Steve Pavlina, a personal development author I have been following for the longest time has decided to release his work to the public. His site is getting 9-10 million visitors a month but he feels he can reach more people by releasing his work to the public domain for anyone to republish or create an ebook about it.
He reminds his readers that we no longer have to ask his permission on republishing his work as it would just add email work on his part.
His post read as follows:
I hereby release my copyrights to, and place into the public domain, all of the following:
the 1000+ articles I’ve posted to my Blog and in the old Articles section (all are linked from the Archives page)
the articles I’ve published in my Newsletters
the podcasts I’ve posted in the Audio section
the Videos I’ve posted to YouTube
the articles I posted on my old computer games site that I wrote from 1999 to 2004 (site is no longer online)
the compilation of tweets I’ve posted on Twitter and the status updates I’ve posted on Facebook
the forum posts I’ve written (just my posts, not the ones made by other people)
I estimate that the article collection alone is around 2-3 million words of content, enough to fill about 25-30 books. So this is a lot of material.
Unless I explicitly state otherwise, all future content I personally create and publish shall not be copyrighted and shall instantly be placed into the public domain. This includes future blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, ebooks, etc. If I decide to copyright something new, I’ll include an obvious copyright notice. Otherwise you can safely assume it’s in the public domain.
This does not, however, apply to my book Personal Development for Smart People, which shall remain copyrighted for the time being. The book is still actively published by Hay House and other publishers in various languages.
What Does This Mean?
It means that I no longer “own” this work as my intellectual property. You now have as much right to it as I do.
Here are some of the things you can do now with the content I created if you so desire:
Repost it on your own website as much as you want
Translate it into other languages
Transfer it to different media (articles-> audio, books, etc.)
Make money from what you create (sell it in ebook form, post it on your website and make money from advertising)
Create derivative works based on my content (i.e. books, movies, software, etc.)
Here are some more specific examples of what you can do:
Package the polyphasic sleep articles into an ebook, and give it away free or sell it
Create a website to share my content in another language, translating as much of it as you desire
Include some of my articles in your company newsletters
Turn my subjective reality articles into an audio program
Turn 1000 of my Twitter/Facebook updates into an iPhone Daily Inspiration app
Develop a workshop or seminar based on my productivity content
You don’t need to ask my permission to do this. You can simply go ahead and do it now.
I’d rather that you not ask me permission anyway. I don’t need the extra email.
If you’re not sure about something, consult your inner guidance and make whatever decision you believe is right. Or talk to a lawyer if you’re concerned about legalities.
Definitely don’t ask me to do anything that would involve lawyers, contracts, exclusivity, or obligations.
Attribution is a fancy word that simply means giving credit to the original author, such as noting that “Steve Pavlina wrote this…” when republishing one of my articles.
There’s no legal requirement to give attribution, but I’d still encourage you to do so. It’s good form, and if you don’t give attribution, it could create headaches for one or both of us down the road, such as either you or myself being accused of plagiarizing the other. I’d prefer to avoid that.
If you do give attribution, I’d appreciate it if you’d include a link to my blog or mention the URL www.StevePavlina.com. Partly this is so that people can find the full body of my work, including my latest creations, all in one place. And they can connect with the awesome community here too.
If you create a book or product based partly on my content, use your best judgment as to whether or not you feel I deserve a co-author credit for the content you used. Whatever you decide is fine with me.
Use Good Judgment
I’d love to see you do something creative and expansive; however, please exercise good judgment. Don’t create headaches for me by doing something sketchy or deceptive.
For example, don’t make it look like I’m recommending or endorsing a product when I didn’t explicitly do so. Don’t quote me inaccurately. Don’t get me banned from China.
Years ago an author included two of my copyrighted articles as chapters in his book without permission, and he even modified my personal stories to try to pass them off as his own. People emailed me to ask if I had plagiarized him, or if he had plagiarized me. It was easy for me to prove that I was the original author, so I contacted the publisher and we worked out a settlement whereby the other author could keep pretending that my stories were his. This sounds like it’s right out of a Seinfeld episode, doesn’t it? I’d prefer not to deal with nonsense like this again, so please don’t try to appropriate my personal history, even if my stories are in the public domain now.
Another headache would be if you released a piece of software based on my work, but you packaged it in such a way that people mistakenly assumed that I wrote it or endorsed it, and this resulted in lots of people coming to our forums asking for tech support.
If you create a headache for me, you can generally expect that I’ll do something about it, which may include leveraging my network to open a can of whoop-ass on you till you do the right thing and correct the problem. That said, you have plenty of leeway to be creative here, and if you do create a problem by accident, I’ll probably contact you about it first and give you a chance to fix it before I go looking for the tweezers and blowtorch.
You can make money off my work if you so desire. I expect that over the next several years, millions of dollars in revenue will be generated for people as a result of this decision. Consider this my personal economic stimulus package.
My website gets a lot of traffic — I expect 9-10 million page views this month — but there are still billions of people worldwide who haven’t been exposed to some of the most basic personal growth concepts like taking 100% responsibility for their lives or focusing on their dreams and desires. If you can help expose more people to ideas and information that will benefit them, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be compensated for your efforts.
I think there’s an especially great opportunity here for people who want to create hubs for this content in other languages. I’ve received many requests to that effect over the years, so there’s no reason to hold back any longer.
You might even consider doing something creative with an extra SBI subscription — their two-for-one offer is good for 10 more days (it expires Dec 25th).
If you make money from my work, there’s no obligation to pay me a portion of what you earn. However, if you feel good about doing so, I’d very much appreciate it if you’d share some of the earnings, either on a regular basis or as an irregular donation, which you can do via my donations page. This makes it easier for me to sustain what I’m doing and to expand this work in new directions. You’re free to decide what feels right to you.
If you have some ideas and you’d like to discuss them, or if you’d like to coordinate something with others, please don’t email me about it personally since I don’t have the capacity to serve in that role. Instead, use the Steve Pavlina forum to share what you’re doing, recruit helpers, brainstorm ideas, inform people about product releases based on my content, etc. If that particular forum gets too cluttered, I’ll spin off a dedicated subforum just for people who are working on projects related to this.
It’s my hope that people will choose to collaborate on some projects to avoid duplication of effort, especially when it comes to translations. You could even team up with others who are looking to translate articles to the same language as you are.
If I see something really cool being developed (based on my subjective judgment), then I may even help to promote it if I feel it would strongly benefit people. Just don’t expect me to agree to anything in advance before you actually do the creative part.
Why Am I Doing This?
I like helping people. I like the idea of removing all barriers to sharing. And this is something I want to experience as part of my own path of growth.
If you have questions, please post them in the Steve Pavlina forum, and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Give me some time to remove the copyright notices on the site. I’ll replace them with links to this post.
You are loved. Merry Christmas! 🙂
People get absorbed in work and before they realize their current situation…