Party in the sUe-S.A

Not to be mistaken for the 2009 hit from Miley Cyrus (before Miley became…Miley). But this is the world we live in nowadays. People who are wrong are swift to seek legal action, putting our judicial system to work! Most commonly, we see this in the entertainment industry. We can all think of a time when an artist is sued by another artist because the aforementioned artist states that the new artist stole their music. Then a legal battle ensues, leaving an ugly mark on what was a great creative piece of work. In almost every genre of art, there has been this occurrence. This is due to copyrighted work being remastered or used and the original artist (often times older and not as relevant anymore) seeking to get their share of money from what they feel is rightfully theirs. Well thankfully, today we have creative commons.

Let me start off by defining a few terms:

  • Copyright- This is the most restrictive form of licensed work. Copyright laws encompass a slew of protections so that others cannot copy ones work without permission. If one party is accused of copying another party’s work, then a copyright infringement case will ensue.
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*Anyone remember Napster? They were sued by many record companies who accusedNapster of large-scale distribution of music for free. The company was forced to close and had to pay $26M in damages. Ouch!

  • Creative Commons- The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common.
    • Every license helps creators (licensors) 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).

When looking at protection of ones work, the original artist should not look at the topic as copyright vs. Creative Commons. “Creative Commons is actually a license that is applied to a work that is protected by copyright. It’s not separate from copyright, but instead is a way of easily sharing copyrighted work.” There are different forms of Creative Commons to meet the need and restrictions to be placed on an artists’ work.

I think Creative Commons is a great tool to use. Like I have mentioned, I don’t have a small business and am not artistic enough to have anything published that I would need creative commons at the time. However, the plan of the Athletic Training Department here at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point

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in to create a concussion education program for our students in high impact sports and activities around campus. One of the ideas we had was to create a viral marketing video, as many of you have seen before, using common songs to have a message for our target population. Though understanding creative commons, it will be imperative that the music and images used need to meet the requirements that artist have on their music. Even when making posters, we have to abide by both UWSP rules for their branding and emblems as well as any outside images used to portray our message for concussion education.