What Does a Software/SaaS Company Need to Know About the Creative Commons License Program?
Any software or SAAS executive should learn about this, even if this does not affect their software EULA or SAAS contract. This is just one of those things to be aware of, because it is a big deal in the licensing of copyrighted material. So what do you need to know about this?
- What is the Creative Commons License Program. It is a new way to license copyrighted material, as essentially there is so much confusion out there regarding what people can and cannot do with content, images, music, etc (especially on the Internet). The fundamental idea is to try to find a more efficient way (trying to take out the intermediaries) to allow people to use copyrighted material through the use of icons/badges, a legal license and embedded code, and to move away from the concept of ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved.’ More info here.
- How Does it Work? The creative commons is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of their free tools to allow people to license their copyrighted material in a much easier way (but it does not work for everything and every scenario).
- What Do I Need to Know About This?
- First, the Creative Commons License Program should NOT be used to license software (they actually say this, so don’t take my word for it (see about 1/3 down this page)).
- Second, I also suggest you do not use it for your documentation, even though they suggest it. I think documentation should be kept proprietary and licensed just like the software.
- Third, so what can you use it for? Maybe your blog or marketing material (maybe viral type marketing material).
There is a lot more to learn about this program (remember this is just a blog) and its relation to copyright law, but I really do think it is a great program. Talk to your copyright attorney first though!
Resource: Here is one of their great short videos to explain the CC program and their reason for existence: Video.
Some more copyright related blog posts.
Disclaimer: This is for informational and educational purposes, and no legal advice is provided. Consult your attorney for legal advice.