Sunday, February 27, 2005

A note on legalities ...

I occasionally get email asking for permission to quote, or re-publish, material from Knappster. I'd like to take a moment to clarify my policy on this kind of stuff.

If you look over in the sidebar of this blog, you'll see a Creative Commons logo, which in turn links to a deed governing the use of all work on this site. Bottom line:

Feel free to reproduce any material from Knappster, as long as you give me authorial credit, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes, and as long as you further extend the same rights for the work in which you are reproducing it.

Just for the record, I have no objection to people reproducing my articles and putting them up on sites that make money through advertising, paid subscriber access, donations, etc., but which also carry other material. When I say "non-commercial purposes," I mean that I don't want you to just print up a book of my essays and sell it without cutting me in. Apart from that, knock yourself out. As a matter of fact, I appreciate it. When people quote me or re-publish my stuff, it enhances my reputation and increases my chances of getting paid writing jobs (I can always use more of those).

Again, just for the record, with respect to Free Market News Network -- I received a "release" from them, but now can't seem to find it to sign and return -- I hereby publicly affirm that FMNN has permission to publish articles from Knappster, as well as articles I directly submit to them, and to use my name and likeness on their site. This permission is revocable, but not ex post facto (i.e. articles of mine which they have published, and an attached likeness of me, may remain in their archives even if I later decide not to associate with them any more). I furthermore affirm that this permission is not dependent upon any payment or inducement unless such payment or inducement is negotiated and agreed upon pursuant to some particular project.

How's that for friggin' legalese? It's my considered opinion that the good opinion of my readers is better insurance against me launching a multi-million dollar lawsuit against FMNN for snagging some two-cent blog entries than any release I could sign anyway. I'm proud to be associated with FMNN, and of the opinion that the association does at least as much for me as it does for them. And once this blog entry is indexed by the search engines, it should serve just as well as a release to establish, for legal purposes, their license to do what I've just said they can do.

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