The best copyright statement ever was made by U. G. Krishnamurti, in his book, “Mind is a Myth”:
My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright.
You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody.
Humans love talking about their rights, fiercely claiming them and ferociously protecting them – especially copyrights over individual pieces of work.
Funnily (and sadistically to copyrights warriors), in our current era of ease of distribution (read, copy) and exploding creativity and innovation, the notions of copyright are getting seriously challenged. It is difficult to protect copyright and, more interestingly, it is becoming irrelevant to seek protection of copyright.
Most excitingly, freeing-up your rights is best way for your work to become popular and flourish as demonstrated by the Open Source Software Movement.
An interesting contemporary approach that is getting popular is the Copyfree initiative:
Copyfree is a term used to identify the freedom to copy, use, modify, and distribute what you possess.
It is a philosophy that stands in contrast to both copyright and copyleft, in that it does not seek to limit or restrict your rights regarding your possessions at all.
Copyfree is not about limited monopoly on the product of the intellect like copyright, nor is it about dictating terms of redistribution like copyleft.
It is a policy supporting control over what you possess and allowing others to control what they possess, compatible with motivations for such freedom grounded in creative, legal, philosophical, and technical needs, among others.
Another interesting idea is copyleft – the simplest definition is:
The rule that when redistributing the program, you cannot add restrictions to deny other people the central freedoms.
In effect, this means copyleft imposes restrictions on how you can distribute, whereas copyfree means:
- Free Use
- Free Distribution
- Free Modification and Derivation
- Free Combination
- Universal Application
For example, PostgreSQL License is a permissive non-copyleft free software license.
A list of copyfree licenses is here.