Update: Check out my reflection that I wrote a year after this experiment for my thoughts on how was I was feeling about it then (in December 2014), which are still true today.

As of now (and to be applied retroactively) I am releasing my copyright on everything I’ve created, written, and published on this site. Every word, every doodle, every jest, jot, and judgment are now officially public domain.

While this may seem like a brash announcement, in all honesty, this has always been how I’ve thought of the content I’ve created here, and how I’ve treated it. (read the about pageΒ “Share/Borrow/Steal” section, as of yet unedited). Formally shifting over to “uncopyrighting” my work (an idea I owe to the wonderful human being Leo Babauta) is just me making a better effort to communicate this clearly to you, as I realize that this message has been muddier than I intended, and outcomes are more important than intentions. I will also be [slowly] going through and making updates to the site and my graphics to make this shift more apparent [but it will take time, because I have a lot of other pots on a lot of other burners]. So while there will still be littleΒ Β©s floating around for awhile, do your best to ignore them.

That’s right,Β Β©, you have no power here!

Β Everything I’ve made here, I’ve made for you to use, with the goal of helping good people (you) help other people (your friends, fam, frenemies) be better people. I never wanted anything to stand in the way of that (why I give my book away for free) and if having a copyright on my stuff before has stood in the way, then please accept my apology. It’s gone now. Hugs?

I’m excited about this, and hopeful that in a few years I’ll look back on this decision and smile.

FAQs (Future Anticipated Questions)

Y’all might have some questions. I’m guessing you will. In order to preempt those, and save you the time of emailing me and me the time of not seeing your email because of my hyperactive spam filter, here’s my best guess of things you might be pondering. If there’s anything else you need to know,Β get in touch.

Why not just just go Creative Commons?

Well, I did. In September 2013 I switched over to a CC license, after becoming acquainted with that idea by a reader in an email. But after looking into it, a Creative Commons license isn’t actually much different than a copyright — it’s just an attempt to make the language and law of copyright more easily understandable to lay people. Even under Creative Commons, the creator still possesses a copyright on their work (The More You Know). The switch to a Creative Commons license really didn’t switch anything at all, so that’s why I’m doing this.

Why did you copyright your stuff originally if you wanted people to share/borrow/steal it?

Because that’s what other people were doing. I know that sounds lemming-like, but that’s about as deep as it goes. I am still new to all this online publishing jazz, so in the beginning a lot of what I did was emulating other folks who seemed to be doing it well. Everyone I saw was putting copyrights on their stuff (which I realize now, by way of actual copyright law, is actually unnecessary), so I did it too. I didn’t think critically about it (shame on me) until recently, because I didn’t have to. And the general focus of my day is on making new stuff, not thinking about the things I’ve already made.

How can I use your stuff?

However you want. Use my graphics in presentations, use my words to support your words, blow up a massive genderbread person and march behind it in a pride parade (been done more than a couple times) — the sky’s the limit, the world is your oyster, mi casa es su casa, and other clichΓ©s.

Do I need to tell people I got it from you?

That is not required, but I will appreciate you if you do. Further, I would love a heads up if you’re using my content in a cool way, because I’d love to share that with my community. Hopefully it will inspire others, and at the very least it will help spread the word about you and what you’re doing, which I’d also love to do.

What if I want to take something you made and charge other people dollars for it?

This would bum me out, because I never want there to be barriers to educating people about important stuff, but I’m just going to focus on doing me, and let you focus on doing you.

Aren’t you worried people are going to take your stuff and ruin your career and you’ll have to get a job at Whole Foods making sandwiches for strangers who have incredibly picky requests?

I try not to worry. It’s generally a wasted emotion. And I honestly don’t see this affecting me. I don’t make any money from this site, other than via the folks who come to learn about my show (Roughly .0001% of visitors), particularly not as a result of the copyright. But even if that were to happen, all things considered, that’s still a pretty great life (who doesn’t like sandwiches?).

  • Announcement: I’m Uncopyrighting Everything I’ve Published Here