Creative Commons Licenses in Uganda

Creative Commons Licenses in UgandaA few days ago I was invited for a Stakeholders Mapping breakfast at Cafe Javas for the promoting Creative Commons Initiative in Uganda program which is being run by The Center for Health, Human rights and Development (CEHURD).

I knew little about Creative Commons Licenses and had no idea what to expect from this breakfast meeting. I have to say it was an eye opening discussion, that got me reading up and researching a little more about Creative Commons licenses and here are a few things I would like to share about Creative Commons Licenses and Uganda in particular

For those that do not know what creative commons licenses are, simply put; Creative commons is a free licensing that is meant for creative people (read artists, musicians, writers, photographers) to share their work and make it freely available for people to use.

There are a number of licenses, here they are listed;

  • Attribution (CC BY) – The user needs to credit the creator
  • Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA) – The user needs to credit the creator and the the new work, whatever it is, should have the same Creative Commons license.
  • Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND) – The user needs to credit the creator; the user may use, but may not adapt or remix the original work.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) – The user needs to credit the creator; the work may only be used for free for non-commercial purposes; however, the creator, is free to make other arrangements for people who want to use the work commercially
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

Now that we know the Creative Commons licenses, how should the creative people in Uganda consider using them and what do they stand to benefit?

In Uganda, sadly the Copyright law hardly means anything; from Music to Photography, people’s work is used/abused on a daily with little or nothing that can be done to stop it.

Creative Commons licenses DO NOT replace Copyright but rather supplement it.

Creative Commons licenses can make your work available to a wider audience.
People in other locations do respect the copyright laws and because most people do not understand it here, nor respect it, their work is always in that ambiguous state and this always leads to people getting confused on what they can do and can not do with the content. However with Creative Commons, the terms are clearly explained and you do not need to register anywhere to use a Creative Commons license.

You will be mostly likely to be Quoted more..
If you have a blog or you have been sharing content online, you must have been contacted at one time by someone asking you if it was ok to use part of or some of your work in something they were working on, right? Well, the sad news is, it is time consuming and unless your work is exceptionally good to justify the time it will take to email you for permission and the wait for your response, the person will most definitely move on.

Search engine benefits.
This I found out from my recent reading; sites like Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Flickr all give priority to content posted with CC licenses.
There are even options to search  specifically for Creative Commons Content. This will definitely lead to more people discovering your work more times than if it was in that unclear license state.

There are some pitfalls of Creative Commons Licenses – the main issues would be;

  • Are you sure that you are Ok with all the possible uses of your work?
  • Once you license your work, or state that you are issuing your work under a Creative Commons license, the license is irrevocable. In other words, you will not change it tomorrow and stop people from using your work.

If you are interested in being part of the people pushing for the Creative Commons Licenses in Uganda, do get in touch with me through my contact page and I will make the introductions.

Now go ahead you creative souls and share what your magical hands and talents have created – It is good for you 🙂


What are your thoughts?!

thoughts so far!

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