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Apr 6, 2009

Intellectual property rights


I fully support people who are trying to earn a living from their writing and other creative endeavors. In my case, I write as a hobby and I think it is neat that I automatically have copyright for my stories. However, I make my work available to the world under a copyleft license which formally surrenders most of my intellectual property rights.

Copyleft. The copyleft license used at Novelas is the GFDL. When participants make their stories available at Novelas, they are giving others the right to copy and modify their work. One "right" that is not surrendered by the GFDL is the need for attribution. You can use my work, but if you take my idea and words then you need to give me attribution for my intellectual contribution to any new work that you build upon my work.

When writers make their work available under a copyleft license they are sharing their creativity and intellectual property with the world. Note that you are free to market and sell GFDL-licensed works, just be aware that others can also sell your work and they only need to give you attribution. There are other copyleft licenses that specify only noncommercial use by others.

Related video. I made this video specifically for making the point that YouTube videos can be uploaded and made available under a copyleft license, but the same idea applies to fiction.


Image. The image (above, top of this post) is the "cover image" from a science fiction story called Cellular Civilization. This image is licensed under the GFDL.

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