Loosen up a little….use the Creative Commons

There is a cartoon I’ve shown to people that has made me howl with the tagline “I think you should be more explicit here in step two” (click the link to look at the cartoon for the joke). For today’s post I wanted to use this cartoon as the basis of my post but was uncertain over usage rights.

On Sidney Harris’ web site was this request, “Copyright © 2005 by Sidney Harris. No reproduction other than for personal enjoyment without written permission.” Since I respect copyright and property rights (and am uncertain over the “journalistic or editorial liberties” I can take with a blog) I sent them an email.

My inquiry:

Every time I look at your cartoon,  ” you should be more explicit here in step two” I howl. I’ve used this personally  as illustrative of how often people make cognitive leaps in business and sort of go from concept to finish…usually

skipping over the middle.

Was wondering: may I show this on my blog? Address below…

Their response:

To: Steve Borsch

Thank you for your inquiry about using the “I think you should be more explicit…” cartoon on your blog.

Because the cartoon is copyrighted, we follow the guidelines of the National Writers Union, and ask a reprint fee or honorarium for any use of it. For blogs we ask our minimum fee, which is $35 per cartoon.

If this is satisfactory, payment can be sent to the address below.

Yours truly,

Jennifer Charl, Copyright and Permissions

for S. Harris

Sidney Harris

Box 1980, Federal Station

New Haven, CT 06521

It’s not the $35 (I can handle that) and they’re within their rights to not have their content stolen. There is an easy and better way to balance one’s rights with decent use: The Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

It’s really pretty simple as it states on the CC web site: Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

While I don’t mean to disrespect or demean Mr. Harris or his work, he’s not exactly Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame and could probably use a little exposure — which bloggers could do.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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