Who owns your content?

I’ve had a few questions about content ownership and copyright over the past couple of weeks, so I thought I’d clarify for everyone how this all works. The main things to keep in mind are that:

  1. You own your content.
  2. No one can reproduce your content without giving you credit for it.

If you take a look at the very bottom of every page, you’ll notice the copyright is shown there and you can click through to read the details.

To give you an overview, all of the content on the site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This is similar to the base license use by Flickr (though they allow several others.) In our case, I felt this was the most all-encompassing license that would allow a little freedom for derivative works and mashups (etc.), and yet still protect everyone’s rights.

Here’s a link to the official description of the license:


The gist of it is:

  • Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.
  • Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work.

Effectively, your own content (content you yourself have created or published on Protagonize) is all yours to do whatever you want with. If you use someone else’s work in your publication, though, you need to give credit to each individual author who participated in the story. This prevents people from claiming entire stories as their own, obviously. You could, however, publish it under a similar license, which means you could create a mash-up, or use the story on your own site, etc., as long as the original authors are credited properly.

At the end of the day, though, everything you write is yours to do whatever you please with. Otherwise you have to respect the copyright info I mentioned above.

Hope this helps to clarify things — feel free to post questions here if you need further information or have something to add.

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2 Responses to Who owns your content?

  1. Joanna Oznowicz-Davis says:

    I just tried to become a member of Protagonist. However, after filling out my membership, I tried to sign in, but I was informed that I the sign in was invalid. Where did I go wrong?



  2. nick says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Could be that either you typed in your email address or your password wrong. Make sure your caps lock is off, try it again, and if it doesn’t work, send me an email with your account login and I can try and fix it for you.

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