It’s Free!

Everything is free on the Internet, right? As long as I can see an image, or video, or PDF on the web, it’s mine for the taking (or downloading). Right?

Well buckaroo, let’s just say, not so fast. As far as things being free, as in your “right” to use it, it’s actually quite the opposite. Anything that is published to the web, which is in what as known as a “tangible medium”, is subject to copyright law. Not to get too deep into the law, but you have the right as the owner of the content to ask the offending party to not publish your content without permission. If you registered the content (paid a copyright registration fee), you would be able to ask for monetary compensation for using your content without permission.

So why are we talking about copyright and permission and offending parties in a site about H5P – content intended to be shared openly? Well, to give you the context of where H5P content sits in the arena of copyright law and introduce, or re-emphasize, the concept of Creative Commons.

In brief, Creative Commons licensing is giving pre-permission to someone for using a piece of content – on a website or in a video or in any other tangible medium. It encourages people to use your content. The Creative Commons licensing page spells out each type of license (there are several), and it allows the creator of the content to maintain their copyright, but allow parameters for others to use the content with the stipulations provided. For example, the simplest license is Attribution (the “by” license). This simply requires that the person desiring to use the content give credit to the creator. However there are more licenses available to use if you would like a few more restrictions, like non-commercial use, or no derivative creations. It should also be noted that you are free to license your content as Public Domain which means no restrictions to using content you created.

When you publish H5P content in a repository, you have the option to add information, called metadata, that gives some information about the author of the content. Also included in that feature is a place to specify the license for the content (we strongly encourage you to always fill in this information).

We mentioned Reuse, and Creative Commons, in our Power of the R’s post, but we wanted to reiterate that you have some control of how others can use the content. Specifying a license for H5P content is part of the process of creating the content. You may be creating an accordion, or a true/false quiz, or even a course presentation, but right at the top there is a button for adding your metadata (right next to the Title).

When you click on the button it takes you to the metadata form where you enter the pertinent information, such as the Author name and the licensing information.

When viewing H5P content you can see this information by clicking the “Rights of use” button at the bottom of the H5P content.

You will then see a window that contains that information that was entered in the metadata field, presented like this…

Hopefully this clarifies the rights (copyright) and the control that you have in creating and licensing H5P content. H5P is designed to be easy to both create content and publish content while maintaining some control in its usage.

Let’s finish by embedding a summary check on the usage of Creative Commons licenses.


Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

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