Free the Pig

MCMWednesday, July 19, 2006

So here's the deal. The license to The Pig and the Box is currently CC-NC-SA, which prohibits folks from selling whatever derivative works they make. It has been argued that these terms will stifle creativity, and that by using it instead of CC-SA is a half-assed statement on the importance of free culture.

So to remedy the situation, I am going to try out a theory that many have tried before: after-the-fact patronage. I have set up a group action at Fundable.org which aims to switch the license of the book to CC-SA, making it free for all. If I raise the required amount within 25 days, I'll re-release all the translations under the new license*, culture as a whole will triumph, and angels will sing in the heavens. Or, well, something.

So what does it cost to Free the Pig? 100 people pledging $20 each. It's not much, but I know it's a lot.

To make it a better deal for y'all, I'm offering a secondary incentive: if you pledge your money and help free the wee piggie, I will send you a signed copy of the book. (Note: the value of my signature on a limited-run book has been estimated at anywhere from $0.0003 to $0.05, depending on the kind of pen I use). You'll have to pay shipping, but only because sending stuff to places like Australia costs half a million dollars.

As always, half the profits go to Oxfam, so you're doing good while doing good.

Relatedly, I'm very close to being able to offer my book for sale via Lulu.com, and I intend to keep selling it that way if and when the Pig is Freed. Those books should cost about $13 plus shipping, based on current estimates. And you can frighten people with a Lolipop Jones shirt at the Spreadshirt store (click the bunny above).

I don't know if this is going to go anywhere, but I want to give it a try. If it fails, I don't think CC-NC-SA is all that bad... but I do agree it feels right for the swine to be as free as he can be.

Thanks to all, and have a Merry Christmas.

Help free the pig here!

  • Update: The ever-clever Crosbie has pointed out that the translations will remain CC-NC-SA until the translators decide to re-license their text. At the moment that includes Chinese, Danish, French, German, Italian and Spanish. [list will be revised as I get confirmation from the various translators]. Thanks, Crosbie!

Updated again: It's pledging, not donating. Thanks again, Crosbie :)

Minor Update: It's been said in a few places that I'm trying to raise $2,000 to change the license... but when you consider each book I print will cost me about $10 and about $1 to prep and package, I'm actually only trying to raise $900, half of which I'm giving to charity. $2,000 for a picture book comes off as a bit loony, I thought. Just wanted to clarify that :)

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