The Right Creative Commons License for Ministry Blogs

One of the things that we need to do better as bloggers is actively encourage others to take licensing seriously. CreativeCommons.org should be well known, studied, and understood by us.

The simple fact is that it isn’t.

Typically I tell a lot of people who have questions to go to the site and “learn.” Well, apparently not a lot of those people go and do just that. So, let me tell you what I use for my content that I publish online.

ccI use this: The Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 for the United States. You can find the exact description right here.

I’d recommend that you use the same, and here’s why:

  • It let’s people share your content that you create. That’s a good thing.
  • They can “mix” the content up, meaning they can take chunks without the pressure of taking the whole and re-use and re-purpose it for their needs.
  • It requests “attribution,” which means that the author gets the respect that they deserve for being the author and creator of the content. Give respect when respect is due!
  • It means that others can’t earn anything or make a profit off your work.
  • It means that if someone else uses your content they have to abide by the rules set out by the license that you use. No abuse or “grey” lines here!
  • It highly suggests linking back to the original work. This is good for link-building, SEO, and helps provide the new audience historical context on the original work. Link love is good stuff.
  • It forces a “ask permission” type mentality for everything. It’s simply good practice to “ask for permission” to use stuff. It gives the author the ability to “waive” any of their above aforementioned rights on a case-by-case basis.
  • It doesn’t “impair nor restrict the author’s moral rights.” A little ambiguous here, but good anyways.

I think this license is the best license that we, as technoevangelists can use, without limiting the opportunity to learn and use our content. It protects the author and the readers from abuse and misuse. I think it maintains a level of “control” in an open source world without cramping the open source “mentality.”

For myself, I use Feedburner to distribute this license. See the screenshot below for my settings:

feedburner_creative_commons

I have now included the image of the license on my blog here (see footer) and my other blogs as well.

Want one? Go here to get your copy of the license. Do it, for yourself and for the people that you serve!

1 SHARES

John Saddington

I am the CEO of 8BIT and a Full Time Entrepreneur/a>. I like what I do.

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  1. Phillip Gibb says

    I was wondering about that very thing today, but more for the Photos I used – that were covered by that license. Never actually considered using it for my blog, hmmm

    but now I have and I have done it, along with what I saw as good options for feedburner in your screen grab

    thanks man

    Phill(synapticlight)

  2. says

    So I tried installing this on blogger, but it has all this extra text around the cc icon. Any idea how to get rid of that so that it just has the main icon?

  3. says

    Great post! I really appreciate your note to "abide by the rules". I think as Christian bloggers it's really important to check the licensing of the images we use, repurpose or unfortunately steal (even unintentionally). When you grab an image of Flicker – check the license. When you copy off a website – find the original and check the license. Take the time to do due diligence. Walk the talk.

    For myself – I find I'm using royalty-free sites like iStockphoto.com quite a bit. I pay a dollar – and I know I have the freedom to use the image as I want. It's worth a dollar for me to know I'm doing the right thing, plus I'm paying for someone's hard work.

    As for my photo's on Flckr or on my blog – I try and pick the appropriate license and embed the license with the photo. I want people to freely know they can use my work with just some minor appropriate restrictions.

    I don't display the CC license on my site – and I probably should. So thanks for the reminder.

  4. says

    Forgot something – can you add to your Churchcrunch wishlist? I'd love for you to review the other Feedburner options, explain why you use or don't use them, and maybe point to examples. Thanks.

  5. Sam says

    When a person has a blog post that they have spent time on, I would say it would always be proper to only grab a portion of the post rather then the whole things. And then add a link so a reader could follow to the other blog for the rest. Especially if the person has added a copyright comment to their blog. Thoughts?

  6. says

    Sam, I agree and try to do that. Sometimes it doesn't always work. For example they post a key sentence or two that you are responding to, or adding on to and context is not key.

    The good think is if it's a WP blog and your on WP an automatic link (trackback – not sure of the right word) is generated. Otherwise – I try and find a trackback link. That way the referenced blog has a chance to comment and drive traffic back to there blog.

    Just my amatuer 2 cents. Let's see what "human3rorr" has to says.

  7. says

    I have to strongly disagree. There are a whole host of problems with Creative Commons Noncommercial licenses.

    “It let’s people share your content that you create. That’s a good thing.”

    Not on a blog with ads. That’s commercial use.

    It means that if someone else uses your content they have to abide by the rules set out by the license that you use. No abuse or “grey” lines here!

    The line between commercial use and noncommercial use is the biggest grey line in all of the Creative Commons licenses. They’re conducting a huge survey on it now because of all the confusion. There is ambiguity between commercial use and commercial users, between profit and commercial use, etc.

    It forces a “ask permission” type mentality for everything. It’s simply good practice to “ask for permission” to use stuff. It gives the author the ability to “waive” any of their above aforementioned rights on a case-by-case basis.

    “Asking permission” is a good thing? The whole point of using free licensing is to avoid the legal costs and hassle of a permission culture. With CC licenses, you signal what content can and cannot be used for and ultimately limit the need for anyone to ask permission as much as possible. If “asking permission” is the norm with a CC license, that would be a bad sign.

    It doesn’t “impair nor restrict the author’s moral rights.” A little ambiguous here, but good anyways.

    “Moral Rights” refers to a specific part of copyright law. Moral rights don’t exist in the United States, but copyright includes moral rights in Canada and some countries in Europe.

    The ShareAlike provision combats most real exploitation, while the noncommercial restriction has all sorts of unintended consequences and prevents all kinds of uses you’d actually want to allow. A NC restriction isn’t “open source” at all. Software licenses with non-commercial restrictions would fail to meet the OSI’s definition of open source.

    Check out the reasons not to use NC licenses that I linked to up above.

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