Copyright at the university can be a complicated, confusing topic. Perhaps a student wants to use a picture she found on the Internet and manipulate it for her art class, or maybe a librarian would like to share his newly created instructional video with other people. Copyrighted images, music, or other creative works are difficult to get permission to use and complicated to share; the Creative Commons license makes this process much easier. Up until recently, when a video, image, song, story, etc. was created, it always was protected with standard Copyright. This meant that even if you wanted to share your material, and someone wanted to use it, that person would have to get permission from you to do so. Now there is an alternative, a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons protects the rights specified by the copyright holder. Copyright holders can specify whether they will allow their creative work to be used for commercial purposes or whether the work can be modified, adapted or built upon. Creative Commons licenses are free and anyone can register their creative work to be shared.
Searching for creative work with the Creative Commons license is incredibly easy thanks to the Creative Commons meta search. By visiting http://search. creativecommons.org/, you can search for all types of creative works in one place. Utilizing Flickr for images, blip.tv for videos, OWL for music, as well as two standard search engines and a media search engine, you can quickly identify creative content available to share, revise or remix.
Firefox makes searching for shared creative work even easier by allowing you to search the Creative Commons search engine right from the browser search box- simply choose the CC option.
For those wishing to license their own works, sign up at http://creativecommons.org/license/.