Many up and coming artists and small business owners don’t have the funding needed to protect their work with a copyright leaving it wide open to the public to claim as their own. There’s another way! Creative Commons is a free and easy way to protect your work and allows you to control who can use it. Evenbetter, there are several different licenses to choose from that offer different protection so you can choose the one that fits you and your work best. A creative commons license protects an individuals by working alongside a copyright to allow that image, song or even font to be shared more readily with more people. This can be great for those who want credit for their work but also want the number of people that work reaches to be as many as possible.
This can be particularly beneficial for companies that have multiple distributors or contractors licensed under them. Last March, I joined ItWorks! Global® as an Independent Distributor selling all natural health supplements and beauty products after I fell in love with the products myself. The company had a Registered Trademark on their name and trademarks for all of their product manes. As for promotional material they have a gallary of pre-approved photos and flyers distributors are able to download and distribute to build and promote their individual businesses on social media. ItWorks!® does not have specific creative commons licesnes on these images that I’m aware of, however our complience office must pre-approve all photos and promotional information if it is not a photo taken of your self or have written and sign concent of the individual in the photo.
This information is all in the policies and procudures that all distributors agree to when they sign up. This allows the company to protect their name, brand and their reputation while allowing distributors to promote their own businesses in an ethical manner. If they were to register these photos/products with creative commons, I would suggest the Attribution license because it allows others to use, distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon these as long as they give credit as requested and note if there have been any changes made. Often times, distributors will simply add their website and contact information to the photo to give viewers that information immediately. With over 50 photos, to copyright every one of them would be extremely expensive and it would make sharing this information with each individual distributor extremly time consuming.
Similarly, I feel creative commons could be beneficial for the distributors to protect any photos that they produce as testimonials. An example could be this photo I took after using one of our crazy wrap things. By choosing the Attribution Share Alike license, anyone who did share this image would have to give me credit as placed in my agreement as well as note if any changes were made. The greatest benefit with using creative commons is that it is easier toshare this image with as many people as possible. I want to share these amazing products with as many people as I possibly can! If this is the photo that is going to get their attention, then I want to put it out there so I can increase the reach of my products and show that they really do work. ItWorks! has a One Team, One Mission attitude, so if another distributor uses this photo to promote our body applicator a creative commons license allows them to use it as long as I am given credit for it and they note if there are any changes.
Creative commons is a great way to protect your work, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have a huge budget. It is so important to protect your work, especially if it is going to be representing your brand and it’s reputation. If it falls into the wrong hands, that can lead to a loss of income for your business as perspective clients or investors look at your company.
Image credit: http://www.workmadeforhire.net/the-rest/whats-the-difference-between-copyright-and-creative-commons/ and myself!