Modern Blogs written for Public Domain

Michael Stuart Kelly

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Modern Blogs written for Public Domain

There is a very interesting trend just now starting. Some blog writers have become tired of the copyright rat-race, bickering, persecution of users by major corporations and so forth. So with the earnings from their blogs already serving their needs, they have simply donated their writing on their blogs to the public domain. Two sites have done this so far:

Zen Habits:

Open Source Blogging: Feel Free to Steal My Content

Now, I'm granting full permission to use any of my content on Zen Habits or in my ebook, Zen To Done, in any way you like.

I release my copyright on this content.

From now on, there is no need to email me for permission. Use it however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit. Change it around, put in a bunch of swear words and attribute them to me. It's OK. :)

Credit and payment

While you are under no obligation to do so, I would appreciate it if you give me credit for any work of mine that you use, and ideally, link back to the original. If you feel like spreading a copy of my ebook, I'd appreciate payment. I'd prefer people buy my ebook, but if they want to share with friends, they have every right to do so.

The Simple Dollar:

Welcome to the Public Domain

I hereby release all copyright on all written (non-comment) material on The Simple Dollar to the public domain.

What does that mean? If you want to reuse an article from The Simple Dollar in your newspaper, newsletter, or anything else, go right ahead. If you want to hand it out in your Consumer Ed class, print it out. If you want to edit it to suit your own needs, go right ahead. All written material on this site is now in the public domain.

Obviously, if you do use it, I'd appreciate some attribution (Trent Hamm) and a link back to The Simple Dollar (

These are EXCELLENT sites with oodles of traffic, syndication, fan bases and loyal readership. I expect to see more people adhere to this as time goes on. The repercussion will be very interesing. If you want a prediction, I think these authors are now going to make much more money than they would have if they had kept their copyrights—and I think the difference will be brutal. The free publicity generated by users alone will be priceless. The way of monetizing sites ensures income in manners not available before the Internet.

There is a new approach to copyrights for web use (especially Web 2.0) that I might discuss in the future, starting with Creative Commons. I believe this bears directly on Objectivism. I also believe it was no coincidence that one of the major founders of the Web 2.0 public domain approach, Jimbo Wales (founder of Wikipedia), is Objectivist-friendly if not an outright Objectivist.


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