Again this is free to use and you can add the logo to your site to show that you are making a positive effort to protect your copyright.

I hope these things have been helpful to you, there are lots of other similar methods for achieving this same goal if you search google.

Regardless which method you chose to use you still need to bare in mind that sometimes unscrupulous people will still take advantage and plagiarise your work and unless you are Bill Gates you have very little chance of stopping this (I bet even he can’t to be honest!).

The only foolproof way to stop your work being copied is to not publish it anywhere in the first place – but the world would be rather dull if we all did that!

So, go be free, enjoy your writing and blogging and just take this small step to show you respect and value copyright – mark your work as your own and be sure to ALWAYS credit the original authors of any work you use/share!


29 comments on “Creative Commons License – Protecting your copyright online

  1. Wow. Thanks, Sharon. I was wondering what that symbol was for. 🙂 I mean, I have read the comment underneath, but I want to thank you for taking time to explain it further. 😀

    Have a great day!

  2. What would the world be like if it weren’t for people like you sharing. I hope the copyright thing is never something that causes you to stop! You deserve all recognistion for your work.

    • Thanks Catherine, I certainly won’t stop because of it but I just hope people will be fair if they want to share my work and give me the recognition for it!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I found your post when searching for related articles to add to my own entry and found it very helpful. I’m thinking Creative Commons is the way to go. Thanks for the insight!

  5. Hey! I keep meaning to ask you (or one of the other great bloggers I follow)… how do you post your awards on the side of your blog. I’d love to put mine on my blog, but don’t seem to be able to figure it out. I am indeed technologically challenged, but it seems undoable, and I don’t know why. Thanks Sharon!

    • If you have a html code for the award then you can add it using a text box widget in your side bar, or if it is just the image then you can use the image widget to add it using the URL of the image. Hope this helps, if you need any more explanation let me know and I’ll do a post about it 🙂

  6. Not much luck so far… I see the image and text box widgets, but it seems impossible to find the URLs for any of these images, not attached to someone else’s post. Truly, I bow to your expertise, because all of this is Russian to me! Feh.

    • Ahh ok. So if you find the image you want in someone’s post then ‘right click’ on the image, in the list that shows up choose ‘open image in new tab’ this will open the image in a tab separately. If you then copy the url of this tab when you add this url to the image widget it should give you just the image you wish to use (This also works for adding images to posts when you don’t have them saved in a file). Hope this helps 😀

      • Ta Da! Bravo Sharon! You actually talked this techno loser through this, and it worked! Big smile… and now I can narcissistically place my blog awards on my blog page… hmm, all that effort, just to brag! 😉 Honestly, I am touched every time another blogger nominates me. It’s always an honor.

        You rock blog girl friend! Thanks a million.

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