Given there is always a kerfuffle of understanding the use of various Creative Common licenses, I am dubious about efforts to even add more to the pile (I have a sarcastic sweet spot for WTPL). But I am trying to at least be aware of stuff like TakeNode).

I came across this via some stuff I am doing with the folks at the Free Music Archive who have been very gracious and even granted me access to experiment with a Curators area for OEGlobal. This all began when I emailed trying to understand why my playlist I made for the FMA tracks I use for a podcast required an FMA login to view… note, this has now been fixed. Check out my public playlist of a popular genre of music.

Okay, this is not about music. While talking to the folks at the FMA and also via a link on their menu, I came across TakeNode:

Governments work on internet copyright laws. Big commercial publishers and digital platforms lobby to shape government policy to their favor. Independent content creators however are hardly involved in this process. TakeNode gives creators a voice.
…. offers content creators a practical, power tool to register their ‘Terms of Use’. Relevant information about the file, creator and intentions packaged in an unique TakeNode Certificate. Sharing the TakeNode certificate as part of the content offers digital platforms and their users an easy to understand mandate.

Well yeas, and there is a clear step by step process of how it works, but I learn most when I DIM (Do It Myself).

So I rummaged around my flickr, and found a photo of a common topic

Felix in the Fields
Felix in the Fields flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

which as typical already comes with a clear CCO public domain declaration (always remember, technically not a license) which is also baked into the photo’s metadata.

Do I need a certificate? shrug. But I made one at TakeNode which delivers to me as a text file:


1. Information about the file


File type:

Unique file ID:

2. Information about the uploader of the file

Alan Levine

Upload timestamp:
1674238901 UNIX
2023-01-20 19:21:41 Europe/Amsterdam

Contact info:

3. Declaration of intention

This picture/video is copyright protected and I own all related rights. You can freely adapt, share and build upon this work even for commercial purposes. Make sure to credit me as the owner of this work.

More information about TakeNode Certificates? Check

It sounds kind of blockchain-ish but its not. What do I do with this? I am not sure.

From what I can understand, it supposedly offers artists (and likely of interest to musicians) some way of having a certificate of authenticity or terms of use associated with their works? So they can go after copyright stompers?

The terms of use I am offered are pretty much the spirit of Creative Commons, but it’s not a license.

I am intrigued by this, but I fell like I am missing a step or a piece of what I do with my TakeNode thingie.

Help me, Obi Wan or blog reader, help me understand?

Featured Image: Felix in the Fields flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) with text of this photo’s TakeNode certificate superimposed on it, so the whole mix can also be declared CC0 because its mine, all mine! And yours if you want, youts@

Photo of an elegant brown and white dog's head, tongue hanging out in front of a background of blurred fields of grass and flowers, all very serene. Superimposed ontop is all the text of a TakeNode certificate, the specific text available aboce
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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. When those IDs certainly look like they’re content addresses – ie., generated by encrypting the work in question (ie., the photo, and possibly the certificate). So someone with only the photo in their possession could run it through the algorithm and in theory verify the licensing. It doesn’t prevent misuse of the photo (it could be edited, which would change its content address) but it does provide a way to verify the license. Creative Commons never did this, with the result that anyone could ‘apply’ a CC license to any content, even if someone else had given it a different license earlier.

    Is this better? Well CC always depended on law (and therefore lawyers) as the main compliance mechanism. This allows compliance to be established mechanically. So I see it as a step forward in that regard (assuming the whole concept of ownership of content and enforcement of terms is your jam, which for me, it really isn’t).

    1. Okay, thanks, that helps.

      It’s definitely not my jam!

      I let all my photos go PD and I am okay if anyone steals it and does something to get fabulously rich off of it. That is not my purpose, and the most I have seen is a few of my photos being put up for like a lonnie on Alamy. None of that hurts me, and I have gotten more from the honest people who thank and attribute me (and send me copies of CDs, books, etc).

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