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Creative Commons: Steal This Article!

Creative Commons: Steal This Article!

  • TechSoup just launched its Creative Commons licensing! Learn how your organization can publish TechSoup articles without for permission first in Reprint Our Articles Without Asking. Seriously.

    Got questions? Ask them here!
    senior editor, TechSoup
  • I like your reference to Abbie Hoffman.
  • Heh. Thanks, Rog. Yeah, I've always loved the title of Steal This Book.


    Amit Asaravala Manager of Editorial & Content Strategy TechSoup
  • Has anyone used this or any other content from TechSoup on their site yet, since we launched the creative commons licensing? I would be interested to see our content employed on another site.

    If you have, please link to your use of the content and let the community see how you did it.



    Susan Tenby, Parernships, Online Community and Social Media Director, Caravan Studios, a division of

  • I would love to. This would be great for our members however I see one problem.

    How and when are the updated? Several of the articles I read were very good at the time they were written. But now the information is dated and are either misleading or flat out wrong. Who will be updating the articles and how often? How will we be notified of updates to the article?

    The web is full of dated obsolete information, just look at Microsoft’s Tech web site. If the article are not updated and there is no way to dynamically update the articles on our site aren’t we just polluting the web? If the info is updated and dynamic links can be created to refresh our content this is great!
  • I see that the CC lic you chose was Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.

    Douggg actually brings up a good point.

    Right now, according to your CC lic, "You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work."

    Had you chosen *to allow* derivative works to be created, then perhaps others might clear up any errata.

    Personally, I think this CC license would be a bit better.
  • I have seen some articles with a Gnu License. Gnu Licenses were, as I understand it, originally meant for sharing software but have since broadened.So I wonder if Gnu and Creative Commons are trying to do the same thing. Is anyone familiar with both who could compare and contrast them?
  • Hi Rog,

    We're not using a a derivatives-allowed license for now because many of our articles are either written by freelancers who have concerns about their work being modified, or funded by grants where similar concerns come into play.

    I do want to point out, however, that TechSoup does not have a single, site-wide Creative Commons license. Rather, we can apply a specific CC license to a specific article. So some articles may indeed by released under a derivatives-allowed license.

    As we get the word out and more people grow comfortable with Creative Commons licensing, I'm sure we'll start releasing more articles under a derivatives-allowed license. Just keep your eye out for them!

    Hope that helps,
    Amit Asaravala Manager of Editorial & Content Strategy TechSoup
  • From NetSquared:

    Creative Commons has also recently posted a Podcasting Legal Guide to complement Electric Frontier Foundation's Legal Guide for Bloggers.
    senior editor, TechSoup
  • We took a look at the GPL (GNU Public License) option when we were considering what sort of licensing policy to adopt for TechSoup. Though GPL does have a specific license for documentation -- called the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) -- we found Creative Commons licensing to be much more versatile.

    For instance, GFDL only applies to text-based works, whereas there are Creative Commons licenses for images, audio, video, and so on.

    Additionally, GFDL allows anyone to reprint and modify your work, whereas you have more options to choose from with Creative Commons licensing, depending on how "open" you want your content to be.

    Finally, Creative Commons is more widely used for creative works than GFDL is. And it seems like the trend toward using Creative Commons will continue.

    Hope that helps,

    Amit Asaravala Manager of Editorial & Content Strategy TechSoup
  • thanks for this important web but it is so long in writting can u make iut easy thanks

  • Hi memo1490,

    Are you looking for help understanding Creative Commons? This page might be useful. At the top of the page is a cartoon that explains CC very clearly.

    Hope this helps,

    Elliot Harmon
    Staff Writer, TechSoup