On May 21, 2011 Luke O’Neil wrote an informative article in The Wall Street Journal, titled, A Guide to Happy (and Legal) Tumblr-ing: Blogging without ‘stealing’ is much easier than you think.

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[Image courtesy of GraphicStock.com.]

He addresses the common sentiment among the majority of bloggers of a “what’s-mine-is-yours-and-what’s-yours-is-mine policy.” While most people are cautious about copyright infringement when writing articles or books, they aren’t always as scrupulous about using other’s content or images when blogging or posting to various social media sites.

In addition to giving tips on ethical blogging, he mentioned the organization Creative Commons. I went to the site and found it to be quite interesting. It appears to be an organization worth supporting.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, support, and steward legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

Their stated vision is nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet—universal access to research and education, full participation in culture—to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity. They provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws.

According to their website, they state,

Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work—a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright—which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. We’ve worked with copyright experts around the world to make sure our licenses are legally solid, globally applicable, and responsive to our users’ needs.

I am looking into licensing some of my articles and blogs through them. I’m an advocate for sharing information (and provide a lot of free information and forms on my websites), although I get really annoyed when people take my information and repost it without asking for permission or at least properly crediting me as the source. I hope that by licensing my materials through Creative Commons it makes it easier for people to ‘do the right thing.’

Keep sharing information with each other. Just make sure to do it ethically!