Very Permissive Licensing

While bopping around online the other day, I ran across a gentleman who self-published a book on a fairly technical subject. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it done, especially with programming books, but his license caught me completely off guard.

Now, I’m currently releasing work under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License (cc by-nc-sa), which is a handy way of saying that you’re allowed to share my writing with friends (or even strangers), remix or rewrite it to your heart’s content, and even make your own derivative works, just as long as you do so for free, credit me as the original author, and retain the same license terms. That’s fairly permissive, I think.

This fellow definitely has me beat, though. Here’s his license agreement:

Introduction to Data Communications since Revision 2.0 has the following licensing agreement. You are allowed to use it, view it, modify it without permission of the author Eugene Blanchard, provided that you agree to the following:

  • That you will try to be a better person today than yesterday.
  • That you will exercise your body as well as your mind.
  • That you will tell the persons dear to you that you love them.
  • That you will defend the rights of those who are unable to defend themselves.
  • That you will not hurt your family members emotionally or physically.
  • That you will respect your elders and care for them in time of need.
  • That you will respect the rights of others in their religious beliefs.
  • That you will respect the rights of others in their sexual orientation.
  • That every man, woman and child has the right to be here and is equal regardless of race, creed or color.
  • That you will act honorably in all aspects of your personal and business life.
  • That your family is first and foremost the most important thing in your life.
  • That when you make a mistake, that you admit it and make amends.

I never once imagined that the terms of a copyright license could make me smile like that, so I thought I’d share. And even though I haven’t actually read his book, I think may try to follow the terms of its license a little better anyway.



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3 responses to “Very Permissive Licensing

  1. I saw that as well and thought it quite humorous. BTW, Chris – I bought your book from Amazon. I’m three chapters in and I’m enjoying it greatly. I actually found your site by your post on the Slashdot article and was very interested in how well you were doing self-publishing. I’m currently endeavoring that feat myself and my wife plans to write several inspirational books also.

    Curious question, if you don’t mind my asking: who designed the cover art for Stars Rain Down?

    • Thank you so much for checking it out, Donovan! I really appreciate you giving me a chance, and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far.

      If I’m being completely honest, I’d describe my current level of success with self-publishing as limited. I’m selling 15-30 copies a month, with a total take of a few hundred dollars so far. Reader response has been remarkably positive, yet any kind of momentum remains elusive, and I’m at a bit of a loss as to where else I should be promoting. My comment at Slashdot gave me a nice bump, but that’s a resource I’d prefer not to abuse (too much).

      Meanwhile, I’m in contact with a few other indie authors who are selling thousands of copies a month (or in some cases, more than a thousand a day), and for the most part, they have no idea what caused their books to take off like that. Not that I expected this to be easy, mind you, but I’d also hoped that success wouldn’t be completely mysterious.

      The one factor that seems to be somewhat universal is having multiple titles available. When a reader finishes and enjoys a book, they seem to frequently hop online and simply buy the rest of that author’s catalogue, especially when the price is agreeable. Because of this, I’ve been pretty focused on getting more work out on the market, and I’ll just have to see if that bears any fruit in a few months’ time.

      I also absolutely don’t mind you asking about the cover. It’s my own work, done with a combination of Photoshop, Illustrator and Blender. You can read a bit more about the process that led to it in this earlier blog post.

      Ak. My responses always end up longer than I intend. Thanks again for dropping by, and I hope the rest of Stars Rain Down treats you well.

      • Hey, I don’t want to burn up your comments section with questions, so can you email me? I have a question or two more to ask if you have the time. šŸ™‚



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