Adding License to Your Content on Internet

The internet is vast, open and free for everyone. A very much good quote, that everyone has on his face. But, let us now see the dark side of the image. You create something new that you created to earn a living. Most of us here write good code to ensure that our Coffee cups are filled with Coffee and not air. The content that you write in English or C++ are both artistic work. Anyone cannot write a good software application to manage their business and to be sure that their clients would enjoy the service. The internet is entirely open-source in itself. You are guaranteed to be protected against theft in your homes, you are guaranteed to be provided police support for when you need them. But, what about the content that you share on the internet?
 
Sadly enough, there are no guarantees that your content is secure on the internet and that no one else is using your content and hard work to fill up their own Coffee mugs. The following  are a few things to keep in mind first:
  1. The internet is open for everyone, anywhere. 

  2. Once you have posted your content on the internet, there is no guarantee that end-users cannot use it for other purposes. 

  3. Most people who re-use the content are unethical indie starters.

    Business holders try to hire experts for their work. 

  4. Try to be modest for when users ask you to allow them to use your content on their websites. 
Even after all these points are kept in mind, there is not much of a guarantee that your content is secure on the internet. If there is no problem to you for allowing others to copy your content and share it on their own websites, commercially or non-commercially, then there is no problem at all. But if you do have a problem, you should show them a marker saying, "Do not copy" since it might help them in understanding that you are not the person they are looking for.

Securing your content 

Securing your own content on the internet is a really tough task and sometimes unprofessional also, but you are required to remain calm and work as friendly as you can. The first thing to do is to get a license that would tell the readers about the content and whether you are living to share the content for free or would they need to contact you first to settle for something before they can share your content. A few chances for a settlement include:
  1. You provide them with access to your content, for free.

    I am willing to share my content, source code, articles and experience with open-source communities and beginners. 

  2. You ask them to share an excerpt from your website, saying clearly that the content belongs to you. In a format somewhat similar to:
    [Title] post, found at [post URL] is a property of [your name].

  3. Otherwise, you can ask them to provide you with some other ways to settle down, money, agreement or anything that you and they are interested in. 
Usually, you can secure the content by providing them with an opportunity to settle things. But that is possible for them to contact, only if you have released a license and the license is available to them. A license is not required to be available on each and every page, but at least it would be visible to anyone with a little navigation. About or a separate License page would do the trick for you.

Getting a license

The next thing is to get a license for your content that you will share with readers. This license would state what kind of freedom your reader has when reading, sharing or using the content that you provide him with. I would recommend that you use Creative Commons for getting a license. You can always use other licenses, such as MIT or Apache. But, I would still recommend that you use these user-friendly and easy licenses on your blog to tell the readers about your intent for their sharing.
 
 

Creative Commons website showing a user-friendly form to select a license for your content.
 
After this form is filled ini, the CC would provide you with HTML code that you can share on your website.  For example, I have a Wordpress blog. I would like to share how to add the license to your posts so that at least whenever someone is trying to read the post, they know that your content is licensed under a Creative Common license and that there are some cases where you are not allowed to use the content. 
 
The preceding form is filled in for my own website. Let me give a simple rule for my own content.
  1. I would love users to share my content as it is, without any alterations. 

  2. I am not willing to write source code for commercial use of others, instead I share code for students and beginners. 
Selecting an appropriate option from the form would provide me with the HTML content for my own license that I want to license it under. Now, chances are that even if someone steals your content, you are still able to claim the rights and ask the thief to settle the infringement by either removing the content or by paying you a fine for doing so.
 
Remember, do not panic. If you start sharing the website in a spammy way, or if you try to do the same to them. Chances are that criminal action would also be taken against you, so beware.

Adding license to WordPress blog

Adding a license to your WordPress is quite simple. WordPress allows you to integrate a few widgets in your template. As I had already said, you need to use HTML content and display it on your page. Widgets would allow you to write a one-time HTML code and would be displayed on every page. Let me guide you with how to do that. 
 
 
Step 1

In your dashboard, go to the menu item "Widgets", under "Appearance".
Step 2

Find the widget labeled "Text", and drag it to your sidebar or footer. The location is entirely up to you. (yeah, that too!).
Step 3

Paste the code provided by the CC license chooser in the widget's text box and click "Save". 
First, you need to capture the HTML content to be embedded into your website. In that image above, you will see that you can get the HTML for your website. Capture that by copying the content.  
 
Next, go to your Widgets tab and find the widget Text. This widget allows you add HTML content to your blog that would be rendered by the browser itself. In that add the HTML content and then save the widgets. You can stylize the widgets, or add the widget to wherever you want it to be visible. I wanted to add it to each and every page, so I did it to the main widget tab. 

 

Depending on your WordPress version, it may or may not be available here. 

 

Select this widget. 
 
Next, you will see that I have added the license HTML to this widget and saved the layout.

   

Widget displaying a custom widget with HTML content embedded in it. 

Finding unlicensed content

Finding content that is free for us and the original author has no problem with the license of the content is easy and should be used in a way that no criminal action should be taken for or against you. 
 
Amit Diwan, a C# Corner fellow member, has shared a useful web link that would help you, to find a content that perfectly fits your needs through various searches and content providers. Google, YouTube, Flickr and SoundCloud are one of them. You can select content by:
  1. Type of license applied to it. 
  2. Permission to use it. 
  3. Provider from where to search the content. 
CC Search provides you with this facility. You should, if want to search for content that is free to use. Please go to the website and search for a content that is free for use by its actual owner.  
 
Points of Interest 

Upon running the layout the license is now being displayed on the page very clearly. You might need to learn what it is necessary to secure your content from theft. Thieves are everywhere, but it is your duty to take concerns first. Adding a license notifies and client that your content is not free of cost and if they do so, they can be acted upon legally. If you have not yet shared any license, then you cannot claim anything from the internet. The internet is free for everyone, it should be free for everyone. But, there are many companies that have invested their money, hard work and time in their artwork. They need to be supported, by time and money. That is why, licensing some content is required. 
 
You can add HTML content for a license snippet to any blogging service. WordPress is just an example, I am using WordPress so I provided you with an example of this. You can use other tools and frameworks also. 
 
Personal note: I love sharing my experience, with beginners and students. I do so for free and I intend to always do so for free. I won't ever ask anyone to pay me, or to create an account on my website or to watch an ad for me. The knowledge I have belongs to mankind and would be available whenever you need. That is why, I chose C# Corner as a platform. I have enjoyed sharing my intellect with the community and will always share. Adding a license to it, would only help me in a way, to keep my articles and content free of cost for other learners. Nothing else. :-)  
 
Remember, safety first.


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