Statement of Copyleft

  • (CC) Attribution
  • (CC) Share Alike

Rejoice: the work on these pages has been freed by copyleft! Except where otherwise noted, you are free to copy and distribute any of the works on this website, and to make and distribute derivative works based on them. You can feature it on your web page; you can print it in your newsletter. You can use it as a dart-board if you want to.

What's the catch? Nothing, really. All that the license requires you to do is to be honest, and to keep it free. (That's "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free lunch." You can make commercial use of these works--although if you plan to, there is some etiquette that you ought to follow. No matter what use you make of these works, however, they have to be kept "free" in the sense that anyone who owns a copy can freely make use of them under the terms of the copyleft.)

Copying and Distribution of the Original Works

You're free to copy and redistribute the copylefted work--either by itself, or as part of a larger collection of works. All you have to do is (1) be honest--by clearly crediting me as the author, and only redistributing accurate copies of the original--and (2) keep it free--by distributing the copy under the same copyleft license, and including either a copy of the license, or a reference to its URL (

You don't, by the way, have to copyleft your whole newsletter to reprint a single article of mine in it (although copylefting your whole newsletter is certainly a good idea on its own merits). You only have to distribute the copy of my work under the copyleft terms. You're also free to distribute abridged, translated, or otherwise edited copies of my works--but these count as derivative works, not copies of the original.

Derivative Works

You're also free to make and distribute derivative works from the copylefted work (such as abridged or edited copies of original works, stories about characters introduced in the original works, etc.). All you have to do is (1) be honest--by clearly identifying your work as a derivative work, and clearly crediting me as the author of the original work on which it was based--and (2) keep it free--by distributing your derivative work as free content under the terms of the same copyleft license under which the original work was distributed.


To find out more about the legal details, read on--or contact me to ask. You might also want to read on for some etiquette that I hope you'll follow in redistributing or creating derivative works. Thanks for taking the time to look over this page, and I hope you enjoy my little liberated corner of the semantic web!

The Details

The works on these pages, except where otherwise note, have been freed by copyleft through the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 License.

This covers all of the works hosted on the web server space, except where otherwise noted. These works include many pictures and quotations that are copyrighted by other people; but attributed quotes and pictures are used under fair use provisions, and the combination of quotes and pictures with their original text is mine. These works also include many links to pages outside of the web server space, but by linking to outside documents I am neither re-publishing them, nor making any claim of ownership over them, nor taking any responsibility for their contents.

For the purpose of international and national copyright laws, the copyright on the aforementioned works is held by Charles W. Johnson, and the works are made available for copying, redistribution, and the creation of derivative works under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 License.

You may want to consult the Creative Commons Deed for these webpages. The exact legal language for the license can be found in the Creative Commons Legal Code for Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.

Using Your Freedom Considerately

I've freed these webpages because I believe in the free exchange of information. You don't need to ask my permission to make use of the information on my pages under the terms of the license. But I do hope that you'll respect the work that has gone into them by following a bit of etiquette when you do.

These are points of etiquette rather than law; under the terms of the copyleft I can't make you do anything except clearly credit me for my work and free any copies or derivative works under the copyleft. But while ignoring my wishes may not be illegal, it is awfully rude. Consideration is good for both you and me:

  1. You don't need to ask permission before you redistribute my work or creative derivative works based on them, but I would love to hear from you about how you are making use of them. If you drop me a line, I may even help publicize what you produce from it.

  2. Under the terms of the license, you have to credit me as the author of the work. I would appreciate it if, when you did so, you also included information for finding my other writings and contacting me. This could be a link back to my website (URL: and / or a link to my contact page (URL: for online works. In print this could be the URL of my website (URL: and my public e-mail address (

  3. If you intend to put any of the free content on these pages to commercial use, or use it in materials that you make money by distributing, you ought to make a small monetary contribution to support the work that went into producing the content you use. You can also contact me for more information. Making a contribution is not only considerate, but also helpful to you and me. It helps me produce higher-quality content on a more regular basis. It helps you by (1) giving me a reason to help publicize your work, and (2) giving you access to additional benefits that will help your work in the future.

Finally, note that although these points of etiquette are optional, following the specific terms of the copyleft is not. Thanks, and enjoy!

Why This Site Is Copylefted

N.B.: I don't believe that there are such things as intellectual property rights. If you want to know why I believe this, or what exactly is entailed when I deny that they exist, I don't have a detailed answer on hand. Fortunately, Roderick Long does. You might, then, find it strange that I've decided to place the work on this website under a restrictive licensing scheme that makes use of international copyright law. In fact, it's not. The terms of the license allow for free copying, distribution, and creation of derivative works, requiring only that I am given credit for my authorship, and that any derivative work is also released under a copyleft license. The first requirement only requires that the person redistributing a document not commit fraud--by presenting my work as someone else's, or someone else's work as mine. That is certainly within my rights to demand, without any appeal to "intellectual property." The second requirement requires that derivative works or reproductions of the original work also be freed from the restrictions of traditional copyright law. Since enforcement of traditional copyright law constitutes a violation of rights, you can legitimately enforce a copyleft to prevent traditional copyright restrictions from being applied: it is a defensive, rather than an aggressive, use of force. The genius of copyleft is that it "reverses" copyright from within, turning the illegitimate power of the State against itself. Note that since I take the restrictions imposed by the copyleft license to be protections of legitimate rights, I reserve the right to pursue legal action against anyone who violates the terms of the license.

Thank you for respecting the work I've done to create these pages. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.