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Blogging in the Public Domain

Matt Haughey, February 5th, 2003

There’s been a lot of recent talk among weblogs regarding Creative Commons licenses. After a little healthy back-and-froth, Copyfight cleared up some confusion over its use of a Creative Commons license. Doc (whom we profiled on this site) recently changed his blog to devote the contents to the public domain, sparking a discussion among a few webloggers questioning the rush to license, in turn prompting others to explain their reasons for doing so. Meanwhile, the ever dutiful and thorough Bag and Baggage asks for more opinions from lawyers with weblogs.

For our part, we’re glad to see discussion of the licenses, the hows and whys of using them in certain circumstances, and so on. We’re a community-based project, and we’re of the school that the more speech, the better. That said, if you’re confused about a Creative Commons tool, please remember to visit our FAQ, or email us. We can’t provide legal advice specific to your situation, but we can provide general information that you can use to help yourself.

And that’s a point that bears emphasizing. Anyone considering using a Creative Commons license should always think through all the issues involved and adopt the license with careful attention to detail. Our tools are just that — tools. Our model intentionally depends on copyright holders to take responsibility for how they use those tools. Or how they don’t use them: If you’re unsure and want to keep your full copyright, fine. If you choose to allow others to re-use your work, great.

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