IP and Identity


Recently, I worried about two things that might happen to works I've created:

  1. Someone changes the name of the author and claims that they created the work
  2. Someone changes the work itself and claims that the modified work is what I created

I now realize that such worries are overwrought. Sure, someone could do such a thing. But there is no strong reason to think they would. In any case, the best solution is to "publish early and publish often", to make my works public and to make their identity is a matter of public record (which is essentially what I've been doing with my website since 1996) -- so that if anyone attempts to hijack or modify one of my works, the attempt will be open for all to see as an obvious fraud (or, in the terms of open-source software, at least a "code fork").

With the evaporation of this last worry, I am ready to state my opposition to so-called "intellectual property" even more strongly than before, and to entirely cease speaking of "rights" to my works. So I've updated my copyright policy accordingly:

I assert and reserve no rights over any of my works (such as my music, essays, and poems). I believe that copyright laws are an attempt to seek by force a monopoly on publication and performance, and therefore I do not assert copyright over my works. Furthermore, I also assert no exclusive moral right to modify my works. Thus all of my works pass immediately into the public domain upon publication or performance. Feel free to copy, republish, translate, arrange, or make derivative works based on what I have created. I consider it polite for you to contact me if you do so, but my prior permission is not required if you would like to use my works in any way.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal