Creative Commons – Keeping it Open

Here in Great Britain in the 18th century there was a need to protect authors and artists, and publishers, from blatant copying of material by the new technology of the printing press. Our solution was to create a set of measures that form the basis of what we know today as copyright. Other nations followed and eventually we had a near global system of control.

Most of us see the copyright symbol – © – hundreds of times every day, it’s ubiquitous. Understanding of and regard for it is a different matter, people pay varying degrees of attention to it.

I’m comfortable with the concept of protecting people’s income for original work, but I don’t regard my writing on this blog as needing that level of protection. It doesn’t cost me very much to publish so I’m not seeking to protect a high level of investment either. Fortunately, there is an alternative to copyright.

Creative Commons Licensing

If you look to the bottom of this page you will find a section that currently looks like this:

Creative Commons License

This is the license I have chosen for these meagre ramblings. If you click on the link it will take you to a page that explains the license in a human-readable summary format. This explanation shows in broad terms what I am happy for you to do with the information you find contained within and in what context.

Copyright© is basically either all rights reserved or public domain. Creative Commons, however, comes with a set of options. In my case the options roughly translate to:

  • You are free to:
    • Share the material
    • Adapt the material
  • On the condition that:
    • You give me credit
    • It’s for non-commercial purposes
    • You share under the same license as the original if you remix, transform or build upon the material

To put it another way. I’m happy for you to use the material, to share it and even adapt it, but I don’t see why you should make money out of my efforts and hence ask you to share your work under the same licence. Also, it would be good if you gave me some form of credit for the work you have used.

Each of these options can be made either more, or less, restrictive.

I tend to think that it’s better to be open than closed and that is what Create Commons allows me to be, without giving everything away. If I was really being open I would allow Commercial work also, which is something I am thinking about, at Creative Commons they call this Free Cultural Works.

The concept of open is a powerful one and gaining traction all the time, but that’s probably best covered wider on another day.

Creative Commons is integrated into a number of other services.  If you want to search in Google, for instance, for material released under creative commons then you can do so in Advance Search. The same is true on Flickr so I also post my pictures under Creative Commons.

Top 10 for Q2 2014

These are the top 10 posts in each of my normal categories for the second quarter of 2014.

First up the normal posts:

  1. A Lack Of Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On Mine
  2. BYOD and Productivity Statistics
  3. Axiom: People join companies, but leave managers
  4. Office Speak and Buzzword Density
  5. The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS)
  6. Productive Workplace: The Trans-disciplinary Space
  7. The Productive Workplace: The Space for Computational Thinking
  8. Because it’s Friday: Giant Popping Bubbles – The Slow Mo Guys
  9. xkcd: Turbine
  10. Slow Logon v Slow Applications

Next are the quotations:

  1. “You will never change your life until you change something you do…
  2. “Only three things happen naturally in organisations…
  3. “This happens to companies all too often. Unless the company…
  4. “They’re not employees, they’re…
  5. “After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when…
  6. “The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake…
  7. “Real communication happens when…
  8. “If you start today to do the right thing, you are already…
  9. “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after…
  10. “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to…

And finally all of those Because it’s Friday posts:

  1. Because it’s Friday: I dare you to watch this entire video
  2. Because it’s Friday: Emotionally Intelligent Flight Safety Briefings
  3. Because it’s Friday: Massive Game of Jenga
  4. Because it’s Friday: Not Available on the App Store
  5. Because it’s Friday: Fun with Office Supplies
  6. Because it’s Friday: More from the Action Movie Kid
  7. Because it’s Friday: Flying Robot Rockstars
  8. Because it’s Friday: The ancient hand whistle
  9. Because it’s Friday: Huge Puddle Splash by the Slow Mo Guys
  10. Because it’s Friday: Q2 Spaces – Interviews with artists in their spaces

Slimming down (my blog subscriptions)

One of the activities that I’m tracking through Lift is to stop following (unsubscribe from) a blog a day.

This fits with a more general theme of stopping doing things to improve simplicity.

We are all under so much pressure to acquire things that it’s very therapeutic to lay something down every day.

A blog a day isn’t as dramatic as you might think, I follow (subscribe to) 372 of them (as of today) and I’ve only been going for 8 days so I’ve still got a long way to go.

Once I’ve got the blog list down I think it will be my twitter list next.

Design Refresh 2014

I thought I would start 2014 with a bit of a design refresh on this site and over on Blessings too.

This site has had the same design for some years now and I fancied a change.

The main reason for the change was a desire to go Responsive. Nearly 40% of visits to this site in January 2014 are from mobile devices (up from 10% in January 2013) and I wanted to make sure that I gave those visitors the best possible experience. The old theme was a bit clunky for different screen resolutions.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to change the way that I write posts. Within WordPress (which I use) the Featured Image is becoming increasingly important. As an example, it’s the Featured Image that gets defined within the Open Graph Metadata and hence it’s the one used by Facebook and others when the post is publicised there. I’ve deliberately chosen a theme that makes use of the Featured Image in the heading of a post too. Previously I have written posts with an image inside them to give a bit of graphical interest. Now that the featured image is in the header I don’t feel the need to do that and hopefully that will make the reading a bit clearer while maintaining the graphical interest, and there is consistency of imagery across the various access points.

Some of the Featured Images will appear quite grainy in the post header, on older posts, because they are up-scaling small images. I might go back and change the ones on popular posts but don’t have plans to update them all in the short-term.

The great thing about using WordPress is that I can, for the most part, simply switch on the new theme and everything changes.

There are still a few glitches, the main one being that I’m having to reformat each of the quote posts because the way that this theme and the last one handled them is different. This will take me a little time to fix, but I’m getting there. Also, these posts haven’t previously had a featured image so I’m using this as an opportunity to give them one. If you see anything else please leave me a comment to let me know.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw

“If you never change your mind, why have one?”

Edward de Bono

I missed my blog birthday

It was my blog birthday back on 04/04. I have an excuse though, I was on holiday.
Jimmy lays claim to the sofa
Amazingly it’s been 8 years.

Like all polite people I started with a welcome a welcome that I still extend to all of you.

At 1,200 posts I’m never going to be the most prolific writer, but that’s not why I do it. I write because I enjoy it, I just hope that the experience isn’t too painful for these of you who get to read it.

(That’s Jimmy back in 2005, he doesn’t seem to have aged anything like as much as I have)

Back Online

I was offline for a while yesterday, but all should be good now.

Loch CreranOf course you wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t, so it’s a pretty pointless post.

What I am writing is clearly self-evident, but all the same I thought I would let you know

“Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”

Mahatma Gandhi