Creative commons and facilitating mashups to spread your ideas

Posted by David Meerman Scott 07:48 AM on August 08, 2010

Cc I'm a huge fan of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that makes it easy for people to both share and build upon the work of others.

Mouse With a CC attribution, originators of works assert legal copyright ownership but grant free licenses to creative work so others can share, remix, use commercially, or some combination of mashup.

This strategy of losing control and facilitating sharing of content is dramatically different than the typical corporate approach of demanding email registration via squeeze pages and slapping draconian "do not copy" restrictions on content.

Many people tell me they don't like to share content this way because they don't get the inbound links that are generated. I think that's a shortsighted argument because the more people who know you, your company, and its ideas, the more will want to visit to learn more.

When you allow mashups, you never know what interesting things will emerge.

There are thousands of mashups created from my work. I found some fun ones this morning for the first time as I was thinking about this article. Consider just a few:

A publisher in Bulgaria translated my ebook The New Rules of PR into Bulgarian and created a Bulgarian language Facebook page to promote my work and the local language edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

A company in Japan, News2U created a Japanese language version of my free Marketing Strategy Template.

Kathy Drewien & Company took another one of my ebooks The New Rules of Viral Marketing and turned it into a slideshare that has over 1,800 views. These are views of the ebook I might not have generated otherwise.

Pushan Banerjee from Hyderabad, India created a presentation based on some of my ideas and gave me credit.

So many companies are looking to generate attention. Using the old rules, you have to buy attention or beg for it. But the new way is to earn attention by creating something interesting and then using a creative commons approach to making it spreadable.

It's not just authors who can use this strategy. Anybody can. Rock bands, churches, B2B companies, consumer brands, nonprofits, colleges, sports teams...

What interesting mashups have you been able to achieve for your organization?

Image: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

David Meerman Scott

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