Ben Crowder / Blog

Blog: #creative-commons

Why I give stuff away

Pretty much everything on here — ebooks, charts, software, you name it — is free, licensed under the Creative Commons. Why?

Mainly, I have a full-time job and make more than enough to take good care of my family. This isn’t my livelihood.

And that’s a good thing — I’m not a business person at all, and adding money to the mix usually just makes things feel icky to me. I’d much, much, much rather give my work away as a gift, no strings attached, hoping to make the world a better place. Having people use and enjoy my stuff is a greater reward than the money ever could have been.

I think I’m this way for two reasons: first, I used Linux for eight years and was heavily immersed in the open source culture. Second, I promised the Lord that I’d help build the kingdom using my time and talents, and giving stuff away is one of the ways I feel I’m keeping that promise.

When I give my work away for free, it’s accessible to everyone, including those who couldn’t afford it if I did sell it. And if even just one person benefits from my work somehow, that’s good enough for me.

Let me make it clear that I don’t think it’s wrong for other people to sell their work. Everything I’ve said here applies to me and me alone as far as I’m concerned. Others can (and should) sell their work. I can’t.

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