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Those of you who look at such things may have noticed that I'm licensing this on more liberal terms than I've been using for Silicon Soapware.

This journal (and probably future issues of Silicon Soapware as well) will be under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The main difference is that I've dropped the restriction against commercial use. You can read the fine print on the Creative Commons site at http://creativecommons.org/.

I got started thinking about this when I noticed that the Creative Commons people had upgraded all their licenses and were recommending that people use the newer versions.

When I was growing up the music industry (as well as movies and other media) were built around a few large companies. The recording and distribution technology of the time tended to favor a culture of a relatively few heavily promoted stars. This made a few composers and performers wealthy while most languished unnoticed. There may have been a larger number of people making a modest living in the various arts but the general public didn't hear much about them.

Thus it appeared that the only way to succeed as a writer was to somehow get noticed by one of the established publishers.

In addition, I'd grown up hearing horror stories about composers like Stephen Foster who died in poverty as others got rich from their works. I didn't want that to happen to me.

Then the world started changing. Cassette tapes came along, making it feasible for people to record music at home and distribute it to their friends and acquaintances. The quality may not have been what you would get from a studio, but at least it was a start. Likewise, printing technology made small-scale distribution of written works less capital-intensive.

Around this time I was getting involved in science fiction fandom, where one could make friends and otherwise get non-monetary rewards by being generous with one's creations.

Then computers and the Internet added momentum to the trend. Now a culture based on freely shared creative works is taking shape, and it feels like something I want to be part of. Based on the arguments I've read on the Creative Commons site and elsewhere, the type of license I'll be using appears to be the best choice for me.

If people with money want to give me some I'll gladly take it (contact me for logistics), but I won't be charging for my work in the conventional sense.

See also:
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