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A photo of two children sharing a snack

Photo by ben_grey CC:By-SA

There’s no such thing as a free lunch or so the saying goes. Except there is such a thing. Sometimes you get lunch bought for you by a generous soul and there’s no catch. It’s rare but it happens.

Do you remember being a kid? I appreciate for some of you that’s not too hard as you still are one but when you are at school things get shared: you get a packet of sweets and unless you’re very sneaky you share them; you read a really good comic and you share it with your friends, you make up simply the best make-believe game ever and you share it with your friends. Life is good when we are sharing. Life works better when we are not selfishly grabbing all we can and trying to make sure we have more than the next kid. Oh having more than the next kid can seem good but having mates that we share stuff with is way better. Remember when your Mum or Dad told you to share? Why would they do that? Why would they insist that sharing nicely is a good thing to do? Because it is a good thing to do and that applies equally to the grown up stuff as it does to a packet of chocolate buttons.

I believe sharing is good, for us and for society. One of the things that has bugged me recently is how we have all this fantastic opportunity, technology and content and we let people lock it away. I remember watching and reading sci-fi when I was young and there was an optimism about it. Life was going to be better (mostly) and technology was going to make it easier. Apart from the odd alien invasion or mutant virus outbreak people used to smile more in the future when I was a child (well apart from Judge Dredd but then he never smiles). But we’ve lost that somewhere. In our rush to keep everything for ourselves and make money out of it we’ve lost the ability to make each other smile like we should.

I’m not claiming these books are the best and maybe that’s part of the reason I’m not expecting huge sales figures but that’s I also want people to share these stories, to make up their own stories and share those, to create stuff and let other create stuff and to share it with each other.

I am a firm believer in freedom. I like the idea that stories should have freedom attached. They always used to. Take any popular nursery rhyme and you’ll probably find two or three versions of it. That’s because as it got handed around (because it could be) it got adapted, amended, improved and changed. The end result is that we now have a rich and diverse set of nursery rhymes and other stories which we can share.

So these stories have freedom attached. They not only allow but encourage you to take them, share them and build on them. Not because they are anything fantastic but because we are. Between us, if we learn to share properly we might find life is a little better. I hope so anyway and I am going to do my bit by sharing these stories. I invite you to join me.

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One Response to “Why am I sharing this stuff for free?”

  1. How can you get paid if you give your work away? Says:

    […] If you want to know why I have chosen a Creative Commons licence then you should check out this post. I’m a strng believer in freedom but for once here I am going to focus more on the pragmatic […]