What Creative Commons means to me

There are four types of creative commons: Attribution (sighting the original artist), Non-Commercial (free to use for non-commercial use), No Derivative works (can be used, but must not be altered in any way) and Share alike (free to use in anyway you see fit as long as you allow other people to do the same for your work). In general, these are artworks, sound pieces, photographs and any other creative work that is generated for use by the public. Some are “free” to use, while some artists request a small amount of money. However, one thing remains the same for all of these artworks. Something I believe to be is a very important rule, that you acknowledge the original artist when you use their work.

This is, to me, basic decency. While you might be re-mixing the persons work, or only utilising a small aspect of the piece, you’re still taking something another person worked hard on/spent time on so that you can save time. Often without this piece you wouldn’t have your final work. When sighting works in essays or written pieces, it is automatically understood that you must sight the original quote/reference to prevent plagiarism (it doesn’t matter how much of the quote you use either).  This is the same for if you use a sound snippet from someone else’s music, it is important to sight where you got the work from.

It is also important to acknowledge and abide by the requests/rules set out by the original artist. If an artist is happy for someone to use their work, but does not want them to do so for financial gain. Then out of respect for this artists hard work, anyone using it should not intend to gain profits from the use of the CC. If that is their intention, there are plenty of other artists out there who are more than happy for you to re-use their work in a piece you intend to sell later.

At the end of the day, you might be creative something brand new from these creative works, but you could not have done this without their hard work. So unless you are happy to draw, record, design or paint your own work, always make sure you show your gratitude towards the person who helped you make your own work, even if you’re simply telling the audience “this is a piece I created by sampling works from ‘X,y and Z’ or hyperlinking to the original piece.


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