Copyright options for submissions to the Bahá'í Library Online
by Brett Zamir
See also this copyright page.
When submitting a document to the Bahá'í Library Online, you have a number of options for copyright on our upload page (you will need to register to be able to upload a document). You can also provide supplemental information in our upload form (which will be visible to site visitors) regarding the license type you have chosen; some licenses as the Attribution-ShareAlike license allow authors to spell out how the license should work. This latter license type, for example, would allow an author to state exactly how others would need to attribute credit to the author if others wished to use or redistribute his work. If your desired license is not listed in the menu options, choose "Other" and then provide explanatory information.
Please note that you must respect the current copyright status of others' material, while you are free to choose any license type for your own work.
Anyone noting a mislabeling of copyright type or a copyright infringement, please notify us so that we can address it promptly.
Reference is made below to legal licenses originated by the Creative Commons and Free Software Foundation organizations. Please read the full licenses to make sure that our description here is adequate. The information provided on our site does not constitute legal advice, and we cannot be held liable for any results of your use of the information we provide here.
We at Bahá'í Library Online would especially like to draw your attention to the more liberal licenses, in the event you are willing to submit your work under these conditions. As many people create their works simply as a service to humanity, we feel that contributors to our site might also strongly consider releasing their material under one of these licenses to allow others to more easily build upon what they have done and not need to pay for the right to use the material, ask for permission, etc. Nevertheless, we also understand the need of people to be able to make a living and that some for other reasons may wish to maintain control over the usage of their work, so we are grateful for any work submissions (or portions of works) that you can offer for our site to use, even if you wish to restrict how the work is used (such as whether it can be modified and redistributed).
The first option listed on the upload page is "public domain". This license type allows anyone to reuse, modify, republish, etc. the material without restrictions. Although public domain is often considered in the context of documents published 70 years ago, a new work can also be released by the author under this type of license. You can see such a license here. This type of license might be suitable in situations where you would be happy to see your work be put to use by anyone now or in the future, even if they were to republish your work without credit or compensation to you.
A slightly stricter license type is the Creative Commons "Attribution-ShareAlike" license. This license type, as with public domain, allows the work in question to be modified and/or redistributed, but it stipulates a requirement that some kind of credit be given to the author.
Another type of license is the GNU Free Documentation License. This license allows free modifications and/or redistribution of the work in question but also requires that any derivative works give the same right to others for modification and redistribution. This has been in used in projects such as Wikipedia to prevent companies from "hijacking" a project by improving upon the free work but then restricting access to the new work.
Yet another type is the Non-commerical license. This license restricts reuse or redistribution of the work to non-commercial purposes. The Non-commerical, NoDerivs license operates in the same way but does not allow derivative works to be made of the original work.
Another type of license is the Creative Commons "Developing Nations" license. This license continues strict copyright in "high income" nations, but allows free use within "developing nations" (these being determined as listed by the World Bank).
Yet another license is the Founders' copyright. This license requires registration with the Creative Commons (we are not affiliated with this organization) and aims to provide strict copyright, but with only a 14-year duration.
The Creative Commons Sampling license allows for people to reuse portions of your work, but not your entire work (this is more liberal than "fair use" as it explicitly allows sampling, but it is still not allowing reuse of the whole work).
With all of these licenses, one still can have the ability to modify one's own work, and redistribute that derivative work, even to apply copyright to it (or at least to the portions which you have added since releasing the earlier item under a more liberal license).