DS Blog

Posted on July 2, 2018 by dependablerights

Bringing Collaboration to A New Level

How the concept of Creative Commons Licensing is being used to develop products today

What do you have to contribute? This is what the company hitRECord has been asking artists, singers, writers, developers and more since its founding in 2004. hitRECord is a web-based, collaborative production company that aims to engage people in the brainstorming, development, and editing of projects online. The goal is that, together, the best ideas and content can be combined to produce a collaborative product whether it be a short movie, commercial, or, as most recently, components of the anticipated Ubisoft video game, Beyond Good and Evil 2.

Such collaboration efforts utilize the accessibility of technology in our world today and capitalizes on the talents of a diverse online community. What one could not do alone has now been made possible through this unique forum – and when a product is completed and taken to the marketplace, contributors of selected collaborations are paid!

In theory, the ability to adapt and build on material produced by others in the hitRECord community is a novel idea, but you might be left with questions about distinguishing rights within the final product, especially when there is a high-profile collaboration, such as the one with Ubisoft.

Courtecy of hitRECord: Beyond Good and Evil 2 

What makes this type of collaboration possible?

How are contributors assured rights to their original material?

The first version of Creative Commons Licenses were launched in 2002. Made for the purpose to be accessible to the public, Creative Commons allows individuals, companies, and institutions a standardized method of sharing their work by less restrictive means than the traditional “all rights reserved” copyright laws. In doing so, six licenses were developed in order to allow owners to decide the terms in which their material may be used and shared. Today, Creative Commons operates with the goal of providing licenses and legal tools to make discovery and collaboration available to the public on multiple mediums, which, in turn, may influence policy and advocacy and make a difference in communities around the world. According to Creative Commons, the primary disciplines of Science, Education, and Arts & Culture are currently being developed to provide a global commons of information “that drives access, equity, and innovation.”

The licenses provided though Creative Commons range in levels of protection by regulating and deregulating distribution and edits, while the credit is given to the original owner. Users have the ability to decide what combination of licenses they would like to use to protect their content instead of making it copyrighted or public domain. Ranging from most restrictive (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs), that only allows distribution of your work as long as it is not edited or used commercially and you are credited, to the least restrictive license (Attribution-ShareAlike), that allows the original work to be edited and distributed commercially and noncommercially as long as you are credited. The Creative Commons licenses provides owners the freedom to choose how much control they have over the use and distribution of their work instead being confined to a blanket copyright license.

The founders of hitRECord realized the creative potential made available by the concept of less-restrictive licenses, allowing sharing and collaboration while still providing credit where credit is due. Therefore, hitRECord is operated by terms of service that mimic the language and meaning of creative commons licensing. Users sign up to make their own account and begin contributing to projects, and to do so, they agree to terms equivalent to an Attribution-ShareAlike license. hitRECord has the right to monetize projects for commercial purposes while others in the hitRECord community have the ability to add to or build on contributed materials and ideas. Through the production process, creators are consistently given credit for their specific contribution so that, when finished, they are rightfully credited. Everyone whose work is a part of the final product is paid following monetization because careful recording of credit due.

The community at hitRECord has been successful in producing a feature film, a TV show and several short films, books, and CDs. Beyond Good and Evil 2 marks the first videogame undertaking by the community, but after just a week of the announcement of the partnership, significant progress is already underway combining music tracks, designing artwork, and more.

Creative Commons licensing continues to grow in popularity. In the first seven years, 350 million licenses were granted, yet many continue to confuse Creative Commons licensing with public domain. Beware to not make this mistake because, while public domain materials are available for public use, Creative Commons licenses do not necessarily grant widespread distribution and rights.

Any Creative Commons licenses are characterized by the identifiable CC symbol followed by symbols indicating restriction of use or editing.

 

 

Public domain materials are sometimes marked by the corresponding symbol, but with licenses varying between jurisdictions, some public domain materials may not hold the symbol.

The ever-increasing use of media online and the dispersion of knowledge through the internet emphasizes the importance of understanding copyright laws at the individual level. Whether you are participating in an online production community or creating a gif of your favorite TV show, ensuring that you understand your rights and what laws you are required to follow will allow you to enjoy and optimize your use of materials and the internet!

 

Sources:

Creative Commons

Terms of Service at hitRECord

 

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