Wording of sentences/paragraph that explain logic of CC copyright options
I'm wondering if we can make the logic described in the first and second sentences of the following paragraph (from under the wp quote) less dense and easier to follow:
"If you own certain rights, it is legally possible to gift or share some or all of those rights. Given that the author or creator is granted the exclusive rights to copy, distribute and adapt original works and that copyright owners have the exclusive statutory right to exercise control over these rights, it follows that the copyright holder has the power and authority to grant permissions regarding how their work is used. In other words we can use copyright law to share these rights in advance without the need for others to seek individual permissions from the original copyright holder. Creative Commons has implemented an insightfully clever and easy way to do this."
Here's a possible rewording of this paragraph. (My understanding of copyright is weak, so please also check to see that the original meaning is retained. Also, it may be that some of what I've added will have been covered in an earlier module...):
"Before the advent of Creative Commons licenses, an author or creator of an original work, generally speaking, had two choices for copyright: retaining control of his or her work via an "all rights reserved" copyright or gifting his or her work to the public domain. Those wishing to use another's creative work were, in many instances, required by law to obtain permission for such use, often an onerous and misunderstood process. Lawrence Lessig recognized that it is legally possible for an author or creator to gift or share some of those rights; copyright does not have to be an all or nothing situation. Here's the underlying logic:
The author or creator is, by definition, the copyright holder of an original work. As such, the author or creator
- holds the exclusive rights to copy, distribute and adapt an original work, and
- has the exclusive statutory right to exercise control over these rights.
It follows, then, that the author or creator, as the copyright holder, has the power and authority to grant permissions regarding how his or her work is used. In other words, we can use copyright law to share these rights in advance without the need for others to seek individual permissions from the original copyright holder."
- It helps having critical review from someone who has "weak" understanding of copyright - perfect match with our intended target audience. Thanks
- There were licenses which pre-dated creative commons eg the GNU Free Documentation License, the Open Content License and other -- so we cant say before the advent of CC.
- I suggest we avoid the public domain issue here.
mmmm ... how to simplify this. How about something along the lines of:
If you own the exclusive rights to property, as owner you can decide how your property is used. For example, you can give permission to someone to use your car or stay in your house. In the case of copyright, the owner holds the exclusive rights to copy, distribute and adapt an original work. Similarly, a copyright holder can agree permissions regarding these rights. Creative Commons is a legal tool to help authors manage their property rights and permissions associated with their creative works.
Does this work?
Yes, that's much better--solid, useful example from which learner can generalize. I'm in favor of replacing the current paragraph with this new version. If you paste it in (this way the history shows it's yours), I'll come back for a reread and edit as needed.
For future reference -- I'm not territorial about stuff I write, nor worried about attribution. If in the future it saves time -- just go for it.
Although I appreciate you asking :-)
Off to copy the version over ...