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Topics: Autism Development

Things to bear in mind when someone sketchnotes your talk.

Things to bear in mind when someone sketchnotes your talk.

Short version:

If your a public speaker ensure your presentation has a license if you wish for the content to remain open in dirivative works like sketchnotes. Otherwise someone may make a sketchnote of your talk and then lock it into copyright or even start selling it.

Long story:

I do quite a lot of public speaking and i don’t charge a fee. I do presentations for free and share my work in the belief that it benefits others. I operate on the basis of sharing being a good thing. I never expected to need to legally protect my content, but oddly i do have to protect it with a license in order to keep it free.

Protecting my content is not about locking it in copyright. Quite the opposite. It’s about ensuring no one else locks it in copyright.

In a nutshell this is part of the problem with sketchnoters. Unless you are explcit about the rules (aka the license) of your presentation, they can do pretty much what they like with the content. Depending on your views on sharing, this may be very much against what you wish.

The vast majority of sketchnoters attending a free event would not attempt to create a derivative work (eg, capture your content) then lock it in copyright and agressively defend it. However, some will and for me that ended in a freindship collapsing.

It was my fault, i assumed that someone else understood the rules i was sharing my content under. I didn’t have an explicit license in place.

These days my talks are presented under the Creative Commons Atribution and Share Alike license. This means if you share the content you have to give credit, and if you create a derivative you have to share it under the same license. This ensure the content remains free and avaliable.

If someone does not wish to follow the license, they can refrain from creating sketchnotes. That is their choice.

Licensing isn’t fun, however it’s better to be clear upfront so that everyone knows where they stand. I lost a valued freindship over this stuff and hopefully by warning others to check that won’t happen to someone else.

The way i approach this is that all of my presentations mention the license and if someone offers to sketchnote i will ask them about what then intend to do with it before giving them permission.

It’s sort of ironic. There’s more effort require to protect content in the interest of keeping it free, than there is to allow it to be locked into copyright by others.

Published: 15 May 2017 | Categories: Permalink

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