Sharing Your Work7:01 with Chris Zabriskie
Sharing your work freely, via Creative Commons or other open licenses, might be a step you want to take, even if you're trying to make money off of your work.
All right. So we've learned how to register our work, and we know where to put notices on it if we want to. Fantastic. 0:00 Now what? What do you actually want to do with what you've made? 0:07 Maybe you've made an app, and you want to sell it. 0:11 Great. Or you've made a website, and you've put the copyright notices on it, and you're all set. 0:13 Awesome. But have you ever given serious thought to sharing what you've done with the world? 0:18 I don't mean just making the website live, I mean really sharing your work. Free as in freedom. 0:24 First of all, let's not confuse the idea of sharing with the idea of giving away. 0:32 Those terms get used interchangeably sometimes, and they're really different things. 0:37 Creative Commons licenses make it easy to share your creative works with the rest of the world in a clear, concise way. 0:43 But with Creative Commons, it's also clear that the work is still yours. 0:50 You're not giving anything away. 0:54 This isn't a gift you're not going to get back like giving a copy of your favorite video game to a friend. 0:57 You're letting that friend borrow the game with an understanding that they won't break it, scratch it, 1:02 or give it to anybody else and that they'll give it back to you when they're done. 1:06 That's licensing, and that's also sharing. 1:09 You've got to ask yourself why you're making what you're making. 1:14 If your priority is to make something that you're going to sell 1:19 then by all means don't share that app freely. 1:22 Make people pay for subscriptions to your site, whatever it might be. 1:25 Sell your songs or your movie. That's totally fine. 1:28 But are you starting a blog where you express your opinions about web design? 1:32 Is that font you've been working on something that you want to sell, 1:36 or do you just want people to use it? 1:38 Sharing really does have advantages. Sometimes they're monetary. 1:41 I mean you can make an app and put it in the app store and sell it for $1, and maybe people will buy it, 1:46 but you make that app free, and that download count is going to skyrocket. 1:52 So do you want to make money, or do you want the attention? 1:56 Look at CSS-Tricks. We talk a lot about Chris Coyier and CSS-Tricks here at Treehouse. 1:59 He's a buddy of the site, and we love him, but look at what he's doing. 2:05 Here's the license agreement for CSS-Tricks. 2:09 Chris says, and I quote, "I don't give two hoots what you do with any of the design or code you find here. 2:12 Actually, I do. I hope you take it and use it, uncredited, on a super commercial website and get wicked rich off it." 2:20 So there it is. There's all the licensing terms we needed to understand in 3 really funny sentences. 2:28 So how does CSS-Tricks make any money or even support their hosting costs? 2:36 Well they sell ads. Seeing ads for a bit so that I can get some great CSS code for my site seems like a fair trade-off to me. 2:40 Chris makes money by sharing what he does so freely. 2:48 CSS-Tricks really does sharing and licensing so well. 2:52 It's easy to find that license on the site, and it's easy to read and understand. 2:56 If you want to share something, it's just a matter of licensing your work properly and clearly. 3:00 You make it easy for people to find out that your work can be shared in the first place. 3:06 You can include a license on your website or your app or whatever you've made as well. 3:11 Remember there's no specific way a license has to be written, so just as long as you include all the things that are important to you. 3:16 Do you want to share your work but only as long as it's not being used by somebody commercially? 3:22 Say that. 3:27 Do you only want to make your work free for people named Fred? Do it. 3:30 Just be clear about it and make it easy to find. 3:34 You probably don't even need to do all that work yourself though if sharing is your goal. 3:37 Creative Commons is far and away the easiest way to freely share your work on the Internet at the moment. 3:41 Every one of those licenses includes attribution. That's credit. 3:49 That's crucial for most artists. 3:52 No matter how much you're sharing something, your name is still attached to it. 3:55 You're still retaining that authorship. 4:00 Sharing your work freely can actually be a great way to make a name for yourself in your chosen field. 4:02 But if you don't require that attribution, nobody's going to know you made it in the first place. 4:08 Creative Commons has a really simple tool on their website that you can use to both pick a license 4:14 and display that license in your project. 4:19 You can click on licenses at the top of the Creative Commons homepage, 4:22 and then choose choose a license. 4:26 It will ask you a couple of simple questions, and then the license will update based on your answers. 4:29 From there you fill out some info about your creation, and there you go. 4:35 You've got an embed code you can easily add to your website that displays everything people need to know, 4:39 and that link, when someone clicks it, takes them to a really easy-to-read and understand page outlining the license. 4:45 The work's already been done for you. 4:53 Creative Commons is easy to use, and more and more people are learning about it every day, 4:55 but you do what you want to with your work. 5:00 You share it however you want. 5:03 Chris Coyier does it his way. You can do it yours. 5:05 But take a second and really think about some of those things that you've made or that you're working on right now. 5:08 What's the point? Why are you doing it? 5:13 Would sharing be something that you could benefit from 5:17 and that would benefit the work you're creating? 5:19 Would sharing it be not just beneficial to you but to the millions of people out there who could potentially use it? 5:22 Do some soul searching. 5:28 I think you might be surprised at how you end up feeling. 5:31 Before we move on, there's just one thing about sharing your work that you need to understand. 5:34 Once you share your work, once you pick that license, whether it's homemade or Creative Commons or GPL 5:39 or whatever it is, you can't take it back. 5:46 Think about WordPress. 5:49 What would happen if they decided that WordPress was no longer GPL licensed? 5:52 It was all rights reserved, no one could modify WordPress anymore, no more free themes, shut the community down. 5:56 That's crazy, and it's not fair. 6:03 I may not have signed a piece of paper when I downloaded WordPress, but we had a license agreement. 6:06 That was clear. They can't make that more restrictive. 6:11 The GPL doesn't allow it. 6:15 Neither does Creative Commons. 6:17 You can get more permissive, you could have an attribution non-commercial license 6:19 and change it to just plain attribution if you wanted to removing those commercial restrictions, 6:24 but you can't just add them back, and you can't expect people who've licensed the work previously 6:30 to have to live by the new rules. 6:36 That's like giving your friend that video game for his birthday, and then calling him a week later and asking for it back. 6:38 It's not cool. 6:43 So when you pick a license of any kind for your work, especially one that encourages sharing, 6:45 definitely give it some thought first. 6:50 Sharing is a wonderful thing. The Internet could not exist without it. 6:53 But changing your mind later on and trying to take it all back just isn't possible. 6:56
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