What We Do:

We can help you become an explanation specialist.

Common Craft Membership

Start your life as an explainer with Common Craft Membership. Prices start at just $49 per year. It provides:

Cut-Outs:

Make your presentation or video remarkable with 800+ digital images in Common Craft Style, plus Know-How resources for using them.

Download a Sample

Ready-made Videos:

Educate others with 50+ ready-made video explanations that you can embed on your website or download for offline use.

Test embedding a video

We Wrote the Book on Explanation

The Art of Explanation

A book by Lee LeFever

The Art of Explanation will help you become an explainer.

Learn More

Need a Video for Your Product?

The Explainer Network

Our network of custom video producers can create short, animated videos that make your product or service easier to understand.

Find a Producer

This blog is where we announce new videos & talk about the power of explanation & the change it can create. 

Our Twitter Video Used in Mainstream Media - Thoughts?

For the first time in Common Craft's evolution, one of our videos "Twitter in Plain English" is being used in the mainstream media. For the most part, we're excited to have our work in front of millions. However, it brings up some questions and we're curious what you think.  A few facts:

  • The video "Twitter in Plain English" is 100% Common Craft's property and is licensed with a Creative Commons non-commercial, no-derivatives license.
  • Our names and a link to our web site appear at the end of the video
  • The video is currently displayed from a link on the front page of Twitter.com
  • Of the 5-6 media companies to use the video so far (examples below), only ABC contacted us first.
  • Of the 5-6 media companies to use the video so far, only ABC has attributed Common Craft as the source.
  • Snippets of the video are being used and sometimes the camera points at the video displayed at Twitter.com

So, media companies are using parts of our video/audio without permission or a licensing agreement. There is a big reason why this may be OK:

  • Fair Use - Essentially, a small bit of copyrighted work may be used to educate the public. However, some instances seem to go beyond Fair Use. 

Other reasons may include:

  • Mistaken Ownership - Some may assume the video is owned by Twitter, Inc.
  • Ignorance - Assuming that the video is in the public public domain.

Now, I'm not writing to make a big hairy deal about the use of the video.  The truth is, we're not sure what's appropriate or what to expect. In a perfect world, when a company would like to use our video, or a portion thereof, we would expect:

  • Attribution/Credit - We think it's fair to let the public know the source of the video
  • A Licensing Agreement that outlines the relationship.  We're not looking for money in most cases - just clarity in regards to intellectual property.

While we're assuming that most examples fall under Fair Use, we can't help but wonder if these companies are aware that there is a small company behind the video, a company that has rules and expectations?

I'm curious what you think. How should we view the broadcast use of our videos by mainstream media companies? What can we do to encourage proper attribution/licensing?

Examples:

ABC Nightline - Used with permission

ABC Good Morning America - Used with permission

NPR Unger Report - Exploring the Darker Side of Tweets and Twitter Liberal use of audio, no contact or attribution.

CNN International - No contact or attribution

CBS Sunday Morning - No contact or attribution

KOMO News (local Seattle station) No contact or attribution