Fixing my copyright notice…


Quick editor’s note from October 2017:  The info in this post is no longer current, as I changed up my copyright notice yet again months later, but I hate to delete things, especially my old and just-figuring-things-out work.

I’m feeling a little better today, thank goodness, but I am a little hopped up on cold medicine so I apologize in advance if this post gets rambly.  I managed to drag myself to work and be productive there, but over lunch I didn’t have a lot of energy so I thought I’d tackle an easy point on my to-do list:  Fixing my old copyright notice.

It turns out, there was a lot involved with figuring this out, so it wasn’t quite the easy point I thought it’d be… but I’m still glad I tackled it today.

When I first started this blogging adventure, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t know what I was doing.  I had the brief thought, “Oh, what if I post some of my work, and someone wants to steal it for their own?”  So to ease my own mind, I then did the briefest of Google searches and found a very legalese-sounding copyright notice (I am a paralegal, after all) that I stuck in a text widget on my sidebar.  I’m almost embarrased to post this, but here goes…

(Well, here’s where it would go, but I’m still learning how to use my new tablet and it’s not cooperating… so I’ll update this later, I guess.)

But the problem with the old notice wasn’t just the legalese, it was the vague demand for anyone taking anything from my site to attribute it back to me.  It was boilerplate text, and it never sat quite right with me, but I didn’t know what else it should say.

I constantly borrow from other people’s sites when I’m looking for an appropriate “featured image” to go along with my post — always with as thorough and original attribution as I can find, of course — but every time I tried to add something to my copyright like “attribute to me or the original artist” it sounded clunky, so I left it.

Then I realized that I’d heard of the Creative Commons license before, and I should look more into that.  So I stopped off at the Wiki first, of course, which says:

A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.

Hmm.  I don’t mind someone taking one of my blog posts and running with it, I guess, as long as they attribute back to me.  And it’s only fair that I let other people borrow from my blog the way I borrow from the rest of the internet.  So, all right.

Then I went to the actual Creative Commons website, where it was very easy to click through the options to decide what kind of Creative Commons license I wanted to use.  It even has an html code that generates, which you can then copy and paste into the Text Widget I was using before, and voila!  Now I have a CC Copyright Notice.

I’m still going to post an “all rights reserved” copyright on certain things, like any original writing I post from my book, or articles and interviews I post, like the one about one of my favorite podcaster, the Celtfather, Marc Gunn.  But figuring out this CC thing has certainly put my mind at ease today.  I suggest you check it out, even if it’s not for your type of creative work.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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