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Creative Commons

As I mention in the "About Me" page, I have strong feelings about the value of the Creative Commons, and to that end, my books are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

To boil that down to its barest essentials, you're free to copy, share, transform and remix my work, so long as you credit me, don't make money off it, and allow others to do the same with the results.

I love the idea of the Creative Commons. I'm very passionate about the idea of a worldwide creative community, the idea that what we create can be used to inspire others. When someone asks a writer where she gets her ideas, she might have a million different answers for you depending on the day, but my answer has always been and will always be: I get them everywhere.

Life is inspiration, and every interaction I have with everyone I meet is inspiration. Creativity breeds creativity for me, too: a particularly well-done turn of a phrase can be inspiration for an entire novel; a song can get me writing a short story; a book can make me wonder what it would be like if, instead of vampires, they were pirates, and instead of two main characters, there were sixteen, and instead of taking place in the 2000s, it took place in the 1800s, and also there were zombie plants on board the pirate ship. Inspiration can be anything.

It makes me really sad when people are so hung up on controlling their ideas that they want to control other people's brains and inspirations, too. I personally feel like I control my ideas by virtue of the fact that they're mine, and what I put on paper (or, in my case, on a screen) is mine — my ideas, my work, my creativity on display. And that's as far as I need to take it. I think it's increasingly valuable to respond to things like the DMCA and DRM and draconian copyright laws by opening up our work to the creative community as a whole, because the idea of people being able to put blocks on other people's thoughts and creativity just because they think they thought of something first is…

Well, actually, it sounds like a pretty cool science fiction dystopia story. The kind of thing I might write someday.

And if you want to write it first? Go for it. Because my story will still be mine, and it doesn't decrease the value of yours one little bit.