Owning a small business comes with enough tasks to complete each day to keep someone busy. Having a logo for that business can allow for easier recognition for people. Putting that logo online or on clothing can create advertising for relatively cheap. But if not done the right way any other business or person can use your hard work that you may have put into designing a logo for your company. Obtaining a copyright can be very costly and may not fit into the budget for a small business. Luckily there is an easier way to protect the logo. It is called the creative commons.
There are currently six different options for licensing under the creative commons. The least restrictive license is the Attribution license. This allows for the remix and building up of someone else’s work as long as credit is given to the original person. The most restrictive license is the Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license. This says that the original work must stay as is, credit must be given to the author, and can only be shared for non-commercial use. While this does not replace a copyright it allows for flexibility to share original work.
The six licenses that are on the website of the creative commons are:
- Attribution – This is the least restrictive license of all six. This allows for anyone to use your work however they see fit. They just have to give you credit in a way that you agree with.
- Attribution Share Alike – This is like the attribution license. But under this license the person who is using the original work in their work must have the same usage policies. They may not apply more restrictions than what was applied to yours.
- Attribution No Derivatives – People are able to commercially distribute the work. However they may not tamper or alter the original in any way.
- Attribution Non-Commercial – People can use your work in any way as long it is not for commercial use. Credit still needs to be given in a way that you would like.
- Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike – this is the same as the Attribution Share Alike License. The exception is that people cannot use your work for commercial purposes.
- Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives – This is the closest to owning a copyright. People are able to use your work but it must remain unchanged. The work cannot be used commercially and credit must be given to you.
The choice of what license to use is up to the individual. Each license can present their pros and cons depending on what the situation may be. There are a few questions that should be asked before a license is chosen. The first question is do I want to allow commercial use or not. The second question is do I want to allow derivative works or not. If a licensor decides to allow for others to use their work they may require that whoever is using it must make their new work available under the same license terms.
Having many photos, logos, and other images at our fingertips on a daily basis can make it easy for us to get an idea to use for ourselves. There are ways that can protect the images so we cannot use them at all. Other ways allow us to use them but they cannot be altered while others allow us to do almost whatever we would like to do. In all three ways giving credit where credit is due is very important.