8 votes

Where's all the Creative Commons-licensed fiction?

Given the popularity of using Creative Commons licenses for photos and sound samples, I'm surprised that I can't find a large collection of CC-licensed fiction anywhere. I feel that I must be missing something, because if the Wikipedia category is to be believed, there's far fewer books out there than I expected, and all of those listed are under schemes like CC-BY-NC-ND. I realize that any book listed on that page has to meet Wikipedia's notability guidelines, but there are so few "notable" ones collected there that it makes me think that there are very few of them in general.

Is there some obvious place authors publish these that I don't know about? I looked around the Internet Archive, but I haven't turned up very much. Most of what I do turn up there are old works that have entered the public domain, and that's not what I mean.

I ask because I'm finishing my first novel. My plan has always been to pay an editor out of pocket to go through it, and then just put it out there online, gratis and under CC0. I expected to find some obvious place to do that and a more or less established community of people who already do that. Yet in all of my searching I haven't been able to find a site like that or even one other CC0 novel. That's why I feel like I must be missing something. Otherwise, it's just such a bleak picture.

Apologies for my ignorance or if this is a bad place to post.

6 comments

  1. skybrian
    Link
    I think if you're going to put your name on some writing, especially if it's personal, you probably don't want other people changing it to say something you don't approve of? For words that anyone...

    I think if you're going to put your name on some writing, especially if it's personal, you probably don't want other people changing it to say something you don't approve of? For words that anyone can edit, it makes more sense for it to either be a collective project or anonymous.

    There is plenty of fan fiction that you can read for free, though.

    7 votes
  2. [2]
    tesseractcat
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    Well, unlike photos or sound samples (which are assets that can be reused in other media), I imagine there just isn't much of a demand for creative commons fiction.

    Well, unlike photos or sound samples (which are assets that can be reused in other media), I imagine there just isn't much of a demand for creative commons fiction.

    4 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Also, fiction usually takes a lot more time to produce than photos and sound samples, so people are probably far more likely to want to retain the full copyright in order to attempt profiting from...

      Also, fiction usually takes a lot more time to produce than photos and sound samples, so people are probably far more likely to want to retain the full copyright in order to attempt profiting from all that work. And even in instance where the author doesn't care about copyright or profit, releasing their works directly into the Public Domain is probably far more common than using any particular licenses like CC.

      6 votes
  3. knocklessmonster
    Link
    Cory Doctrow has a bunch. And this is next to useless, but there was a platform I found a decade ago that was a CC book site/publisher, and I actually found him through there.

    Cory Doctrow has a bunch.

    And this is next to useless, but there was a platform I found a decade ago that was a CC book site/publisher, and I actually found him through there.

    3 votes
  4. Whom
    Link
    Licensing in general doesn't seem to be much of a topic of conversation among writers (at least, those who aren't doing contract work). All my poetry is either CC0 or sharealike depending on what...

    Licensing in general doesn't seem to be much of a topic of conversation among writers (at least, those who aren't doing contract work). All my poetry is either CC0 or sharealike depending on what I was leaning toward when I wrote them, and I've tried in the past to find a community of people with those principles and it's pretty difficult.

    I think your best bet is finding places where authors release work freely in a monetary sense, as I'm sure there will be kindred spirits there as well even if they aren't actively thinking about licensing. They may implicitly retain copyright for the moment, but that doesn't mean they don't share your values.


    I was going to say something about there being a long history of writing released gratis and tie that in somehow but really it was just an excuse to mention my favorite poet, Richard Brautigan, and his book Please Plant This Book:

    Please Plant This Book is Richard Brautigan's sixth poetry publication. It consists of a folded and glued folder containing eight seed packets. On the front of each is a poem. This was Brautigan's last self-publishing venture and came out in an edition of 6,000. The entire edition was offered for free distribution, and permission to reprint the collection was explicitly granted, as long as the new printing was also offered free-of-charge.

    3 votes