Ask yourself this question…when you work hard to create something, aren’t you proud of the finished product? Now imagine somebody taking that unique creation of yours and using it as their own. It’s simply not fair. Protecting your work is crucial to the success of your business, product, or content. With the resources and technology available now-a-days, it is easier than ever to take someone’s idea and claim it as your own. That is where the importance of obtaining a license comes into play. With the many different types of licenses out there, it is important to find which license is right for you.
My younger brother, Zack, is a model in New York City for Elite Model Management. Like all models, Zack has a professional portfolio that he shares with different companies and agencies of interest. This portfolio is his bread and butter, it is how he gets his work. With the photos in his portfolio being exposed to a number of different potential clients on a daily basis, protecting them is critical in order for him to be successful. For example, if a client like Nike is browsing through Zack’s portfolio and thinks that one of his photos would be perfect for a new add in a sports magazine, they would first need to schedule an appointment with Zack and his agency before they could take any action. If they were to just take the photograph, put a Nike logo on the corner of the page, and use it in their next magazine, they would be tampering with his photo and stealing it without having permission to do so. This would be taking away from the work of Zack, the photographer, and his agency. That is why a traditional copyright is the appropriate license for the photos in his portfolio.
There are many benefits when it comes to obtaining a traditional copyright license. With this license, a person can be assured that their work is protected from anybody who is looking to copy or reuse it in any way. It allows for public notice of your ownership, legal evidence of your ownership, validity, and maximization of damages that may occur. Also, if for any reason somebody were to attempt to republish your work without your permission, you would have the ability to bring an infringement suit on them. Although this is a little extreme, if a models photos were to be published without their permission, they could potentially lose out on thousands of dollars.
Looking at the different Creative Commons license that are out there, none of the six would be beneficial for Zack’s portfolio. The Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NonCommercial, and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike all allow others to build upon your work. In Zack’s case, his photos are all finalized and should not be tampered with, so these would not be smart for him. The Attribution-NoDerivs allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is unchanged and you are given credit. An Attribuition-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license is the closest to a traditional copyright license. It is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, but this too allows others to use your work as long as they give credit to you. In Zack’s case, it would not be beneficial for him or his agency to allow others to use his photos as “free advertising”, which is why none of the following license would work for him.
The internet is a place where we are able to share our work with millions of people across the world. For models like Zack, having a traditional copyright is extremely important when it comes to protecting photos over the internet. Whether it is a modeling portfolio, business idea, or company logo, having a copyright license or Creative Commons license is crucial for the success of any business. By putting in a little time to get a license, it can protect your work and allow you to continue being proud of your finished product.
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