Creative Commons. It’s something you hear a lot, but what is it exactly? According to Creative Commons.org, it “develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.”
So what does that really mean? Basically, you can put a license on your work while still allowing people to use it in other ways. Say I take a photo of my ukulele and I want credit for it, but I still want to make it possible for others to use it; I can do that with a Creative Commons license.
Creative Commons is largely used for photography, which Instagram has taken over with the general population by its ease and accessibility. They’re probably going start Creative Commons on their apps. As it is now, most Instagram profiles are public, making the photos public; but this doesn’t mean they are easily shared. Even if people want their photos to be shared, they tend to just go to the default of “all rights reserved,” restricting use.
Instagram, however, is looking to “Require users to agree, unless they opt out, that all photos they upload are governed by the broadest possible Creative Commons license.” They couldn’t do this before because it would have been difficult on a mobile app, but now everything will be done through their website instead of Twitter.
While this will make plenty of people angry, I think it’s a step in the right direction. One of the best ways to create art is by building off of other people’s creativity and copy right laws make that very difficult. Creative Commons is a straightforward way to make licenses for your work while still making it possible to share. New ideas are so scarce nowadays, how can you ever really say that something is solely yours anymore? To quote Snoop Dogg, “It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none. ”
If my explanation didn’t help, here’s a video that does a great job of explaining the whole thing.
Mashable also has a great graphic explaining Creative Commons.