The Nation

Kelly Link on Creative Commons

Cameron Parkins, November 10th, 2008

Author Kelly Link, renowned for her work in a variety of literary genres, is specifically noteworthy to the CC community for her decision in 2005 to release Stranger Things Happen, her first major collection of short stories, under a CC BY-NC-SA license. In a recent interview with The Nation, Link addressed this decision:

As a reader, I really prefer a book, an object. But I also really like the idea of being able to give stuff away for free. Up to a certain extent, the more you make something available, the more people pass it around. There are many, many, many more downloads of the collection, but sales for the physical book have never gone down. During the first year it was available online, the sales went up. It works the same way a library does.

One of the things about the Creative Commons is that it also meant that the stories, in terms of ideas or narrative, are up there and available to people who want to make other things out of them. A couple of the stories have been made into plays. Somebody took one of the stories and made an experimental music piece from it. I think she turned the prose of the story into a kind of Morse code and then set that into a score for cello. A lot of people have done podcasts of the stories. When I write, I’m constantly drawing from fairy tales or books that I love. This was a way to make the stories available to a larger community and enter into a larger conversation.

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