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  1. #1
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    Question Creative Commons Licenses and Legal Rights as the Author...

    Okay, I've created some work about a year ago for an organization that initially sounded reasonable and has taken a dark turn. The work I created was some real simple computer vector graphics for a t-shirt and patch design. When I donated it, I slapped a Creative Commons 3.0 Non-Commercial (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) License on it.

    Now, it says on the page that if my "Moral Rights" are violated, I can terminate their use of the image under this license. I've written a "Cease and Desist" letter.... So, hopefully that enough...

    Anyone else run across this situation and take action? If so, am I going about this correctly?

    Michael "Sudsy" Sutherland

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  3. #2
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    Without more facts to go on, it sounds like you have taken a good first step (essentially saying paragraph 7 is now in effect, so stop using my work). This is presuming they have violated the terms of the license such as not giving the required attribution or something.

    If you are just "outraged" about conduct that is not violative of the license terms that would be another thing. "Moral rights" are not as strong in the United States as they are in other places. Is it just that you found out they were Democrats or something, or did they draw an aerial view of Hitler doing some porn star while having your logo tattooed on his back?

    Last edited by arttorney; March 1st, 2010 at 06:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arttorney View Post
    Without more facts to go on, it sounds like you have taken a good first step (essentially saying paragraph 7 is now in effect, so stop using my work). This is presuming they have violated the terms of the license such as not giving the required attribution or something.

    If you are just "outraged" about conduct that is not violative of the license terms that would be another thing. "Moral rights" are not as strong in the United States as they are in other places. Is it just that you found out they were Democrats or something, or did they draw an aerial view of Hitler doing some porn star while having your logo tattooed on his back?
    In this case, its being used to promote an armed mob erroneously calling themselves a 'militia'. So, lets just say I've got my body armor ready...

    ...so I suspect rather strongly that the 'non-commercial use' aspect has definitely been violated.

    Michael "Sudsy" Sutherland

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    All right. That's freaky. I'm guessing they will at least ignore your cease and desist order. On the positive side, I think Aryan Nations basically collapsed because losing a lawsuit bankrupted them.

    The idea of an armed mob being a commercial enterprise probably has Ayn Rand spinning in her grave, though.

    Not saying there is anything wrong with "armed" but "mob" I got a problem with. I wish you the best of luck in this.

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    What is this Creative Commons (CC) stuff, anyway?

    I've noticed many web comics use this. (And, I'm guessing that the terms allow for greater transmission of a web comics artist's work without the transmitters/promulgaters running afoul of conventional copyright law).

    But, what are the downsides of CC?

    What rights do you sacrifice as compared to just protecting yourself under existing (traditional) copyright law?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    What is this Creative Commons (CC) stuff, anyway?

    I've noticed many web comics use this. (And, I'm guessing that the terms allow for greater transmission of a web comics artist's work without the transmitters/promulgaters running afoul of conventional copyright law).

    But, what are the downsides of CC?

    What rights do you sacrifice as compared to just protecting yourself under existing (traditional) copyright law?
    Honestly, we are learning one of the downsides to Creative Commons license here...

    However, there are a lot of upsides as long as its followed. Webcomics are a fantastic example of using CC licenses to spread the word around, and indeed make the authors name known which results in fandom purchasing t-shirts and printed comics and the like.

    Another upside to this is that because I have detected the beginnings of abuse and unlawful activity, I do have legal recourse to say that I believe they are violating the terms of the license and at the very least can ask. While this may not in the end stop them, when certain three letter US Government agencies get involved, it might be one extra charge to toss at them along with showing that I'm not supportive AT ALL of their change of philosophy.

    On top of this, it also ensures the art community knows NOT to deal with these individuals either...

    Another upside of CC Licenses can be found on Deviant Art in the Stock photographs that are available to artists from some really talented (and in most cases amateurs). If you are an artist and you need a reference of a figure in a pose, or a piece of architecture but you only can use a photo for reference you can search that site or others for photos under the CC License that are free to use as long as you follow the License terms (namely, attribution of credits to the photographer or receiving their permission for use in a commercial piece).

    Michael "Sudsy" Sutherland

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    Copyright law is still there. A license is a contract by which an artist can grant rights of use to people who that artist could otherwise have excluded using his/her copyright.

    Creative Commons refers to a set of licenses that have been developed to vary from traditional licensing arrangements for art in a manner similar to how open source software varies from proprietary software. If the restrictions of the license are violated, the license still becomes void (paragraph 7 of the 3.0 version Sudsy used) and Sudsy has his copyright "right to exclude" back in hand to assert as against the violators.

    Here is the front door to the Creative Commons website: http://creativecommons.org/ where there is a FAQ at the top. If you navigate the site a bit you can even find a license for dedicating one of your works to the public domain. If anything on there might strip an artist of copyright protection it would be that public domain license. The creative commons attribution licenses (not public domain) all still have strings attached by which you can control a non-conforming use.

    The theory or philosophy is that a non-famous person hopes granting a right to copy as long as his/her name goes along with the work will result in the work going viral and they gain fame or popularity.

    Last edited by arttorney; March 2nd, 2010 at 01:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudsy View Post
    Anyone else run across this situation and take action? If so, am I going about this correctly?
    You're going about this correctly on legal terms. On social terms you're going about it like an annoying dork.
    Nobody knows/cares/remembers you did the design, especially a year later. Now people will deffinetly point fingers and go "hey look, that's the dork who was supporting the militia until people discovered it and now he wants to save face by calling cease and desist on the design he made for them."

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    Kraus, kraus........ Kraus......

    I dont even....

    Kraus.....

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    I don't believe the concept of moral rights exists in U.S. copyright law.

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    California has some at the state level, but frankly it speaks more to preventing purchasers from doing "paintovers" on a famous guy's physical work, and requiring a little percentage to be sent back to the artist on downstream sales.

    Yeah. Moral rights is more likely to give you traction in a country like France.

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    You're going about this correctly on legal terms. On social terms you're going about it like an annoying dork.
    Nobody knows/cares/remembers you did the design, especially a year later. Now people will deffinetly point fingers and go "hey look, that's the dork who was supporting the militia until people discovered it and now he wants to save face by calling cease and desist on the design he made for them."
    When you find out a political organization was nothing more than the information operations and propaganda section of an armed mob of potential terrorists, you kinda have a moral responsibility to do everything in your power to pull the plug on it in any manner you have at your disposal; being a dork or otherwise.

    Sadly, I don't think the "moral rights" would stand up in a US Court, but I've got to do what I can, and since there was at least one storefront selling these items in what could be a commercial manner associated with this organization, I think I do indeed have a strong case about the commercial use aspect that license denies use of.

    Michael "Sudsy" Sutherland

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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    On social terms I'm an annoying dork.
    "
    fixed

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  16. #14
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    I desighned some sweat suit's and loafers for the Russian Mafia.

    Hehe!!

    ----------------------------------
    Scetchbook: View the exhibitionist's stuff.
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