Copyright and Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

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Kevin Kelly’s article, Scan This Book! , in today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine (also available online at AOL, Keyword:NYT magazine) is a fascinating look back to the misguided origin of copyright law and its numerous extensions (which the Supreme Court in 2003 called dumb but constitutional) and a look forward to the time when all writings will be scanned and the collective knowledge link will transform our knowledge base and creativity.

I am surprised the article didn’t mention the Creative Commons license, which many bloggers are using, including this blog. We don’t have the logo displayed as we triage our growing “learn how to do” list, but the concept of permitting others to use your work as long as attribution is given seems sound.

The first piece of advice Mike Stevens of KentuckyLawBlog gave as this blog was launched was to  “give credit where credit is due.” Simple. Practical. He didn’t need to go to Congress or to the U.S. Supreme Court to come up with  this gem.

Just in case you are OC, however, there are lots of blogs on the topic, including the Creative Commons Blog and Plagiarism Today. Or, if you want legal advice about the topic, this isn’t it. You wouldn’t go to a  Kentucky divorce lawyer for intellectual property advice, would you? As the big guns and litigious slug it out in the courts, I think Mike’s motto is all I really need to know. I’ll save my worry beads for something else.