debunking the myth of the Creative Commons License

19 May

You noe, i keep seeing people putting up the Creative Commons License thingy and think that it’s actually something that is used to copyright your work

ie. “I have that means it’s copyrighted. period.”

To me, that is just a misinformed thinking.

Lets go to the Creative Commons website and see what they say:


Too often the debate over creative control tends to the extremes. At one pole is a vision of total control — a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and in which “all rights reserved” (and then some) is the norm. At the other end is a vision of anarchy — a world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are left vulnerable to exploitation. Balance, compromise, and moderation — once the driving forces of a copyright system that valued innovation and protection equally — have become endangered species.

Creative Commons is working to revive them. We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare “some rights reserved.”

Taken from “About Creative Commons”

It’s pretty obvious what the main aim of CC is; they are just trying to be ‘right in the middle’ and in their own words: ‘offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them – to declare “some rights reserved”.

Yes. you are not suppose to use the Creative Commons and LITERALLY think that


The creative commons is just there to ‘TELL’ people HOW your work should be treated.

To Further reinforce my point,


How does a Creative Commons license operate?

Creative Commons license are based on copyright. So it applies to all works that are protected by copyright law. The kinds of works that are protected by copyright law are books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings, for example. Software programs are also protected by copyright but, as explained below, we do not recommend that you apply a Creative Commons license to software code or documentation.
Creative Commons licenses give you the ability to dictate how others may exercise your copyright rights—such as the right of others to copy your work, make derivative works or adaptations of your work, to distribute your work and/or make money from your work. They do not give you the ability to restrict anything that is otherwise permitted by exceptions or limitations to copyright—including, importantly, fair use or fair dealing—nor do they give you the ability to control anything that is not protected by copyright law, such as facts and ideas.

Taken from “Before Licensing

I shall make a general FAQs, SOME of this are only valid if you stay in Singapore!

So Ya saying that Creative Commons douch solely give little old me the rights to sue??

Abit touchy this one. As the creative commons have not yet been ported over to synchronize with Singapore law, I cannot 100% tell you that it can be solely used to sue other people’s underwear till it drops off should the person infringe what was stated on the CC license.

But depending on your situation and events, you are already protected by Singapore’s Copyright law! So there really is no need for you to go dwell on it too much.

A list of Licenses offered by CC can be found here

Then what are the things that can be copyrighted? EVERYTHING I MAKE OR DO MYSELF ISIT!?!?

You think your Lao Peh is Prime Minister of Singapore isit? Of cause not lar. There are certain things that you need to register in order to claim copyrights, those are usually for more impt and much more expensive things, like buildings or inventions or whatever.

There are also some things that just cannot be copyrighted because if it were, it would have defy logic.

For a more general case, please refer to Section 12.1.2, “Subject-matter of Copyright” at Singapore Academy of Law

Then Then Then! How to get copyrighted?!? I don’t want people to steal my naked peektures! I want to sue them until they drop pants if they do!

Different countries have different laws and jurisdiction, some requires you to actually register with them before you can claim copyright, but most countries doesn’t need you to do that.

In the case of Singapore, as long as you satisfy certain criteria(s), you will automatically be entitled copyright(s). Don’t need papers or license or whatsoever. You can of cause, go and apply for one, but it’s only to action to people and maybe perhaps make it even more enforceable should u choose to sue people till they drop their underwear.

Just read Section 12.1.3, “Subsistence of Copyright” at “Singapore Academy of Law

Actually, once you are under the copyright law, you can sue the person already. It’s just whether you think it’s worth it or not to sue.


wait until i go get my lawyer cert first, then I go consult and fight the case for you.

Bah. Of cause go and find a real certified Lawyer lar. piang eh.

ok.. but i want to wait! Cause you are so hamsum and nothing can turn me on more than seeing a HANSUM LAWYER!

<=70 years. Seriously. your work is only covered for 70 years! haha

read Copyright act

So there you have it peeps, now perhaps its time for you to go reconsider whether or not you really need that Creative Commons.


this is just a very general and rough post on what the Creative Commons actually do and one of the law of Singapore, I am not a lawyer so please do not treat me SO SERIOUSLY you decide to hire me to fight case for you. Though I’d most probably accept, get my pay in advance and not turn up on that day. Trust me.

If there are real, certified lawyers who read my post and find that it is all a load of crap, please, do point it out so I can take this post down.

Thank you.

//UPDATE (27th July 2008):

CC is finally ported over to Singapore. Now you can be sure you won’t be firing empty bullets. 😉

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Posted by on May 19, 2008 in Uncategorized


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