I listened to a presentation Lawrence Lessig gave at SXSW earlier this year and was motivated to action.
I've removed the copyright notice from all of my pages and replaced it with an invitation for people to use the content for whatever commercial or creative use they want.
For many years I've maintained a website where I have recipes, stories and thousands of photos. In the past many people have asked to use some of these and I've allowed it with the provision that they include a copyright notice and a link to me. People have stolen some of my designs and I've gotten very upset and threatened to sue.
But hearing your speech made me start to wonder why. What is the point of me stressing out over control of these things? I don't ever intend to make money from them. Why not open them to people who can find a creative use?
So I have.
Already people are grabbing the images and using them for some cool things. A film maker intends to use them in his work, websites are using them for banners. I am very happy. Here's a link to my page where we're discussing this:
And an example of one of my public domain photo pages:
I'm rather surprised at how tightly some people's idea of "art" is linked to copyright and control. I always thought art was creativity.
I'm very interested in using the "contributor application" and seeing how well it matches up with the licences I've been using. One thing I did see missing from the licences they show (Attribution, Noncommercial, etc) was an explicitly public domain licence.
Most of my photos actually fall into this category. I just want people to use them, even if I don't attribution. Of course this seems like a bit of a non-licence, but it would be nice to have something specifically stating that. I constantly get email indicating that a) people don't understand what public domain means, and b) they don't believe I really mean it.
At any rate, I want to thank Creative Commons for their work and inspiration.