Open Access or Copyright?

Unless you have legal documentation of something you own, you can’t own it. That is why copyright laws were invented. So the hard work of writers, creators, photographers, etc. would not be taken and used as someone else’s without given due credit or compensation. Therefore, the only ones that owned something in the digital past put their mark on it. As Cohen and Rosenwig stated, “Noah Webster, who was trying to protect the revenues flowing from his best-selling American Spelling Book, successfully lobbied the Connecticut State Legislature to pass the new nation’s first copyright law in 1783.” 

Webster did not want to share his profits or his work with anyone else. But Congress wanted to take this and use it as a learning opportunity, which Webster didn’t like. With the new law came a sub law that required a 14 year renewal, which you could only renew twice. To this day, the copyright laws are still changing. They are constantly changing the renewal law and how many years and terms it allows for. So even if you owned that piece of past then, you or your family might not own it today.

For the time being I have chosen to keep my website as a CC By copyrighted website. Which means that people that visit my website can use the material they see here for their own purposes as long as they give me credit. I don’t think I will run into many issues with people plagiarizing my work, but you never know. In the future however if I do use this website for something more, like my Gluten Free blog, I might change the copyright laws on it so that others may not so easily take credit for my own work. 

It’s funny most of the resources I have used so far haven’t had copyright symbols on their sites, at least as far as I can tell. Especially the source I used in this post about the history of copyrighting. You would think out of all the sources that source would have a copyright symbol at the very least. I haven’t noticed any licensing agreements either, but now that we are getting deeper into the course, I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of both. 

For my final project I will most likely use the copyright and licensing agreement: Attribution-ShareAlike. The reason being, they have to credit me as well as license the new work under identical licensing terms. It’s harder for them to take it and claim it as their own and make profit off of it, whereas with the previous copyright they don’t have to give me crediation in the licensing agreement commercially. 

Just as I am getting stricter with my resources, I might come into a dilemma with a source that I myself want to use but they have their own set of copyright laws on their site as well. I will have to abide by them and that could potentially mean contacting them for access to their source, or limiting the amount of their source I can use in my project. It will ultimately make me determine if the source is worth the effort of the copyright and licensing agreement.

Athena” my link to my ThinkLink Image, I hope you like it!

Digital History: CopyrightCC By-SA,CC By

One Comment

  • Darby Cox

    I definitely agree that legal documentation is usually the deciding factor on who owns physicial history as it protects the right to peoples own property and ideas. Also, I think its a good idea for shareAlike to get more awareness for your topic.

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