25 July 2005

for immediate release

Young writers who publish their work via youth website Vibewire.net can now protect – or share – their words with Creative Commons copyright licences.

The Creative Commons movement provides a new way of thinking about copyright management in a digital age and is part of a world-wide project being led in Australia by Queensland University of Technology’s Head of Law, Professor Brian Fitzgerald.

Creative Commons licences give creators the option to allow certain uses of their digital content without the need for internet users to contact them for permission.

They can effectively stamp their work with a basic “CC” licence rather than the more restrictive, all rights reserved, “C” copyright symbol.

On Vibewire.net, contributors will have the option to click on one of four online CC licences:

* Attribution – others must credit the orginal creator
* Non-Commercial – others may not use the work for commercial purposes
* No Derivative Works – others may not alter, transform or build upon the work
* Share Alike – others may alter, transform or build upon the work but they must share improvements with the broader community or commons

Professor Fitzgerald said Vibewire was now part of a growing international CC community, where artists and authors could decide whether to allow their work to be amended or used commercially.

“There is a world wide movement towards open access knowledge, especially in the non-commercial sector,” he said.

“The CC symbol gives generic permission in advance and allows users to immediately know exactly what right they have to reproduce, communicate, cut, paste, or remix.”

Professor Fitzgerald said Vibewire was a leading and integral part of youth publishing and that their adoption of CC licences was an important part of making CC a reality in Australia.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that the youth of this country will lead the way in showing how publishing in the internet world can and has changed in the 21st century,” he said.

Vibewire.net is operated by VibeWire Youth Service – a non-profit youth media and training organisation which is based in Sydney. The organisation has more than 100 volunteers across four states who are all aged between 16 and 30. The website provides expression opportunities for young people, that range from publishing articles on anything from politics to fashion, to uploading film, music and digital art.

For details on Creative Commons, visit www.creativecommons.org.au.

Media contacts:
– Professor Brian Fitzgerald, QUT Head of Law, 07 3864 2839 or 0419 704 688
– Mechelle Webb, QUT media officer, 07 3864 4494 or [email protected]