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Latest changes in the book trade 7


Creative Commons | Latest changes in the book trade 7

The current situation in the book trade is one of rapid change. It's important for writers to understand what is happening as it will impact on their own chances of getting their work published and how it will be published. This newly revised series will look at the changes in the book trade, with a different focus each week. The first article dealt with where books are heading and what changes are taking place at bookselling, the sharp end of the book trade, the second article looked at publishing. The third dealt with Print on Demand and the Long Tail and the next dealt with self-publishing. Writers' routes to their audiences came next and next we looked at the key topic of copyright. This article is about Creative Commons

7 Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an innovative way of licensing material which makes it widely available and also protects and controls the license given.

Creative Commons itself is a non-profit organisation which now has 30 affiliates in different countries. Already 150 million Creative Commons licences have been taken up and used by creators over the past four years, with a vast potential still to come.

Its aim is to promote the free sharing of intellectual property worldwide. It provides creators with off-the-peg licences to attach to their work online, which give clear instructions as to how they wish to allow it to be used.

The project is funded by donations from Google, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundations and contributions from the Amazon Honor system.

There are six main licences, from 'Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives' (which allows a whole work to be reproduced without allowing changes) to 'Attribution by' which allows others to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon the work, even for commercial gain, as long as they credit the original creator.

Perhaps the most useful one might be the 'Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike', which enables anyone to re-use or distribute the work, as long as they attribute it in the manner specified. It may not be re-used for commercial purposes.

The search engine is able to look for everything in Creative Commons in a search on a website, so that you could, for instance, find a sub-set of material which could be used for commercial purposes. This should enable authors to get additional exposure for their work and sell more books.

Anyone making content available online may download a licence (with its own logo) and attach it to the work, which could be a book, a part of a book, an image or an audio-file, so it is easy to use.

Using this new form of licence would make a huge difference to what people could do in developing countries. A demonstration project is planned for South Africa and Uganda.

A CC licence lets the author stay in control of their own copyright. It opens up ways for consumers to experience their work, whilst protecting authors from others who might seek to profit from it. It presents a way of working towards a future which uses copyright in an innovative way, improving access to material across the world, whilst protecting it.

Of all the profound changes going on in the worlds of writing, publishing and bookselling, this is the one which gives one the most hope that technology will help to deliver a positive future for writers and readers.


Latest changes in the Book Trade:

1 Bookselling
2 Publishing
3 Print on demand and the Long Tail
4 Self-publishing' - career suicide' or 'really great'?
5 Writers' routes to their audiences
6 Copyright under pressure

From the WritersServices site:
Inside Publishing on POD
The advantages of POD
WritersPrintShop self-publishing service