In response to the SOPA/PROTECT IP scandal sweeping the Internet, and to do my part to help realize a truly free online creative community, I have licensed my entire gallery under Creative Commons.
Specifically, the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. In case you're unfamiliar with CC licensing (sadly, too many people are), here's what this means:
You are free to:
- Redistribute these works to your heart's content, without worrying about copyright infringement.
- Add to, modify, or "remix" these works to your heart's content, and redistribute those works to your heart's content, without worrying about copyright infringement.
- Distribute both of the above either commercially or non-commercial, without risk.
As long as:
- You provide attribution to the original creator (myself), both in the cases of verbatim distribution and distributing derivative works (either "by Katie Kerr" or "based on the work of Katie Kerr," as applicable)
- You distribute the affected work under an identical license to the original – in this case, allowing for further modification and distribution by others, either for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
- You make the audience you distribute to aware of this license, either by including a copy of the license or directing them to its online presence, so that they also understand the allowances and limitations of the license.
Why not a Non-Commercial CC license?
Because I believe artists should be able to get paid for their work. If someone borrows a few lines from one of my poems, and makes something completely new and truly breathtaking, I don't want to tie their hands behind their back when they want to be recognized for it. Non-Commercial licenses, while regarded as "safer" by some of the paranoid, does too little to help create a free community. Ideas belong to the world, and the world deserves to do with those ideas what it likes.
So, did you get all that? I hope so, because now I'm going to ask you all to do something, too:
Please, do your part to support a truly free creative community by releasing your own work under Creative Commons licensing as well!
I know a lot of you are going to hesitate on this point. Yes, this will mean that other people will be able to sell your work, or derivatives based on your work. But the Share Alike license is self-propagating, and requires them to release any work they sell under Creative Commons, too, allowing anyone who buys it from them to redistribute and modify it however they like; failure to do so would be an illegal breach of contract and copyright infringement.
You keep the copyright to all works you license under Creative Commons, including the right to sue the asses off anyone who breaches the license. You will also maintain the right to re-license your own original work however and to whomever you like—even if you release, say, a short story under Creative Commons, you can still sell that story to a magazine for publication, without the CC license.
Creative Commons doesn't take away any of your rights as an original creator; it simply lets you share some of your rights with other artists, for the benefit of the community as a whole.