Nathan Yergler from Creative Commons has created an interactive visualization representing the three conceptual layers of a Creative Commons License. I presume that many people do not realize that when they use a Creative Commons they are in fact getting:
- A human readable license – which shows the familiar Creative Commons icons
- Machine readable metadata – that software systems, search engines, and other kinds of technology can understand
- A legal deed – the type of lingo that lawyers like to use in contracts and legal docs. This protects the content owner from others violating the terms of their Creative Commons license.
This visualization is quite useful in conceptually understanding the Creative Commons license and its many useful facets. When you use a Creative Commons license you are not only ensuring your work is ‘shareable‘, you will also ensure your work appears in search engines when people are looking for material that they are allowed to reuse, and you are getting a legal document that will protect you if the Creative Commons license terms are violated.