ART! NEEDS! FREEDOM!!
(Imagine this shout in the classic THIS! IS! SPARTA!!-mode
If you look on the Community News on DA you will find countless articles and rants about art theft and copyright violations and get countless of tricks and tips how you can watermark and protect your work, how you can report copyright infringements to the DA-staff, how you can... how you can.... It's seems to be a profession of a lot of people to write such articles frequently on the DA-News.
Isn't this a little bit paradox? On the one side, artists want to be seen here with her works, on the other side you found so many works with a bunch of copyright-markings, watermarks and long, menacing threats what measurements the copyright-holder will take against thieves who dare to download and spread their works.
You are afraid that some evil guy can steal your works and claim that he was the original creator? How long can he hold this claim? As fast as ideas being spread on the WWW, as fast there will be always someone who know, or find out quickly, who is the original artist and an art thief will have only a short stay with his claim!
I have none of this problems, because i put my works under the "Creative Commons" (CC) license, or, to be more specific, under CC-BY-SA, because i think, art needs freedom, needs to flow, being copied, spreaded, shared, distributed, used, mixed, re-mixed, inspiring others!
Sounds weird? But why? Otherwise you put your art in the chains of all the laws and legal restrictions that are defended and supported mainly by the big thrusts and companies, by the music-industry, the hollywood-studios, by the one who always want money and claim "Thats mine!!" The one, who sue you for hundred-thousands or even millions of dollars compensation fees because you had downloaded a half dozen songs from the WWW or put a part of your favorite movie in youtube!
If your art is really good (mine is not
) you will always stay busy in crying "art theft!" and fighting agains windmills in search for illegal copies of your works on other websides. For every copy and thief you found, hundreds would be still unseen remain on the WWW. The WWW was build to spread and share ideas and information! So what did you expect? That you can still hold the total control over a work, that you have uploaded on the WWW? Art basing on a digital media isn't longer unique. It isn't like the original Mona Lisa in the Louvre, every download is an "original" too.
And if you want to made money with your art, i din't think, that a copy of your work on another website or as a desktop-background on someone computer would diminsh your incomes of selling your art. Download it and creating a high-quality print of it in a print-shop would cost the same as if your order a print of it directly on the DA-printshop.
So why not try to do it in a different way? Apart from the old fashioned, sluggish and lumbering copyright-laws from the old, analog world?
The most important is: With using a CC-license, you don't give up your copyright
! It's the other way round: Without the traditional copyright-laws the CC-licenses wouldn't work! It's a kind of "plug in" for the traditional copyright: With a CC-license you can give your work some direct and flexible "build-in-permissions" for other people. You still hold all the copyrights on your works!
You can choose what shall be allowed for others to do with your work. BY is for mentioning the creator of the work, NC says, not for commercial uses, ND for no derivative works allowed, SA is for "Same Attributes" and means, that a derivative work that based on your work must be set under the same CC-license of the original work again... SA is IMHO one of the most important attributes in the system of CC-licenses and good chance to inspire other artists and to increase the pool of CC-licensed works, isn't it?
I set my works under CC-BY-SA, the SA-attribute avoids that someone can exploit your works for commercial uses and claiming that he is the only one who is allowed to use it, but he can still use it for commercial purposes... The SA said, he must
set his derivative work under the SA-attribute again for free use by others too! This license is very similar to the GNU-GPL-license for open source software, like LINUX, GIMP, Blender etc. and it's derivatives.And using the CC-BY-SA allowing me to use the whole stock of thousands of pictures, photos etc. of the Wikimedia Commons for my works too, because Wikipedia use the CC-BY-SA too!The complete infos about CC-licenses you can found at: Creative Commons
And here is a very good article about why you should avoid to use the NC-restriction on you CC-licenses
(pdf-file). And it's a good article to read more about the spirit of Creative Commons too.
Use the CC-licenses, you can simply choose it when you upload new works on DA or changing it from "Copyright by..." to "Some rights reserved" of the Creative Commons on already uploaded works! DA have already a function for doing this. Be bold!
Set your works free! Art needs freedom, not restrictions! Jump into the pool of Creative Commons! Take out what you need and put in what you want!
P.S. This stamp wasn't created to to encourage art-thieves! Respect copyrights! It was created to encourage more artists to jump into the Creative Commons-pool!