In the process of deciding how copyright licenses should be attached to user generated content on the site I felt the urge to write a post with some relatively logical observations about inviting user input (I’m looking to offer 2 or 3 copyright options from full copyright to no copyright). Anyway, if your goal is to invite user input (which it is in my case) then it follows that every aspect of a design should invite people to participate, not just the larger infrastructure but also small but important details in the interface such as the language.
The idea behind creative commons licenses is to encourage content to be shared, remixed, adapted in ways that full copyright does not allow. While the language used to describe these licenses may do a a great job legally it does not really invite people to get involved and share / copy / remix the content. For Example if an author wants people to freely share and reproduce copies of their work they can assign a creative commons label to their work such as “Attribution-No Derivative Works (BY-ND)”. However while this does grant people permission to reproduce their work it does very little to encourage them.
Instead of the rather long winded and intimidating “Attribution-No Derivative Works (BY-ND)” a more inviting label could be “Share This”. And instead of displaying “Attribution (BY)”, a label such as “Remix This” is much more likely to invite people to participate with the content.
Obviously it is important to link to the full creatives commons license some where on the page, however for the sake of inviting people to participate with content using copyright labels such as ‘Remix This’ seems much more logical
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