Yes, CC can be easily explained. No, there is no one ideal way to do that, but there are many different great people with their own refined and tweaked for years examples and stories they tell.

Here are some collected thoughts from Twitter and Facebook discussions after last week quest. Enjoy!

Metaphors and juxtapositions

Building blocks – this one seen in videos and training about CC licenses. It asks people to think about their rights as creators and as users as they were building blocks. How would they build something suited for their needs? What rights and conditions they would apply to their own work, what rights they need from works of others to engage and participate in culture or education? It works well with both, explaining license suite and something bigger: the concept of CC being based on social, peer and common structure then existing copyright.

Milk – While not that obvious of a connection and more about open resources then licenses but still interesting to consider. Milk (or other mass produced basic resource) when distributed can be used to create many other (even very complex) products, repurposed or just used as the original resource. This theory is outlined in this JISC article on open educational resources.

Air – like milk is a basic element is, all open projects breath with it. It is often invisible for end-users but it is an essential part of the infrastructure. Well chosen, correctly used license for your project will work as clean air, healthy and giving power to many other activities for all people “breathing the same air”.

CC vs Copyright – You might have heard “CC is not a fix, it’s a patch to copyright” or that CC is showing that other, more social and sustainable copyright is possible. I believe in both, but during my conversation with Bryan Mathers from Visual Thinkery, we stumbled upon very intuitive and basic difference between CC and Copyright. That are assumptions we often make about what might happen with our work in public. When Copyright starts with protection first it drives the assumption that something bad will happen, when CC starts with what is allowed/free to do, it makes you anticipate something good. Of course, both can help protect your work and be used for good, but just how you start the conversation can make a huge difference and impact the response you get.


Subversive method

Before CC people stole my work all the time, after I started using CC, I got shared and sometimes just not attributed correctly.

That’s a trick I’ve heard from a few bloggers using CC. Technically, not much changed but the attitude of those authors changed and with their attitude, their reader’s reactions too. It might sound simple and obvious for advanced CC users, but people outside our filter bubble can still be positively surprised and more grateful when given some rights and freedoms instead of another “menacing-sounding” disclaimer. Also, if you are already publishing online, then CC can only help you manage your visibility and brand instead of restricting its natural growth.

If you want to share some more stories and examples for this #CCquest tweet or comment below.

Featured image by @bryanmmathers after our great discussion during which we explored other ideas like CC being

This image is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license.

Kamil Sliwowski

open educational resources die-hard fan, media literacy animator, trainer and educator, chairman of the board of Polish Coalition for Open Education. Creative Commons Poland educational lead, writes own blog/database of OER’s (in Polish)