10 thoughts on “Tuesday, November 30, 2021


    Do I need to register with Creative Commons before I obtain a license?

    No. CC offers its licenses, code, and tools to the public free of charge, without obligation. You do not need to register with Creative Commons to apply a CC license to your material; it is legally valid as soon as you apply it to any material you have the legal right to license.

    CC does not require or provide any means for creators or other rights holders to register use of a CC license, nor does CC maintain a database of works distributed under Creative Commons licenses. CC also does not require registration of the work with a national copyright agency.

    see: https://creativecommons.org/faq/#how-do-cc-licenses-operate

    Also, as CATALINA points out, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 has now replaced 3.0, and OTP contributors (including me) should use 4.0 instead of 3.0. (The differences between 3.0 and 4.0 are insignificant for our purposes, relating largely to issues of data sharing, but it’s best to use the latest license.)

    Finally, I was happy to receive just now the email update from DANIEL M stating that the OTP site as a whole will be moving to CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. However, since OTP page images are easily disassociated from the OTP home site (right click, save image), I would still advise contributors who care about the integrity and non-commercialization of their work to individually mark their pages in this way: “CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.” Alternatively, for work that you plan to publish later and for which you want exclusive rights, you may wish to mark it, “Copyright [AUTHOR] DATE, all rights reserved.”

    (For me, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 is the way to go for most of my contributions, since I support the larger political goals of the creative commons movement.)

    Best to all,


    1. Regarding the possibility of OTP page images being easily disassociated from OTP (i.e., saved and then repurposed), that is true, but interestingly, by publishing your work in a public forum (OTP), you’re actually protecting it legally more than if you typed it up and stuck it in a desk drawer.

      As an archive, so long as it is maintained and accessible, OTP creates a virtual timestamp on the content, so if it did come to a legal battle between you and a usurper, they would need to prove that they were in possession (namely, the creator) prior to the date it appeared on OTP.

      H@M — did you have any idea what a hornets’ nest you’d be stirring up? I think it’s great, though, because it reminds us — and many of us need reminding — that our words and our ideas belong to us, and have worth. Mostly potential, but worth nevertheless.

  2. A copyright can be protection, and then it can cost more to protect and recover any damages once a work has been stolen. I worked for a major corporation that would copyright everything. We’d see one of our photos or other work used without permission. It’d get investigated and often the violator was in another country making any recovery not only very difficult, but overly expensive to recover damages. Copyright is like a lock –it keeps honest people honest.

    JVC, I’ve seldom lost any transparencies, negatives, or prints (Many go back to about 1970). I cannot say the same for the hundreds of digital files I’ve lost whether saved on a local drive or on line service. That said, I’ll often grab by Olympus Stylus-1 instead of my 35mm because I’m getting lazy in my old age and don’t have any digital gear larger than MFT.

  3. Well said, Bill M. Determined thieves will do what determined thieves do. And when they have power, they’ll find a way to make it legal and praiseworthy, too. Why sometimes, they’ll even erect statues to celebrate their theft!

    But most of us still use locks, at least sometimes. And often it’s opportunity–rather than determination–that creates the thief. So the CC license can still be a deterrent.

    I corresponded with a copyright attorney, and they had this to say about some of the questions raised here:

    “(1) To license by CC, you are absolutely correct that all you need to do is mark your material with the license.

    (2) To copyright a work, nothing is required — not registration, not notice; simply putting the work in electronic or physical form means the work is automatically copyrighted. (Copyright notices were required prior to 1978.) However, although it’s not required, I do recommend that you put a copyright notice, as a form of notifying people about the date (for future public domain purposes) and to pay attention to the CC license. The form is (c) yyyy AUTHOR NAME

    Although not required, you can also optionally register copyright with the US Copyright Office (https://copyright.gov/). It is recommended if you are (a) likely to sue (timely registration greatly increases money damages and is required prior to filing a lawsuit) or (b) like to have your work at the Copyright Office and (depending on format) on file with the Library of Congress. ”

    So interestingly enough, it seems that if OTP did not state a license or copyright policy either way, the material would be automatically copyrighted to the most restrictive copyright (all rights reserved).

    I continue to support the site-wide default of CC BY-NC-ND, which is slightly more permissive than total silence.

    I swear, this is my very *last* commentary on copyrights, licensing, etc.

    So much more of importance and interest to talk about on these pages than this!



  4. Thanks for the clarification H@M. The website had a lot of info and one of the rabbit holes I fell into took me to a certificate registration page.

  5. MichaelRpdx,

    In the 9 part series to Claire I ended a day or so ago, I’d come up with the Middle Case, which is the mechanism at work when a typist hits an unintended key and then pivots direction to maintain the appearance of direction. It isn’t you, it’s the soul of the machine guiding and bumping and nudging the conversation where it wants it to go. Some machines have more power over its typist. Some machines and typists make great teams. Some, like yourself, notice this instance, while others have no idea it’s happening between them.

  6. MichaelRpdx: I’ve just bought a typewriter that lied to me. The dealer in Hungary advertised it as a Russian keyboard, a Mapuua 30, and posted it from Slovakia, because it’s cheaper, but further scrutiny revealed that it was a Bulgarian Maritsa all along, which go by about twenty other names. So I’m keeping an eye on it. Or it’s keeping an eye on me…It’s pretty, though, so I think it’s got the upper hand. It might be a typer fatale.

  7. Leo: I love your poem “Moonwords.” Add to your list of moon words, “bulan” which is Ilocano, my parents Pilipinx language in northern Luzon of the Philippines. Ilocano word “bulan” and the Tagalog “buwan” come from Proto-Austronesian *bulaN, and later Proto-Malayo-Polynesian. (Pre-hispanic; pre-colonial.) Cool cover art on “Other Poetry” journal.

    1. Thank you, Catalina. It’s the type of poem one can keep adding to. Thanks for the etymology. The ‘He’ in the poem was Anthony Burgess who wrote a fascinating book called A Mouthful of Air: Language and Languages, Especially English (as well A Clockwork Orange, of course, and about forty other novels). He listed a few ‘moon’ words and I thought there was a poem in it.

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