You are driving down a busy thoroughfare when you see a stop sign and act accordingly. Your fellow citizens driving in similar type cars see the very same sign and read it as “Go”. Perhaps you find yourself entering elevators clearly seeing the word ” up” while others just as literate as you are looking at the very same signage and just as clearly see the word “down”. Can you imagine the mess? There would be enough accidents to keep every lawyer in town busy forever.
Sounds ridiculous? Sounds stupid? Sound like a story Hollywood might concoct for a really bad movie? We couldn’t agree more. Well it’s happened. Looks like someone didn’t do their homework or maybe just came late to the party. Most likely a court will decide unless one party backs down.
OK, after reading this far, you’re wondering what the heck are we talking about? Well there’s this big dispute going on. It’s between the Creative Commons (which if you read this column regularly you know is not one of our favorites) and Adobe’s Behance platform. Seems they’re both using the same symbol for what appears to be two opposite meanings. You can read all about it in this article on PetaPixel.com.
The symbol in question looks like a zero with an interior slash (that usually denotes a zero rather than the letter “O”) within a circle. So it looks like the copyright symbol, ©, but instead of the letter “C” the circle, it’s been replaced with a zero. In the Creative Commons galaxy, that means there is no copyright in the image and anyone can use it. In the Behance galaxy however, the very same symbol means that all rights are reserved by the creator (That’s the creator of the work, not the omnipresent Creator of the Universe.) So it appears one means you can use for anything and the other means no use what so ever.
Confusing? You betcha. We can’t wait to see who wins out. We wish we could say that we’re making this one up, but after we stopped laughing long enough, we realized that not even a sci-fi author could make this stuff.
Our preference? Avoid giving your work away. Your odds of getting future work from giving your work away gratis may be about the same as hitting it big on a scratch off lottery ticket. Stick with the traditional Circle C (©). Everyone knows that that symbol means. You can let everyone know, that this is your copyrighted work and that you enforce your creative rights as granted to you in the US Constitution and given teeth by a little something we like to call, The Copyright Law.