Everything I have ever made is now uncopyrighted. I’ve given up control and released them into the world. They are in the domain of the public. What does this mean for you?
For you, this means you don’t have to ask for my permission to use anything. Use my content (posts, images, books, music, whatever) however you want! Email it, share it, change it, add vulgar language, and reprint it with or without credit. It’s all good.
While I would still love attribution, and a lack of vulgar language, it’s not required. Did you get a hold of any of my photography, books, or other sold items? Feel free to pass them out. I would love if you gave a starving artist some lunch money, but I won’t be offended if you don’t.
Why am I doing something so crazy?
Simply, I hate copyright laws. They are confining, stifle creativity, and limit exploration and exposure of new ideas. I never knew what to do about the laws, I just thought I always had to put my copyright on them. That’s when I found uncopyright on Zen Habits and asking for money rather than charging in the Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
The “Mine! Mine! Mine!” feelings of the creatives, in my opinion, is more damaging than the “use it! share it! Give me what you want!” feeling. If you want to use my post, I’m sure glad. I’ve always wanted my message to travel to as many eyes/ears as possible. If I never make any money, that’s okay. Protecting ideas and limiting where they are is more damaging than loosing a bit of profit or your name on something you think is great. If your idea is so great, why not let others help you share the message? Why not trust them to share it the way they think is best, even if your name disappears from it? That’s how we think. We would rather you share our message, helping more people, and changing more lives, than keeping our name on it, keeping it here, and having less people helped.
I would be the most happy if someone took my work, made it better, and shared it with even more people. That’s what this is all about, sharing for a better world and life. The creative community can thrive from derivations of old work and inspirations created from it. Leonardo da Vinci will likely be remembered for all time. He was an inventor, artist, creator, and unorthodox above all. Yet, many people don’t realize that he created the predecessor for many inventions there are today.
While I may never reach the status of the greats like him, I would be above honored to know that I effected not only the lives of those around me; but also, the lives of those around someone who I effected, if that makes sense.
So take my work! Share it! Mod it! Email it! Fax it! Text it! Change it! Make it better! Make it worse! Give me credit! Or, don’t give me credit! Show more people the ideas I have talked about and my goal will be accomplished. Talk.
This isn’t a new concept, I ripped ideas off many people to create this page. Isn’t that kinda the point though?
There are a number of objects that are brought up to this idea. Here are my responses.
Will your Google rank will go down?
Google penalizes pages that have exact duplicates on other sites. They lower page rank. Will that hurt me? Maybe. Frankly, my page rank isn’t that great, and as I have seen from others who have done this, it shouldn’t get to much worse anyway.
What if someone takes your work, claims it, then sues you?
[yes, I’ve been asked this before] If that happens, I’ll have the evidence right here. If they win, then I’ll write someone else. Life happens and that kind of atomic train of thought isn’t going to help creativity.
What if you loose revenue?
Right now, this site makes nothing. Even if I do begin adding ads to my site and publishing books, my goal will still be education and enjoyment. An example from Zen Habits is good in the case of lost revenue in particular:
If people buy my ebook 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 are reading my work (and learning about Zen Habits) who wouldn’t have otherwise.
~ Zen Habits : Uncopyright
What if something bad happens with your work?
Who knows what could happen to my work. Maybe someone will translate it into another language badly, maybe they will make it mean and offensive and add my name, and maybe that will add value to it and spread it to more people while not giving me any credit. The worry about that kind of thing happening is what stems from people wanting all kinds of control of their stuff, not what I’m about. I want to see what people will do. Humans are creative and most just want to help. Maybe someone will use my work to change lives. Let’s find out.
What if someone makes tons of money off your work?
Here’s to hoping that they are generous enough to give me some or at least donate some to a good cause. Even if they don’t, making tons of money off my stuff means more people heard about it. That’s the ultimate goal.
It’s still stealing!!!!!
Not if I’m giving it away! [take it]
What about fame?
What? I don’t want fame. It looks awful. And even if tons of people take my work, who says I won’t get famous? I want my ideas to spread and help people. That’s not fame.
STOP. What if questions abound, “what if” never changed time. Many things could happen, and most probably won’t.