Licensing blog posts, Creative Commons, and license abusers
The content in my blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution UK license. So that means that you can basically take the content and do what you like with it as long as you give me credit. So, as long as scrapers give me proper credit, I really can't say anything to what they're doing. I don't approve of what they're doing, but, as long as I'm using the Attribution license, I can't object to it.
I don't know if this is an inherent failing of the Attribution license or not. Should it include an ethical clause, for example, that specifically disallows scraping of content and other abuses?
Part of the beauty of Creative Commons is the simplicity of the licenses. They make it easy for content producers to know what rights they have when working with other people's content. The idea is to make it easy (to legally) remix content. But it also makes it possible for lowlives to do things like scrape your blog's content en-masse, slap some ads on to it and make money off of your work. Moreover, there's nothing to stop someone taking that Creative Commons Attribution licensed picture of you from Flickr and using it in an ad campaign for a product or service that you don't support.
(Or is there? Surely releasing a photograph of a person under the Creative Commons Attribution license doesn't imply that there's a model release for that photograph? What if you release a photograph of someone else (without getting a model release) under an Attribution license and that photograph gets used in an ad campaign... are you liable if the subject of the photo objects to the use? Do you even have the right to release the photo under an Attribution license?)
Of course, you can shield yourself from a lot of these complications simply by using a non-commercial Creative Commons license for your content.
It's the age old dilemma: do you want your content to be as widely seen and used as possible or do you want greater control over how it is used?
Maybe I should use a non-commerical license. It would at least give me recourse against blog scrapers and I really don't approve of what they're doing...
That's it, I've talked myself into it! The content on my blog shall henceforth be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical UK license.
I'm using the excellent Creative-Commons-Configurator Wordpress plugin by George Notaras to include the license in the blog's header, in posts and on the feed.
What license are you using for your content? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject of licensing, Creative Commons, and abuses of open licenses.