Unless otherwise stated, this entire blog, any essays, stories, templates, digital media, and source code — are uncopyrighted. For information on any copyrighted materials, see the Questions & Actions section below.
That means I’ve put them in the public domain, and released my copyright on all of these mentioned works.
There is no need to email me for permission — use my content, digital media, or source code however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it, sell it with or without credit. Change it around, make it better, make it worse, and attribute it to me. It’s OK.
Attribution is appreciated but not required.
I’d prefer people buy my essays, apps, books & eBooks, but if they want to share with friends, they have every right to do so.
Why I’m Releasing This Work
I’m not a big fan of copyright laws, especially as they’re being applied by corporations, used to crack down on the little guys so they can continue their large profits.
Copyrights are often said to protect the creator, but in most cases the artist gets very little while the corporations make most of the money. In the 15+ years I’ve been working in the open source culture, with GNU and Creative Commons works — I know that releasing copyright will not hurt me, the creator of the content, code or creative works, a single bit.
I think, in most cases, the protectionism that is touted by “anti-piracy” campaigns and lawsuits and lobbying actually hurts the artist. Limiting distribution to protect profits isn’t a good thing.
The lack of copyright, and blatant copying by other artists and even businesses, never hurt Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to images such as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, or the Vitruvian Man. It’s never hurt Shakespeare. I doubt that it’s ever really hurt any artist (although I might just be ignorant here).
If someone feels like sharing my content on their blog or in their book, or in any other form for that matter, that’s a good thing for me. If someone wanted to share my playbook with 100 friends or 1000 users, I don’t see how that hurts me. The same goes for all images and digital media I create. My work is being spread to many more people than I could do myself. That’s something to celebrate, as I see it.
And if someone wants to take my work and improve upon it, as artists have been doing for centuries, I think that’s a wonderful thing. If they can take my favorite creations and make something more funny or more inspiring or more thought-provoking or even life changing … I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations.
This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.
Questions & Actions
There are a number of objections that will likely be brought up to this concept, and here are a few of my responses:
1. You’ll lose revenue. If people buy my playbooks or eBooks and then distribute it to 20 people, and each of those distributes it to 20 more, and those to 20 more … I’ve lost $76,000 in eBook revenues. Perhaps. That’s if you agree with the assumption that all those people would have bought the eBook if it hadn’t been freely distributed. I don’t buy that. In this example, thousands of people can now read my work who wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s good for any content creator.
3. Who knows what people will do with your work? Someone could take my work, turn it into a piece of crap, and put my name on it. They could translate it with all kinds of errors. They could … well, they could do just about anything. But that kind of thinking stems from a mind that wants to control content … while I am of the opinion that you can’t control it, and even if you can, it’s not a good thing. Or more likely, what if they take the work and extend the concepts and make it even more useful, to even more people? Release control, and see what happens. People are wonderful, creative creatures. Let’s see what they can do.
4. What if someone publishes a book with all your content and makes a million dollars off it? Ha! Then congratulations! I never made a million dollars from it. I hope they at least give me credit. And my deepest desire is that they give some of that money to a good cause.
5. But … they’re stealing from you! You can’t steal what is already given freely. This is called sharing, not piracy. Sharing is caring.
5. What Works ARE Copyrighted? For a complete list of copyrighted materials, published or otherwise, see below.
Creative Commons Material
All Other Works not mentioned above, or listed below, are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 International Free Culture license. This license is included below for your reference.
This work by Joel Serino is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available upon request at email@example.com.