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A Note on Copyrights

I have some beliefs and philosophies that may seem contradictory. I have a day job as a programmer, and my current primary hobby is the creative work you see here on this blog. My main source of current and future income is the sale of copyright-protected works.

At the same time, I read the news. I read how the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and other copyright law firms and lobbying groups are behaving. I see them filing (and winning) lawsuits against everyday normal people for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars. These are judgments that destroy lives – no normal person can ever pay these down. And these are punishments for simply sharing a few dozen music tracks. There is no victim. There is no provable damage. Yet juries and judges hand out these verdicts anyway.

These are just the lawsuits that make it to court. First, the copyright lawyers send out extortion letters to anyone they think might maybe have infringed on their copyrights. These usually take the form of “pay us $3000 or we’ll take you to court.” Other media is not immune. Many authors and publishers take a similar stance. Photographers get pretty bad as well.

I have no desire to take part in this carnival. Many, many creators have shown that a living can be earned without going to these absurd extremes. To that end, I have decided that I shall contribute to the other side of the coin. You’ll see at the bottom of the site I have added a license:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

From now on, and retroactive to cover all previous entries, everything I post on this site is Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licensed. This means that you can do anything you like with my work, including republishing, provided that you 1) inform your audience that I am the creator, 2) use it only for non-commercial purposes, and 3) pass along any changes you may make, in the same spirit that I have made my own work available.

I have no publicly-available creative work outside of what I have posted here, but I hope to have some in the coming months. My plan for the moment is to license them the same as I have this blog.

For more information, please visit Creative Commons, or read any book by Cory Doctorow. All of his work is available for free on his website under a CC license, and each one has an explanation of the license and his justifications in the front. He also sells his books, and makes a living despite giving them away for free at the same time. I recommend Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Little Brother as my favorites.

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  1. Posted February 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Excellent. I believe I will be doing something similar in the future.