Open Content - A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences/Editors' Preface
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“All rights reserved” is the phrase usually associated with traditional copyright. It implies that the copyright holder reserves all rights by default. Neither copying and distributing nor creating derivative works is permitted without the explicit permission of the rights holder.
“Some rights reserved,” the guiding principle of open content licences, is the answer to this problem: Open content enables creators and rights holders to spread their work more easily – by enabling others to use, share and mix their work without the need to ask in advance. Artists may use available music or pictures to create own remixes. NGOs may choose to make texts and graphics on their website more easily available to others. People looking for pictures, for example to illustrate websites or publications, may find open content works in the respective databases. Numerous projects are becoming feasible every day through the “unlocking” and opening of content to the world. People are constantly creating public goods by sharing and building upon each other’s knowledge and creativity.
Open content thus serves as an invaluable tool for two important purposes: It makes copyright compatible with the digital age – where each user of content can easily become a creator. At the same time, it makes access to information and knowledge much easier. In our globalised world, this is becoming more and more important. Access to information and knowledge is one of the cornerstones of modern knowledge societies.
With this publication, we intend to provide interested individuals and organisations with practical guidelines for the use and application of open content licences: How do open content licences work? How do I choose the most suitable licence for my individual needs? Where can I find open content online? These are only some of the questions which these guidelines try to answer. By this, we hope to contribute to the informed use of open content licences. We thank Dr. Till Kreutzer for writing these valuable guidelines and would like to wish all our readers an informative and instructive reading.
Dr. Roland Bernecker,
German Commission for UNESCO
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Dr. Silke Schomburg,
Head of hbz, North Rhine-Westphalian
Library Service Centre (hbz)
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