Towards an information society
While using or creating content for the web, there is an increasing focus on the understanding of copyright law due to the increasing insecurities about internet privacy. In particular, it is important to know the difference between a copyright and creative commons while sharing online content.
For instance, the © symbol means the content is owned and cannot be used for commercial or sharing purposes without proper permission and credit. If the user fails to meet this criterion, the content counts as being plagiarized. This could lead to lawsuits, fines and other consequences, depending on the context in which it was used.
On the other hand, Creative Commons has its own symbols. These include attribution, derivatives, share- alike and noncommercial or commercial use. Each signifies that an image can be used if the specified requirements, set by the creator, are met. Content that is in the public domain does not require any special rules to be listed or followed for use. For attribution, you must provide a credit with the content and link or source. Derivative and sharealike both refer to the presentation of similar or edited content based on the original. Commercial or noncommercial informs the user whether the content can be used for a profitable venture. The creator may also have some special requirements to meet, such as telling them you have used the image, and where.
In this context, there a new Curator’s Code has been unveiled. The system aims to codify the “attribution of discovery in curation as a currency of the information economy”, which would honour the “creative and intellectual labour of information discovery by making attribution consistent and codified, celebrating authors and creators and also respecting those who discover and amplify their work”.
The Curator’s Code, as the creators Maria Popova and Simon Dumenco have labelled it, are simply two Unicode characters, like ™ for trademark and © for copyright, that make the distinction between what publication inspired an article compared to what article has been excerpted. To be exact, Popova writes: stands for “via” and signifies a direct link of discovery, to be used when you simply repost a piece of content you found elsewhere, with little or no modification or addition.
stands for the common “HT” or “hat tip,” signifying an indirect link of discovery, to be used for content you significantly modify or expand upon compared to your source, for story leads, or for indirect inspiration encountered elsewhere that led you to create your own original content.
According to Curator’s Code creator Maria Popova, “The reason for the unicodes is that, under the system we’re proposing, using them online helps propagate the ethos of the project. The characters are hot- linked to the Curator’s Code website, so clicking them leads a curious reader to the site, which articulates the ethos of attribution. This is the bigger point and main message – why attribution matters, not how to attribute in technical terms.”
This can be one vital step towards the formation of a true information society.