Author and veteran Charles Sheehan-Miles decided to kick off the New Year with an action rather than a resolution by releasing the e-book of his novel, Republic, under a CC BY-NC-ND license. From Sheehan-Miles:
“…the biggest challenge most authors face isn’t online piracy. It’s not people out there diabolically copying their works and distributing them for free. In fact most authors (including yours truly) suffer from a different problem entirely — no one has ever heard of them. After all, literally hundreds of thousands of new titles come out every year, and only a few hundred writers in the entire United States (if that many) actually live off their books full time. So, by giving away the book, I hope more people actually read it.
Want to share it with a friend? Feel free. Email it to them, send them the link, whatever. If you find that you enjoy the book, I’m hoping you’ll order a copy, but that isn’t required. You could also post a review somewhere. Post a link in your blog. Ask your library to order a copy, so more people can get it for free. Whatever. If you do post a link somewhere, let me know about it. I’d love to see lots of people reading the book, the more the merrier.”
Sheehan-Miles is talking here about the idea that obscurity, not the sharing of cultural works, is the biggest threat to him as an author. Novels in particular are culturally ingrained in the concept of “sharing”, be it between friends, family members, or even libraries. By choosing a CC license, Sheehan-Miles is able to overcome the limitations of all rights reserved copyright in relation to this conundrum, allowing for the free redistribution and sharing of his novel online.