Skip to content

Prickly Paradigm Press Releases its Backlist under a Creative Commons License

About CC


Tradition of pamphleteering is reincarnated online with release of scholarly pamphlets under “some rights reserved” copyright licenses

San Francisco, CA and Chicago, IL, USA — October 13, 2004 — Prickly Paradigm Press (, a pamphlet-publishing press distributed by the University of Chicago Press, this week released its backlist for download under Creative Commons “some rights reserved” copyright licenses.

The licenses, provided free by the nonprofit Creative Commons, permit readers not only to download titles, but also to copy and share them. In return, the Press requires attribution (credit to the author) and retains the right to create derivative works (new works that re-use or incorporate the original)—signaling clearly to readers the freedoms and protections associated with the work.

The Creative Commons license advances Prickly Paradigm’s mission to reinvigorate old-time pamphleteering: “We emulate the passionate amateurs of history who circulated new and radical ideas to as wide an audience as possible,” says Matthew Engelke, editor at Prickly Paradigm.

“Prickly Paradigm’s move to go with Creative Commons licenses sets a groundbreaking precedent for scholarly presses,” said Glenn Brown, Executive Director of Creative Commons. “The dissemination of knowledge has always been the core mission of academic and DIY publishers, and our ‘some rights reserved’ licenses promote this principle.”

“What’s more, Prickly Paradigm’s anthropological slant makes it a fitting adopter of Creative Commons,” said Brown. “The great copyright debate is not only a legal matter, but also a cultural one.”

Prickly Paradigm inaugurates the project with a release of its Fall 2002 list, which includes such luminaries as Marshall Sahlins, Deirdre McCloskey, and Richard Rorty. The Spring 2003 list will soon be available for download, and later lists will follow on an ongoing basis after a year of circulation in print. The press currently has fifteen titles in its back catalog.

A list of licensed pamphlets can be found at

About Creative Commons

A nonprofit corporation founded in 2001, Creative Commons promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works — whether owned or in the public domain — by empowering authors and audiences. It is sustained by the generous support of the Center for the Public Domain, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation.

For general information, visit

About Prickly Paradigm Press

Founded in 1998, Prickly Paradigm Press LLC is the U.S. successor to Prickly Pear, a small British press launched in 1993. Publishing in the tradition of old-style pamphlets, Prickly Paradigm offers authors an unregulated venue for the expression of new or iconoclastic ideas not well suited to more conventional forms of academic publishing. The University of Chicago Press distributes prickly Paradigm titles.

More information can be found at


Neeru Paharia,
Assistant Director, Creative Commons,

Press Kit

Posted 14 October 2004