I have some exciting news to share: I am now licensing all of my works, journal entries, and other creative projects under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 for short).
I know what you’re thinking. What does that even mean and why should I care?
Well, first and foremost, it means that I am committed to making my works freely available to those interested in enjoying, sharing, and adapting them. I want my books, scripts, and whatever else I make to be as accessible as possible within the means that I have. I want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy what I make. It’s as simple as that.
What it means in practice is that my completed projects are going to be available for pay what you want, with the lowest price being $0.00. For example, when I finish my first novel later this year, it’ll be freely available from my website, with the option to pay for it. Print versions will cost money, as will digital versions on storefronts like Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks, so that I can cover the costs and hopefully make some money.
It also means that people are welcome to adapt my works, as long as they abide by the terms of releasing their project non-commercially, giving me attribution, and using the same license.
Licensing, terms, clauses—this all sounds a little bit like legal speak, right? Let me share some examples:
Let’s say someone wants to take a character from a novel I wrote and add them to their own story, maybe a piece of fan fiction. They are more than welcome to, as long as it is released for free, under the same license, and the creation of the character is attributed to me.
Another scenario is: let’s say someone wants to translate a short story of mine from English into German (or any other language). Go for it! That would be incredible. That person can then share it, as long as it is under the terms of the license. The same goes for audio and video adaptations, using longer sections of the work, etc.
By being clear and explicit about the terms, I hope it makes it easier for people to share and adapt my works without having to ask for permission. Encouraging sharing and adapting should help my works reach a wider audience and inspire others to take what I have made and run with it.
Freely available open-source software, which is similar to Creative Commons licensed creative works, has had such a positive impact on my life and career. Open-source software has allowed me to learn and grow so much as a software developer, and I want to apply that same ethos to my creative projects. People like Ksenia Anske inspire me so much to think about how creative projects can be released and shared with the world, and I want to play my part in the shift of how people release what they make to the world.
Public domain books, like those on Project Gutenberg, have allowed me to discover and read authors I would not have otherwise because I am able to explore and read the books without having to spend any money. Money can be very tight at times for me, and having access to freely available books is incredible (plus the library too!).
I decided to use the non-commercial version of Creative Commons because I think if someone is interested in profiting off my works, I’d like to see some form of compensation for it. I do intend to make my living off of creating things, so more traditional licensing terms are a better fit for commercial works based on my creations.
The License page has more details, and I am happy to answer any questions anyone may have.