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Archive for October, 2008

Is This the NEW Public Domain?

Creative CommonsTM is in the third public beta of a new licensing designation called CC0. CC0 is a protocol that enables people to WAIVE to the fullest extent possible under applicable copyright law all rights they have and associate with a work so it has no (or minimal) copyright or neighboring rights restrictions attached to it. To the extent the waiver is not legally effective in any jurisdiction, then the protocol takes the form of a nonexclusive worldwide license to exercise all copyright and neighboring legal rights in the work. (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0)

Here is the legal code waiver as proposed by the Creative CommonsTM site (http://labs.creativecommons.org/licenses/zero/1.0/legalcode)

CC0 Waiver

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by (but not in contravention of) applicable law, Affirmer hereby fully, permanently, irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons and relinquishes all of Affirmer’s Copyright Related Rights and associated claims and causes of action, whether present or future, vested or contingent, in the Work, (such waiver, abandonment, and relinquishment, the “Waiver”). Affirmer makes the Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to the detriment of Affirmer’s heirs or successors.
  2. Should the Waiver for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted and Affirmer hereby grants to each such affected recipient of the Work a worldwide, royalty-free, non exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright), non transferable, non sublicensable, irrevocable and unconditional license to exercise Affirmer’s Copyright Related Rights in the Work, which license shall be deemed effective as of the date this CC0 Waiver was applied by Affirmer to the Work.
  3. No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, relinquished, licensed or otherwise affected by this CC0 Waiver.
  4. Affirmer hereby fully and completely disclaims responsibility for clearing rights of other persons that may apply to the Work or any intended use thereof, including without limitation any such person’s Copyright Related Rights (including privacy and publicity rights). Further, Affirmer hereby fully and completely disclaims responsibility for obtaining any necessary consents, permissions or other rights required for such intended use.
  5. Affirmer understands and acknowledges that Creative Commons is not party to this CC0 Waiver and has no duty or obligation with respect to this CC0 Waiver or use of the Work.

Essentially, CC0 works very much like the current laws regarding the Public Domain with one huge exception: CC0 is regarded as a global license and not country specific, and that point alone could make it superior to simply releasing a work into the Public Domain. Another key difference between CC0 and the Public Domain is how related rights are addressed. With CC0, moral rights retained by the original author(s), publicity and privacy rights pertaining to an individual’s image or likeness depicted in a Work, rights protecting against unfair competition in regards to the Work, and any rights protecting the extraction, dissemination and reuse of data in the Work (such rights all, collectively, the “Copyright Related Rights”) are also waived. The only exceptions I could think of (and I’m sure there are more) are when a work involves more than one contributor or includes individuals other than the copyright holder (such as a photograph that pictures another person. That person’s publicity and privacy rights would not be waived without their consent).

I’m curious to see how the final draft turns out and whether content creators will adopt CC0. As new developments arise, I’ll keep you up-to-date!

For additional reading on the topic:

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0

http://labs.creativecommons.org/licenses/zero/1.0/legalcode

Public Domain Copyright Research Is About to Get Easier

The Open Knowledge Foundation Wiki has been collaborating with other organizations to create an algorithm to determine whether or not a certain work was in the public domain, given certain details such as date of publication, date of death of author, and so on. What’s so amazing about this project is that they are not just focusing on United States Public Domain works, but for other countries as well. Below is a current list of the countries where Public Domain Calculators are in process:

  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

For more information, feel free to visit the OKF site at: http://okfn.org/wiki/PublicDomainCalculators

Why Using Public Domain Content Is a Waste of Time!

Using Public Domain content is a waste of time…there, I said it! Unfortunately, it’s true…in some cases. So does this mean that I’ve led you astray over the past several years? Did I lie to you about the true effectiveness of Public Domain content? I’ll answer those questions in a minute. Let’s just put it this way…I’ve had an epiphany of sorts in how I approach product development and it’s changing everything I do.

If you have followed this blog for very long, or if you’ve been on my list for very long, you’ll know that I normally write a LOT. I enjoy it. I love helping people succeed in their business. You’ve probably also noticed that for the past few months, my writing and product development has dropped to almost zero. There are a few reasons for that. Personally, I’ve been going through a divorce and my father’s health has not been good. Dad has brain cancer and probably will not be with us much longer. Those personal struggles have understandably taken some of the “wind” out of my sails, but they have also (thankfully) forced me to re-evaluate everything else I’ve been doing in my business. The experience has been somewhat humbling, and in some cases, shocking.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that there is actually a lot of worthless crap out there on the market…especially in the Internet Marketing community. There are very few NEW ideas (in spite of what you’ve been told), and quite honestly, a lot of the new products are just rehashed ideas, either with a slightly different spin on it, or as just a blatant ripoff of other’s hard work. But the biggest “discovery” I made in the past few months is just how few “how-to” products actually tell you how to do anything. Sure, they make the promises of “how to do,” but in most cases you just learn “what to do,” and trust me, it’s not the same (in case you haven’t noticed).

This revelation was really brought home to me thanks in part to one of my business partners, Simone Blum. Simone has the innate (and sometimes annoying) ability to ask “how” questions with regard to selling online that really force you to break a strategy down to its simplest forms–and that can actually be harder than you think. Her constant challenges were one of the motivators for my re-evaluating what I’m selling and doing online. It is amazing how a simple question like, “Where do I really start and how do I do it?” can force you to think differently. The truth of the matter is that the “real” answer to that question demands action, not BS, which is what we’re used to getting (and in same cases giving).

The result of my interaction with Simone over the past few months has resulting in a few promising and sometimes scary decisions. First, I realized that, in light of her questions, I needed to make changes in my business and products (in some cases, significant changes). Over the next several months, I am going to be making a LOT of changes with my products…I can’t go into details now, but trust me, you’ll LOVE the end result! Why? It’s simple…I want my products to be the best they can be to provide maximum usability…and I DON’T want to sell false hope.

Just recently, I purchased a new product that promised to teach you how to make money with Public Domain content. I buy ALL products that teach on the Public Domain for two reasons…I like to learn and I want to make sure people aren’t selling crap in my niche. Unfortunately this product did exactly that…it was a bunch of crap. It was cheap enough…only $7…but absolutely worthless for teaching anyone “how-to.” What’s worse is that large portions on the text were plagiarized from article sites without the proper credit being giving. The e-book also offered “strategies” that were downright unethical, not to mention illegal. Apparently the law means different things to different people. I was so frustrated with the product that I think I would have rather just taken out a five dollar bill and two ones and just burned them rather than having spent them on this product. The experience also got me thinking about my own products and led me back to the questions I asked at the beginning of this article…have I (personally) lead you astray concerning the Public Domain? The answer is both yes and no! Let me explain…

You can have all the content in the world, but if it isn’t content that people want, need or are looking for, then it’s a waste of time…it’s crap! Unfortunately, a lot of the information that’s presented about the Public Domain leads you to crap. It’s one of the reasons why I picked up the Public Domain torch to begin with. While I don’t want to limit your creative innovation with using Public Domain content to create new products that actually sell, I’m also not too proud to admit that, except in rare cases, some currently taught Public Domain strategies just will NOT work for the average person. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

In some of my products, and certainly other products, I have talked about creating compilation CDs or DVDs of Public Domain content to sell. I don’t necessarily encourage it, but I do present it as an option. While there are a few people who ARE making money using this strategy (and there is even an e-book out there that teaches this strategy with Public Domain content), the truth is that YOU will likely NOT make a lot of money doing it. It’s a lot of work for a little money. Of course, there will be exceptions and I’m sure that someone will challenge me on this, but I’d like offer the challenge to prove it. As a matter of fact, a new phrase challenge just came to me as I’m writing this and I may just use it from now on. Simply put, the challenge is this:

Does your product pass the “prove it with a newbie” challenge? And I offer that challenge to myself. Can a newbie take your strategy or business model and actually make money with it? Interesting challenge…let’s get back on track…

The primary purpose of Public Domain works is simply to provide content for your products, whether they are e-books, audios, videos, physical products, etc. But I realized that if you don’t pick the RIGHT content, you’re wasting your time, and a LOT of people, including myself, have been wasting a LOT of time with little or no results. So the REAL question becomes, “How can I EFFECTIVELY use Public Domain content for product creation?” Honestly, the answer has nothing to do with the Public Domain and EVERYTHING to do with understanding the power of picking the right niche. Let me repeat that in a different way…

The true key to success with Public Domain content (or any other content for that matter) is to know HOW to pick the RIGHT NICHE! Period! A fantastic, high-quality product in the wrong niche will NOT sell, while a mediocre product in the right niche can sell like crazy. That’s why I’ve decided that my time needs to be refocused and spent doing two things (as should yours):

1) Becoming a MASTER at identifying trends and hot niches; and
2) Effectively identifying and find the RIGHT Public Domain content.

Yes, there are 85 million books and over 200,000 different magazines worth of content in the Public Domain…not to mention the millions of photographs, illustrations, patents and more. But out of ALL that content, how much of it is REALLY usable…seriously? Twenty percent? Ten percent? One percent? I don’t honestly know. But I DO know this, I am committed to not teach or write about Public Domain content in ways that are little more than filler and have no place in real-world business success. I’m also committed to learning and teaching HOW to identify the best niche markets to sell in, which is why my FIRST teaching venture after my “epiphany” is to partner with Eric Farewell on sharing Expert Niche Strategies. Listen, in the Great Depression, a LOT of businesses went under and tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, but not all of them did. There were a few businesses that GREW during the Depression! How did they do it? They understood the buying habits and trends of the American Public and then gave thepublic what they wanted. That exact same strategy will work today, and that’s why you NEED to learn and understand it!

Eric is a MASTER at identifying hot niches…he’s an expert! I am an expert at finding the right content for those niches, so together, we are going to deliver a one-two punch that will economy-proof your business! Are you interested? You should be! Discover what Eric and I are up to here => http://www.expertnichestrategies.com

Join us…it will change your business as it has his and mine!

Life as I Have Known It Is About to Change!

There is an area of my life that has remained constant for years. And even though I endured hardship and ridicule, frustration and loss, I was committed and invested in the continuance of this one unchanging, huge area of my life. Over the years, I’ve been called crazy, old-fashioned, out-of-touch and worse for my choice. I’ve secretly envied friends who chose differently than I, but that envy STILL wasn’t enough to sway my decision…until now. And so, after many. many years of faithfulness, of staying the path and remaining committed to a single relationship, I have finally chosen the unthinkable…a choice that will number me in a minority group of risk-takers. And in case you’re wondering what it is that I’ve done…

I bought a Mac Book Pro! Goodbye PC!

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