The Struggle of Communicating Legally

Individuals in the communication field only tell us information right? They put words on a piece of paper for readers, and then after the readers are done with the piece, they push the information aside. Have these readers ever thought about the process communicators go through to obtain the information? More specifically, have you ever thought about the process communicators go through to obtain information? The information gathered isn’t just words thrown together in the spur of a moment. Communicators write stories, blogs, newspaper articles, articles on the Internet, and so much more. Every piece of work is different because of the style of the writing, the target audience, and how communicators want their information to be perceived. Writing involves many components individuals are not aware about. Being a communications major, I see the barrier communicators face. We go through a process many are not aware about. We have to be careful of plagiarism, misinformation, non-reliable sources, and much more. Without being in communications, I would not be aware of any of it.

Communicators write pieces of artwork. Time and hard work is in every piece that is written, but readers cannot see that. They cannot feel the mind blocks, frustration, stress, and other emotions we go through.  The biggest component that is stressful to me and takes up most of my time is plagiarism or not having the permission to use someone else’s work. This is a big part of the communications world because a communicator can blossom or wind up in a bad situation if the information they gathered is not used in the correct form. I have found myself double checking how I gathered my information, and if I gave the writer the amount of credit I was supposed to. There are now sites that help us check our work, and get legal authorization to use information, graphics, and videos. This site is Creative Commons.

Want to know what I look like when I'm stressed? Here it is. http://cariejuettner.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/cartoon-crazy.jpg

Want to know what I look like when I’m stressed? Here it is.
http://cariejuettner.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/cartoon-crazy.jpg

What exactly is Creative Commons? Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows the sharing and use of information, graphics, and all of the components writers use. The organization does this through free legal tools (creativecommons.org). Creative Commons states, “Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.””  CC is allowing writers, photographers, and others to get their information reserved, but having a license that is easy to use for the public. It can be challenging to find good information, and then have to make sure it is okay to use. Sometimes, information has to be let go because of the process it would take to obtain permission. CC doesn’t only benefit the producers of the pieces of work, but it also benefits us, the communicators.

We can obtain content that is free and completely legal to use. CC has a giant pool of licensed content that is available to us. There is a great variety of material that is available, and we need to take that opportunity because content is not always this easy to get permission to use (creativecommons.org). For a situation example, Creative Commons produced a video called “Creative Commons Kiwi.” This video gives an example of an individual wanting to use a picture from a photographer. The photographer licensed her photo with a Creative Commons license, which made it easy for the individual wanting to use the photo to obtain permission. The individual does have to abide by rules though. These rules are not generating a profit by using the picture on t-shirts or other items, not editing the photo, acknowledging the photographer for his/her photo, and using the same license for other creations. The rules are easy and clear to abide by, and allow the public to obtain a license without stress.

Creative Commons is a great site to obtain a license to copyright your information, and to also obtain information to use. CC has a wide variety of articles, photos, videos, music, and more. Strong pieces of work become more credible and are used more often by others when the information is obtained in a proper manner. No communicator wants to go through the process of using material that they were not granted permission for. Being a communicator involves a tremendous amount of thinking. We have to fight through mind blocks, and go through a whole process that seems unnecessary, but in the world of communications, it is extremely crucial to follow all rules when producing content. No one, especially me, wants to get into a lawsuit over a photo of a butterfly that could have been avoided if permission was granted. Communicating information can be a stressful task, but in the end, it is a rewarding task to inform your peers about information you gathered, with permission of course.

“About.” Creative Commons. Creative Commons, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://creativecommons.org/about&gt;.

Creative Commons Kiwi Video: http://creativecommons.org/videos/creative-commons-kiwi

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