HOWTO Negotiate a Creative Commons License: Ten Steps

Picture of HOWTO Negotiate a Creative Commons License: Ten Steps
xtine burrough and Michael Mandiberg just published Digital Foundations: an Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite with AIGA Design Press/New Riders under a CC license (a first for the publisher.) The book teaches the formal principles and exercises of the Bauhaus through lessons in the Adobe Creative Suite. There are a whole spate of reasons why we wrote this book, but the focus of this post is on how we were able to negotiate the Creative Commons license from New Riders, which is owned by Peachpit, which is owned by Pearson (a big big corporate big thing.)
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Step 1: Figure out what you want and ask for it

Picture of Figure out what you want and ask for it
Every contract is negotiable. Choose what you want and ask for it. Do not be afraid to ask for it. In our case, we focused on getting Creative Commons licensing into the contract, but we also asked for and received other modifications, including a higher percentage of royalties after a certain number of books sold, a stipend to design the book and ownership of the book layout and design (which we licensed CC).

Image below CC .michael.newman

Step 2: Know that your publisher is scared

Picture of Know that your publisher is scared
Publishers saw what happened to the music industry. Sales of print books are down across the board. Publishers know things are going to change, but they don't know what that change is going to be. Know that your publisher is willing to experiment. Inspire them to be leaders. (ironic, but serious)

When we set up our own domain, showed the publisher the wiki (licensed CC, well before we signed our contract), and our blog, we were kind of scared they would be upset with us. We were surprised and relieved when they sent it around to everyone in the company as a model of how to use wikis and blogs. It was something they had been thinking about trying to do, but hadn't. Be the leader.

Image below CC aorr
FeeBeeDee5 years ago
I'm really excited about this. You are a leader and hero, in my opinion. Here is a cool blog post on the power of sharing: http://makeandmeaning.com/2010/02/04/free-is-not-a-marketing-tool/
theredproject (author)  FeeBeeDee5 years ago
aw, shucks...  hopefully the HOWTO is helpful. but yes, free as in speach, not free as in beer. but sometimes free beer is a nice thing to share too! peace.  m.
Fred826645 years ago
this shows many degrees from the school of hard knocks ! well done lible. From this  Open source crusader high 5. Your content and resources are vary good.    
theredproject (author)  Fred826645 years ago