Blogging on the Shoulders of Giants

Creative Commons licenses provide the ability to modify the terms of the copyright on your intellectual property.

Some times Copyright can be too restrictive when you would like to share your work with the world.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Creative Commons licensing, this video helps to explain some of the ways in which it allows someone to publish their work somewhere in between All rights reserved and No rights reserved. This method of copyright allows the creator of the work to decide how it can be used by others, if it can be used commercially, sampled, remixed, or built upon.  By using a Creative Commons License creators are able to maintain some rights while allowing others greater access to the work than the regular Copyright would allow.

FairShare is a free online application that allows you to track the usage of your creative commons licensed intellectual property, making it possible for people all around the world to reuse content while still attributing it back to the original creator.  Currently FairShare works for any text based content that is available to the public via RSS feeds.  This means any blog posts, essays, cookbooks, and anything as long as it is text and available as via RSS.  According to Plagiarism Today's Jonathan Bailey, FairShare Developer Attributor is also gauging interest in a FairShare for photos and videos as a possibility for a future service that would allow users to track the use of images and other media beyond just text content.

FairShare begins by asking you to choose from a list of available Creative Commons Licenses.

  • Attribution
  • Attribution Non-Commercial
  • Attribution No Derivatives
  • Attribution Share Alike
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Once you've registered your blog or other RSS feed, FairShare searches to find instances of your content on other sites, and then displays the different pages that have reused your work and how that reuse of your content compares to your license conditions.  The sites using your content are displayed in your FairShare feed that can then be accessed through a feed reader such as Google Reader, or any number of other RSS readers.

This is an amazing new tool that will allow anyone who is concerned about how their intellectual property is being used to track and influence how that content is being shared.

As we go into the weekend, I leave you with this awesome Video Mashup, "The Mother of all Funk Chords"  that was created entirely from clips available on Youtube.