1 ~ Can I do anything I want with your stories?
Within the conditions of the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, yes.
In practical terms, this means you have the right to share them by e-mail, or pass them to a friend, or even make PDF files available on bittorrent, providing that this distribution is non-commercial, and you don’t remove my name [or the license] or pass them off as yours or as someone else’s.
You also have the right to create what are called derivative works providing that these new works are also made available under the same Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license [or the equivalent for your territory]. A derivative work can be an animation or a film, a graphic novel or a game, a poster, desktop graphics, a translation to another language [I’m particularly interested in French-language versions], or even a new PDF layout because you want to show off your design and typesetting skills.
2 ~ Can I put one of your stories on my site [or blog]?
Yes. You may not change the license or take away my credit, nor attempt to claim copyright on my work because it is on your site. Of course, your site may not be a commercial venture, and most certainly not behind a pay wall.
It would also be polite to link back to my site so that your visitors can find other stories that they may like, or perhaps leave me comments.
3 ~ What is a commercial site? [We use Google Ads on our site]
Look, you really don’t know if you’re a commercial venture or not?
For a start, in most cases, if you are run by a commercial company, that’s a commercial venture even if you are not a pay-for-content site. On the other hand, if you’re just working off your own back and using Google Ads [or an indie network like The Deck, Fusion, IndieClick or Project Wonderful, to name but a few] to try and cover costs, then you’re clearly non-commercial. And if you still have doubts just ask.
4 ~ We are a commercial publication [or site], how do we go about printing one of your stories?
First of all, thanks for asking, and let me wish you the best of luck. I sincerely believe that curated and editorially selected content both on- and off-line will become more and more important as people seek to find content that is likely to stimulate and interest them. And if you believe that you can make a commercial success in the field I think you need all the help and encouragement possible.
As a commercial venture you most certainly already have a going rate for outside contributors, so I’m game. I realise that this will more often that not mean just a complementary copy rather than a cheque for $100 per word printed, but that’s life.
Just contact me sending on your standard contract/authorisation form/whatever. In return you get a non-exclusive, non-transferable right to publish the story, which should be enough to cover your needs.
In all cases, I request that you include a link back to this site, and my copyright. In order to avoid confusion about possible abuse of the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, you should mention that the story is published by permission of the author.
5 ~ I’m a student and want to use one of your stories to make a film, but my college won’t let me release school work under a Creative Commons license, what can I do?”
If you are a student making a non-commercial work as part of your studies then consider that you have my permission. If your school wants proof, then use this page as a reference, print out this paragraph and show them.
If you can send on a DVD or a link to an online version, that’s great. In any case, thank you for choosing one of my stories, and I hope you have fun making the film.
6 ~ I want to make a film from one of your stories but the production company won’t release it under a Creative Commons license. What can I do?
I can see their point of view. If they’re financing you, even for a short, they want to try and get a return on that investment, however small. I’m doing exactly the same thing in reserving all commercial rights on my stories but, at the same time, opening the door as wide as I can for all non-commercial uses.
Until there is a good quick and easy system for managing these commercial rights [see here, and here, for discussions on the matter], I propose the following: I will sell you a non-exclusive, non-transferable commercial license for your film for 1 euro.
If that won’t do, or if you want to buy other rights, then we’ll have to talk about it.
7 ~ What are these labels?
Stories and books to download have a small label like this 12+. This indicates the age that I think is appropriate for the story in question. This is based purely on my experience. Your experience and opinion may be different, I’d advise you to read first and decide for yourself.
If you have a question not answered here, just contact me, or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.
last updated: Tuesday, June 30th, 2009