Finding Video, Images & Music You Can for Your Zooppa Ad: Creative Commons

Zooppers are responsible for making sure that they have the right to use the images, video & music in their uploads. But how do you unsure everything in your Zooppa upload is clear of copyright? Well, one tool in your arsenal can be an understanding of the Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons is a label that artists can use to apply to their image, video or musical creations. The label explains whether you are free to use the piece in your Zooppa creation!

Check out the post below from Creative Commons Communications Coordinator Jane Park, then take yourself through the tutorial to see how to use the Creative Commons label.

Building on free or open culture via Creative Commons licenses

People are driven to create for all sorts of reasons—for the sake of art, love, or in the case of zooppa.com, cash prizes. That doesn’t necessarily rule out the other two motives, though, or strip you of any artistic credibility. Some of the most creative people in the world work in advertising, and they are successful because they don’t just build something out of nothing, but out of something; they draw on current culture and art to communicate that culture back to others in a compelling way. Essentially, creating to reach people, especially in advertising, is building on the cultural content that has come before, “remixing” it, and approaching it from new or familiar angles. So how do I, as a creator, begin to build on the existing abundance of creative material on the web? Current intellectual property laws say that I have to respect the copyrights of companies and other creators, as well I should, but the laws aren’t always good at explaining themselves. So how do I build on culture without becoming a copyright outlaw?

Well, a simple way of going about it is to look for content that is already free and open for you to use. There is an entire class of creators out there who would love to share their work with you because they recognize that they get something out of it, too, namely a growing commons of creative materials to work with. These creative materials are already free and open for you to use because their creators have pre-cleared certain rights for the public under a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons offers creators a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their work. CC licenses are built on top of copyright law, allowing creators to change their copyright terms from the default “all-rights-reserved” to “some rights reserved.” Creators may choose among a suite of six CC licenses that are free-of-charge, easy to use, and help to standardize what is “open” on the Internet. A rights-holder may choose one or more of the following terms:

Attribution. All CC licenses require that others who use your work must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

NonCommercial. You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen No Derivative Works) modify your work, but not for commercial purposes unless they get your permission first.

ShareAlike. You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute your modified work under other terms, they must get your permission first.

NoDerivatives. You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

I won’t bore you with the details here, since you can learn more at http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses, but basically you can mix and match these terms in six different ways, which results in six different licenses. If you want to know whether you can use a CC licensed work in your ad, check out the terms of the license. The license with the least restrictions is Attribution Only or CC BY, which lets you copy, distribute, display, and perform the copyrighted work (and derivative works based upon it) as long as you give credit to the original author the way she requests. The other licenses have additional terms, as noted above, so you will need to check whether your use of said content for zooppa.com adheres to these terms. CC’s human-readable deeds of its licenses make this easy; for example, check out http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.

In addition to CC licensed content, there is content that is in the public domain that is free for anyone to use for any purpose. Content is in the public domain because its copyright has expired, is created by the U.S. government, or a creator has waived all rights to the work (via a tool like CC0). Read more about the public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain.

So how do you find CC licensed or public domain content? A lot of sites have integrated CC licenses, but you can start at http://search.creativecommons.org/ if you’re looking for something specific. As noted on the page, CC does not host or register any of this content, but merely provides a portal through which you can access these other sites. When in doubt, contact the copyright holder or site where you found the content.

CC also has a wealth of resources on its wiki at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/. Content directories (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Content_Directories) list sites that have integrated CC licensing by content medium (audio, video, image, text). You can visit and search within these sites directly.

For more information, visit creativecommons.org.

OK- World’s longest post. But here goes the tutorial.

Let’s say I want to create a Zooppa video ad. For my concept, it would totally make my ad great to have some video footage of a motocross rider, an image of someone lifting a trophy in celebration, and some emotional orchestral music, featuring a trumpet.

Now- Creative Commons doesn’t supply these pieces. Creative Commons simply offers a system whereby creators of this content can label their images, video & music for use, such as for use in a Zooppa ad. As such, Creative Commons doesn’t have a grand cache of content for use. But you can use a specialized search function within the Creative Commons site to find content.

For the purposes of creating my video, I first select the Blip.tv video search option in the Creative Commons search page, and search for “motocross”. Through the search, I find this video:

To find out whether I can use this footage in my video, I click on the Creative Commons license, and this is what comes up:

Now I have my motocross rider footage. So I start in with the celebratory trophy-lifting image.

And finally, I search the Jamendo database through Creative Commons to try to find the right music.

And there you have it. I have my video footage, my image, and my music. And thanks to Creative Commons’ licenses, I know that I can safely use this content in my Zooppa ad.

For more info see http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Marking/Users.

Jasmine Moore

One Comment

  1. I have a question about the Creative Commons license – Condition: ATTRIBUTION.
    Sometimes the name of the author is not mentionned. Their e-mail address either, so we can contact them and ask. How can we make the attribution? Do we just mention the username of the photographer?

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