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A while back, I wrote a post centred around how authors can control the destinies of their own work. Noone is less shielded from their work being stolen than those who publish their things online. Bloggers create huge amounts of text, all of which is covered by copyright law. However, they put the text online, which often makes people say “Hey, it’s free, I can use it as I want.”
Not so. First off, if nothing else is declared, then copyright law rules supreme. Within that, there are “fair use” provisions, or its counterpart in Norwegian copyright law; the right to quotation. Beyond that, if the author does not define a license, it is covered by copyright.
That said, I honestly believe that the world would be a better place if more authors had the guts to do what Cory Doctorow has done, and make their stuff freely available online. His books are available for free, under a Creative Commons license. I love what he’s done, and he’s gained somewhat of a following internationally, most of all because the way he does it, is pretty much the embodiment of Wheaton’s law.
When I took over control of this blog for myself, I decided to do pretty much the same thing. That’s why all of my posts are covered by a Creative Commons Attribution, Share Alike license, which means that you can use my posts as you want, provided you credit me, and publish your posts under the same license or a similar one.