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This chapter is from the book

Adding a Creative Commons License

Intellectual property is a fascinating area of law that is being tested and modified each day due to the phenomenal increase in online publishing. To protect original material, authors will typically seek copyright protection for their materials.

Copyright laws vary from country to country, but in the U.S. original material is considered to be copyrighted the moment it is written—whether the author ever identifies it as being copyrighted or not. So, as an author of original material, you can identify that material as being your own by placing a copyright symbol and your name somewhere on your weblog at any time. Although this is considered legal in the U.S., to truly protect your work, you do want to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright office.


To learn more about U.S. Copyright and download forms, visit http://www.loc.gov/copyright/. You can learn about copyright in the U.K. at http://www.patent.gov.uk/.

It's important to understand that a Creative Commons license doesn't replace a copyright; rather, it extends and expands on general copyright.


To authorize use of your content via a Creative Commons license, you must be the copyright holder of that content or have express permission to authorize that content from the copyright holder. Without this, you risk potential problems and even litigation if someone feels you've infringed upon their intellectual property rights.

If you've determined that you'd like to use a Creative Commons license, you can add it to your blog by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Creative Commons License option on the configuration preferences page.

  2. Click the Create a License Now link. This will bring up a pop-up window (see Figure 3.11) that will assist you in creating the license.

  3. Fill in the questions according to your needs and preferences, and then click the Select a License button. You'll be taken to an interim page that shows the type of license you've selected based on your preferences (see Figure 3.12).

  4. Figure 3.11Figure 3.11 The Creative Commons pop-up window allows you to add a Creative Commons license for your weblog. Select the More Info links to get detailed explanations of each of these options.

    Figure 3.12Figure 3.12 You'll be informed specifically of the license that meets your needs, and provided with a link directly to the license so you can review it.

  5. Click the Proceed link on this page.

Your Creative Commons license will be installed automatically. When you return to the configuration menu, you'll see that the type of license you chose has now been added to the configuration menu, along with links to change the license type or remove it altogether (see Figure 3.13).

Figure 3.13Figure 3.13 You'll know your license has been properly installed when the configuration preferences menu describes the license type and offers a means to change or delete the license.

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