Copyright Clearance Center = FAIL

Sometimes, it’s just nice to laugh at industries that are desperately attempting to hang on to their relevancy in a changing world. Exhibit A for today is the Copyright Clearance Center, and their interesting attempt to educate users about copyright via their Copyright Basics video. Let’s examine the ways in which CCC fails at modern web usage.

First: here’s the opening screen of the video

cccfail

I think that’s enough said, yes? Among the nearly-unreadable text is the prohibition to “distribute copies of the Program to persons outside your company, or post copies of the Program on any public website (including any video sharing or social networking site).”  Yep, that’s the CCC…all about education. Wouldn’t want those non-paying people to easily get your content that explains why they should pay for your content. 

Second: To get a copy of the video to use internally, on a non-public server that is limited to only your employees, you have to fill out a form on this page. Or, you know, just look at the page source:

cccpagesource

Where the FLV file is handily linked for anyone who might want to use it. 

If ever there was a direct example of how the modern web breaks copyright, the CCC just gave it to us. The answer, of course, isn’t to ignore the de facto standards for the distribution of video on the web, to limit the ability to share and distribute content, and to generally treat people who want to use your content like criminals. The way to make yourself valuable and heard is to share what you make as widely as you possibly can…something that the CCC can’t bring itself to do.  It’s really hard to participate in the modern conversation when your very business model is tied to archaic and irrelevant legalese.

4 thoughts on “Copyright Clearance Center = FAIL

  1. I must be missing your point, Jason. You make your blog available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

    Are you concerned that someone might might want to use your stuff commercially and wiothout giving you credit?

    Oh, and fortunately, you have a paying job as a librarian so don’t have to rely on those “…non-paying people to easily get your content that explains why they should pay for your content.”

    You’re not just critical, you’re completely hypocritical!!

  2. It is pretty apparent you did, indeed, miss the point, Rich. My offering my content under a CC license has nothing to do with a corporation failing to understand the norms of sharing content on Internet.

    I was just pointing out the irony of a group that produces a video in order to educate users about their purpose, and then puts roadblocks in the way of those users actually _using_ said content. Especially when such roadblocks are completely contrived.

    I can license _my_ work in any way I wish, and if I ever produce something and then purposefully make it harder for people to get, that would be hypocritical. But I don’t think I’ll do that.

  3. Interesting–I had gotten an e-mail or something about this video, but had not researched it. It seems to me that limiting the way it can be shared also is shooting themselves in the foot from a marketing standpoint…

  4. I must be missing your point, Jason. You make your blog available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Are you concerned that someone might might want to use your stuff commercially and wiothout giving you credit? Oh, and fortunately, you have a paying job as a librarian so don't have to rely on those “…non-paying people to easily get your content that explains why they should pay for your content.”You're not just critical, you're completely hypocritical!!

Comments are closed.