Sharing the Work: Where
The Internet is a wonderful place; with all those social media platforms available it’s easy to get our work noticed. But there is a problem we artists face when putting our work online: it can be stolen. Not in the “give me the cash and nobody gets hurt” way, but the “someone might copy it and post it somewhere else claiming the credit and even maybe making a profit” way. Want a quick example? YouTube videos are constantly copied and re-uploaded, generating income to the thief (so think about that next time you watch a compilation of other people’s work).
There are some websites that friendly to our cause, though. The afore mentioned Youtube is one of them – true, it does rely on your subscribers/fans reporting the stolen video, but still it’s something.
With that in mind I set out to look for other places where we can share what we do without (as much) fear. This is what I came up with:
DeviantArt is the biggest online community of artists, who use the platform to display their work, whether it’s for sale or purely a hobby. Here we find painters, photographers, digital artists, literature, filmmaking, Flash, etc. etc. etc. Each member is responsible for uploading and keeping their page, where the work can be categorized in as many folders as needed/wanted. Members can also choose whether or not to make their work available for download and there’s the option of submitting your work under Creative Commons Licenses. It’s not thief proof (and what, in the Internet, is?), but followers can report copyright infringement to the administrators.
The website offers free online copyright protection. Sounds good, right? Myows stands for “My Original Works” and it’s on since 2010, and it has received great reviews all around.
Getting it to work is pretty straightforward: simply signup and upload your work; the site will generate licenses and certificates that prove it is your own work and, if by chance it gets stolen, they help you build infringement cases and cease and desist letters. You can upload pretty much anything: images, video, sound, text, vector files, html files, animations, code, and presentations – you name it.
The free membership allows you 30 OWs; if you need more space (in case of companies and freelancers) there are paid plans and the price varies according to storage.
No, not the restaurante. Sutros is an online community for musicians and people interested in discovering new talents. It is a platform that allows you to upload your music (in MP3 format; the file should not be larger than 10MB, and they suggest a bitrate of 256 kb/s) and share with whoever visits the site to check new stuff out. As you upload your work you can choose if you’d like for them to be public domain or protected under Creative Commons licenses; only people who are registered can download any of the songs they like.
You can also upload an image related to each song, and it’s possible to interact with fans and advertise gigs and other stuff.
So there you go! Don’t yell at me because there’s only three on the list: I did find other platforms and sites, but these are the ones I feel are the best – for pricing, storage, licensing, and sharing. I tried to include websites that would cater for a wide variety of artists; certainly there are other platforms devoted only to image, or music, with more complex features. If you know of any and would like to recommend it, please do! Let’s share information and help each other. We are a community after all, aren’t we?
Until we meet again!