“Just get the photo off of Google.” “Can’t you just download the mp3 of it?” Those words are becoming more and more common in any artist’s vernacular. With the advent of the Internet, creative material has become plentiful wherever one might navigate. So why is it so difficult to use someone else’s material in art, and not get in trouble? The answer is Copyright. With Copyright the artist has taken full control of their piece and does not allow for others to expand on it or reinvent the work. In an age where getting your name out there is more important, many people want to broadcast their work and have others manipulate it, just to increase the exposure.
This is where Creative Commons enters the picture. In 2001, many individuals and organizations got together and laid out the plans to have a license system that allowed artist all over the world to collectively work with other’s creations. There are a couple variations of this license, but the most important aspect of it tends to be the ability to freely be open to finding inspiration in something and creating something new. This age of art could probably be categorized as The Conglomerate Hybrid Movement, which focuses on many disciplines being able to take pieces and reinvent them every time. If the license is utilized correctly, the art pieces should allow the researcher to follow the variations of the piece.
Attribution is key when using a Creative Commons license, because regardless of what is being made, the artist deserves credit where it is due. Same as with the Copyright, the ability to attribute the original work must be given because it is plagiarism to take someone else’s work as your own. There are many options that can be designated along with the basic attribution, such as the ability to limit commercial sales and the amount of manipulation. The Creative Commons does not constitute a free for all with another person’s work, the original artist still has control and a connection to the integrity of the piece. If an artist does not want to grant permission for a manipulation of their work, it is in their power to do that.
So what will come about from the rise in Creative Commons being utilized by people wanting to be noticed? There will eventually be a moment that most original pieces are either influenced or subjected to another person’s work. Consequently, there will be a moment of time where attribution is high and not much 100% original material is being uploaded to the Internet, printed in books, or distributed with any method. However, this will just be a phase, just a blip of art movements, because someone will come forth and begin a new era of artists. Additionally, there could be an increase of Copyrights again, due to the “fresh” nature of the work.
With the advent of the Creative Commons, artists have the ability to showcase their work and get their name out to a wide audience. This is useful for the starving artist or the student, who are trying hard to make ends meet. The license is helpful to this new age of Conglomerate Hybrid art, but can soon be too widespread and common. So there should be caution to people who want to protect their work as best as they can.