HomeArticleI Permanently Release All Copyrights To All My Writing. Use Any Of It However You Want.

I Permanently Release All Copyrights To All My Writing. Use Any Of It However You Want.

When journalist Elizabeth Vos told me on Twitter today that one of my posts should be on bumper stickers, coffee mugs and t-shirts, my first thought was, “Man, I don’t have time for that.” And my second thought was, “But hey, maybe some other people might.”

On that note, I hereby release all copyrights to all of my writing to the people of the world. This includes tweets, blogs, poems, digital or print, past writing or future writing, to be used however anyone wants to use them. Put them on bumper stickers, coffee mugs or t-shirts, turn them into pamphlets or books, to distribute for free or for your own profit, or anything in between. You are free to credit me or not, or to claim authorship yourself.

I’ll attach an appropriate legal notification to this effect in all future posts, but for now this blog post (and feel free to archive it) serves as my official notification that nobody who uses anything I’ve ever written or ever will write for any purpose will ever face any legal action from myself or anyone associated with me for doing so. My work belongs to everyone, and if you see anything you want to put out there, I encourage you to use it. No need to contact me before or after doing so.

My reasons for doing this are entirely selfish; I’m trying to seed healthy ideas into an unhealthy world, but my own reach and time is limited. I would like to live in a healthy world, so if you help circulate healthy ideas you’re helping me. I’m supported by entirely voluntary donations from readers, so I don’t depend on copyrights to pay my bills. I am choosing to exercise the freedom that this gives me by letting anyone use my words who wants to.

If you’d like to make a few bucks selling books of my work or bumper stickers of my turns of phrase or whatever, please do so in whatever way you choose. If you think you can help advance a healthy cause by circulating my words, please do so in whatever way you choose. If you feel motivated to spread my work around on digital or print media, please do so in whatever way you choose. I feel comfortable that my writings are healthy, so as far as I’m concerned you’ll only be bringing more health into the world.

Thank you in advance,

Caitlin Johnstone


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Latest comments

  • based on this gesture, I registered the domain mustbeamarxist.com where I’m going to be selling T-Shirts and the likes with lefty/progressive quotes and some of Caitlin’s artwork etc. Also keeping in the spirit of Caitlin’s gesture ALL profits will be given to charities and after 2 years, I’ll give the entire site away to somebody absolutely free for them to do whatever they like with it. (no customer data will be shared)

    All being well, it should be ready to go live in a week or two #peace

  • Good on yer, young lady!

  • Ms. Caitlin Johnstone, Let us hope that this could be the start of something new, I love using quotations in my writing. “Your children are not Your Children, they are the Sons and Daughters of Life’s longing for itself.” Kahil Gibran….People, take a good look around you at Earth, and every living thing on it (No Charge for the Sunlight to view it with) If one looks closely from the largest Whale to the tiniest bacteria, every thing is Perfectly designed to suit it’s purpose here on Earth, and the Earth itself is perfectly designed for the life on it to survive. How this planet survived for 5 billion years before Men arrived and decided to Manage it to death, is beyond my understanding. Why the Great Creator even thought to provide a night light for us, as well as a trillion or so galaxies for us to dream of someday visiting. Of course we do not get to go visiting out yonder until Total Peace and Harmony exist here at home, so if you want to start visiting other worlds, let us all work on getting our act together here at Home…..No weapons or smallpox blankets allowed on Starships! Caitlin, thank you for providing this wonderful Site, I hope we keep your little piggy bank full, if you do not have to worry about $ you can be free to cook up good writing…..

  • Well done.

  • “You are free to credit me or not, or to claim authorship yourself.”

    That’s a little TOO socialistic, Caitlin. Defending authorship, what Andrew J. Galambos called “primary property” is the most important part of our capitalist civilization.

    • Good grief, man, I’m the first “fundamentalist” here and even I’m wondering how you got here. What happened to individuals rights to do as she pleases with it?

      But look peeps – Caitlin may be doing this, but regardless just make sure you give attribution to her. It’s not only a matter of being truthful, but you also want to draw attention to all of her great work. And I’m saying that despite how she wrote against something I as a “fundamentalist” am opposed to recently. Now if she did that kind of thing all the time I wouldn’t say this, but mostly all I ever see from her is some of the best and most valuable “truth” material I’ve ever encountered for this world.

  • Well done, Caitlin. A beautiful gesture.

  • Your writing can turn my day around, and I am grateful. I see many anti empire activists being tight fisted with their materials. Thank you Caitlin, for this unconditional love

  • Hey Caitlin. I love your essays and I share them with my friends, my facebook friends and my twitter friends. Some of my French speaking friends have asked me to either translate them or at least summarize them in French. I am a professional translator, and with your authorization, this is exactly what I plan to do.

    • Catherine, Are you posting your French translations anywhere? I’d love to show them to my husband.

  • Many thanks from the depth of my heart. You have given back much much more to your human fellows then we had ever given you.

    Your writings are the universal ideas for a just and egalitarian world to happen. Whenever it happens, or where ever it happens, you will see it with a thankful smile even if you happen to be a particle of sand or a ray of sun or a drop of pure clean water by that time.

    Thanks again Caitlin for this best possible endeavour a human like you can make.

    Best ever !!!!!

  • Caitlin’s position on copyright (pertaining to herself only) is quite anti-capitalist. But, as capitalism is temporary – because it’s Godless and God will eradicate it – there’s nothing illogical about her decision to let others use her words however they might. And she does it for right reasons, a good thing.

    I have a similar notice on my blog. My blog is not monetized and I offer to let others use my words and images (much of which I have taken from others anyway) freely, out of principle. I hate our money system, but it is upon us. Therefore, I understand when other content providers, who depend on donations and subscriptions in order to keep operating and paying the bills (their own as well as their company’s) warn others to not steal their words, but I’ve always hated ‘rights restricted’ and such notices (especially within important books by authors critiquing this evil system of things). Such things are a reflection of a world I hate and nothing you will see any of, in my view, in the world to come.

    • Copyrights and parents themselves are anti-capitalist. They provide state- supported monopolies at the expense of innovation, efficiency and fairness. They’ve been used as justification to send the NeoStasi across international borders to seize Mega Upload, The Pirate Bay and more. The defunct TPP would have allowed for copyright laws to supersede the laws of sovreign nations. Such that foreign coprorations could prosecute sovereign citizens across borders and oceans with no state protections. They are perhaps more than anything the thing keeping you down. The thing preventing access to affordable, quality healthcare and consumer goods. They stifle innovation and job creation. They are rampantly abused and overreaching.
      I own a business. I do not patent my unique products. You think you can compete with me, bring it. You won’t beat me on price quality or efficiency, but even if you do, I won’t weaponize the law against you. I also write songs. They’re good. Multiple artists play them and put them on their albums. None are copyrighted. I wrote them so people could hear them, not so some record company exec could make a cushy existence charging you money to hear them. I offer and urge anyone who likes them the opportunity to play them royalty free. I have developed financial systems that will rid you of debt and allow you to exploit the same tactics and loopholes that the rich use to get richer. I share them with anyone that asks and don’t do $100 a seat seminars (my system destroys every ripoff system that does do $100 a seat seminars. Yes I’m talking to you Dave Ramsey) Open source is the Excalibur sword that will break the corporate monopoly over our lives and government. Forget Socialism. Forget divvying up everyone’s after tax money. Open source is Knowledge Socialism. It is Capability Socialism. It makes everyone a corporation of one with the same capabilities and know how to compete in the open market. So that the same few select corporations don’t dominate the global landscape as they do now. Intellectual Property is a farce concept. It puts ownership of knowledge in the hands of people who can AFFORD it, in lieu of the people who thought of it. I’ve patented many things. All those patents belong to the companies I worked for. Not because they thought of them, but simply because they paid for them. Yes that’s the way it is, but the fact is it’s a joke. MY intellect spawned those inventions, but they’re not my property. Because it’s not about protecting the ‘intellect’, it’s about creating a pay-to-play, rich get richer system. Open source is the antidote to that. It’s the great equalizer. It’s democratized knowledge as a means to a truly FREE enterprise system. The one they say we have but definitely don’t. One that yields the benefits we should all enjoy but don’t. Who is surprised that Caitlin has the insight to grasp this? Kudos to her for leading by example. This is how Caitlin (and I) live the change we want to see in the world. Who among you will join us? Socialize your ideas, not just someone else’s money. That’s the self sacrifice that will affect real change in the world.

      • Very well stated. Kudos.

  • I often share quotes from you on Facebook, but I am always careful to attribute them. The only thing I try to be careful about is not to tag you necessarily, because I know many people are sharing your words and tagging you. So if I have ever tagged you too often or obnoxiously, I apologize right now. I love what you have to say and only very rarely do I ever disagree with you.

    • *unnecessarily (sorry, cannot seem to find editing feature)

  • Discussing religion with a fundamentalist is a waste of time. It can only teach you how tightly closed a mind can be.

    • Well at least that’s better than your first remark, Mike. Haven’t heard the old “closed minded / narrow minded / intellectual suicide” theme since probably the 80’s. 😉

    • I’m a fundamentalist. That word’s been abused. I’m not an extremist, which doesn’t mean that I’m morally flexible.

  • I don’t like having to fill a form in every time I want to say something (almost always very positive) about your writing. But just sometimes I will overcome my reluctance and do just that. Bravo Caitlin! Love your work! Love your energy! Love you! Thank you for doing something I feel I ought perhaps to be doing myself!!!

  • Caitlin, that’s a hugely noble gesture. Just one tiny quibble… you can’t actually “release” your copy… “right.” It’s like disowning your children so that someone else can become their biological mothers, it’s impossible (legal obfuscations and artifice notwithstanding).

    I think what you mean here is that you are “sharing” the rights to your written works with everyone.

    It might not be important to even point out this distinction but for one critical issue… a “right” is only one side of a coin, it’s tails side is “responsibility.” When you have (and exercise) a right, even if it’s to “copy” …you are also stuck with the responsibility and consequence of such.

    Thanks for being so prolific… you regularly storm my mental citadels with your valiant (pointy stick wielding) words. <3

  • Funny I just received the link to this yesterday. Think this is perfect timing.
    Video: How to Light Encode Your Creations | Sandra Walter – Ascension Path

  • You da [wo]man!!!

  • Caitlin Johnstone –
    One of my earliest favorite practitioners of the human arts, harkening back over fifty years, is the poet, painter, and philosophical story teller Kahlil Gibran. In his book The Prophet he makes a beautiful comment that seems to perfectly describe your gesture herein.
    “Work is Love made visible.”
    Thank you for what y9ou do.

  • We’ll blow me down and call me Plagiary.
    Thank ye ma’am.

  • – not surprised, CJ has a big heart
    just like one of my previous sheroes:

    ‘ ‘freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loose’ ‘

  • A true sign of a human leader, Ms Johnstone!! This will be a much better planet with every new human being your words touch!! Bravo!!!!!!

  • Okay, I’m actually impressed, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Good work, Ms. J.

  • Very Cool Caitlin…You have the HEART of a UNIVERSE!
    All in All…It amounts to a Smile And the Universe is One Timeless HEART.
    I like Your shades too!

  • Releasing copyrights: There’s an easy way to do this, which I have done with all the material (songs I have written, pictures I’ve taken, etc.) on my own Web site, which is a Creative Commons license. They come in several versions, which you can see on the Creative Commons Web site (https://creativecommons.org). This has been used by lots of writers, photographers, filmmakers, and others, ever since Lawrence Lessig invented the concept. Check it out– I think you’ll find it useful.

    • No license is required to share an idea. The fact that we have a system and people that think otherwise shows how far off the reservation we’ve veered.

      You seem like a cool dude. You can tell anyone you want that I said (and wrote) that, and no license is required. See how easy it is?

  • that’s the coolest thing of all that you’ve done, as it is a very powerful symbolic idea / act that will resonate with, and show the way to, all. Kudos, Caitlin!

  • This would be a surprise coming from anyone else.

  • It is said that actions speaks louder than words, and that a picture is worth a thousand words. The picture you’ve painted with your words is of a totally unselfish woman whose far, far more concerned about the the health and state of humanity than she is about her personal state. Nuff said. Oh, except for one thing. Like someone said above: you are a saint.

  • In the world of today it is probably best for you to protect yourself by adding some disclaimer along the lines of that if anyone does use your writing for any purpose that they do so at their own risk and you are not liable for any consequential damages resulting from their actions.

    You have no way of knowing how people may use or misuse your work.

    • It might be even possible a big party claims rights and shut your work soon after you published it.

  • Beautiful. We all need to learn to share freely, and overcome our greed and need for recognition. You are setting a good example for us to follow. Effective concern for others and our world is proportionate to the reduction of our swollen egos.

    • It’s simpler than that. This is simply FREE ENTERPRISE. That thing you always thought we had but actually never did. It happens when all ideas are in the public domain and the best, most efficient uses of them rise to the top. When the winners and losers are determined by tangible merits rather than by who has the most money and the best lawyers. And you’ll never have it without first having Open Source. Caitlin just became an Open Source. Kudos to her. Who will follow?

  • Thanks, Caitlin, I’m much looking forward to sharing your great work even more than I do now then. 🙂 And I will not hold against you the piece you wrote about “sin” the other day, because every last one of us was there too in some form. In fact, some of us were “professional” level opposers of the truth of Christianity at one point in our lives no less, making current ones appear even pathetically weak by comparison. But since it’s real and the truth there’s nothing we can do about when called, nor would we want to. 😉 (I’m not a great example, however, not by any means.)

    May God bless you going forward. 🙂

    • I went through a long period of strong atheism when I was young, as a result of absurd fundamentalist religion forced on me. I became a devotee of science and materialism, Only later in life did I realize my narrow definition of religion had excluded a huge range of valuable wisdom. For me, Catlin’s writings reveal her as a deeply spiritual person in the terms that I now understand spirituality. Her dedication to truth and love for all makes her spiritual in my terms, although she might be uncomfortable with those terms. Who knows, she might change as I did, but it really doesn’t matter – she is headed in the right direction, and that’s what counts.

      • Atheism and materialism certainly take a HUGE amount of “faith” I must say. 😉 If you stepped away from “the faith” then after experiencing all that, it only means that you were not yet really saved, born again, regenerate, or whatever term one prefers despite believing that you were if you did. It was not the bad experiences that succeeded in turning you off, as that could not happen no matter how bad if you had been regenerate yet, and believe me, I’ve had my share that could have turned me off and made me want to walk away too. The *visible* church is in a very bad state, and I’m not a great example either. Hopefully you are saved now, however, or going to be if not now. Yes, there are many “non-regenerate” who do a lot of great work whom I also like, and Caitlin here is certainly one of them. I also highly recommend Jimmy Dore, James Corbett, and Abby Martin, all of whom have YT “truth channels.”

        • John – “being saved” is a toxic meme used by some groups to create an in group, and marginalize others. In it’s worst form these “others” are condemned by a supposedly loving God to eternal torture. Definitely not my kind of God. Nor my kind of people.

          • That is not true about the term “saved,” Mike, though I understand how and why you might feel that way and would probably feel that way or worse in your position. It’s also entirely possible that some immature people in “the church” or who at least only appear to be part of it might sometimes have an attitude like that, but it is definitely not generally so or widespread.

            As far as the two-edged message of salvation involving both Heaven and Hell goes, in all candor I wish it were being done differently, as God is my witness, but I am not God and only know that it is true.

        • Being “born again” is just another human concept based on the inability of human minds to accept the concept of finity.

          • Okay now that was really weak, Moon, and I’m sure I could have done much better than that when I was still a teenager even, which was decades ago. 🙂 Fyi, was “born again” while still a teenager too.

            It is a spiritual rebirth given by God, in which the Spirit of God also becomes present in the person who has been “saved.” There will also be the evidence and “fruits” of genuine transformation, of which there are certainly many known and not so known personal examples. Prior to this happening to you, we can neither understand it adequately or seek it genuinely. It can only be given as a free gift. And it will be given even if just moments before we were kicking and screaming against it, after which we will certainly be glad.

            • Speaking of childish things, the entirety of your first paragraph, in its attempt to de-man me (you “could have done much better than that when … still a teenager”? cool, bro) reveals an insecurity in your personal opinion about your opinion.
              See, you can’t face a dissenting opinion straight-up with your pure opinion; you’re driven to attempt to undermine your opponent’s sense of adulthood.
              Sorry, but that makes you a bad-faith debater. And that, combined with the fact that there are no gods, means I can safely ignore you.

              • No, your statement is completely paranoid, and your interpretation of me and my intentions is all in your mind. I really meant what I said. I was a very “precocious” teenager with an IQ in the 99.9%. Your opening “debate” here was completely useless. And there is no debate, that is not my intention either. People like me tend to make the mistake of thinking that if we say things to try to convey to others the reality of what we are talking about it will have some impact. It’s an easy mistake to fall into. You’ll even find it illustrated in the New Testament. But we also know better. I could win every “debate” under the sun, yet even if Christ also rose from the dead right in front of us, we would not change or choose to be saved, all of us, including you. However, we are just trying to get you saved if God will do that, not to do anything like what you have suggested here.

                • God loves both of you equally. Think about that before either of you post another response.

                • Yup, I can safely ignore you.
                  Message again to re-reconfirm.

  • Caitlin Johnstone, you are a saint.

  • Ever since I began reading and following you, I have had nothing but the utmost respect for what you produce, and with this new announcement, that respect has grown tenfold.

  • Thank you for the excellent work that you do, I have appreciated your diligence and commitment to stay on point!
    Vyonne Jenks

  • Ah, to walk the walk. Thank you so much, Caitlin.

  • Thank you Caitlin, you’re awesome. Solidarity from Wales, UK.

  • Congratulations – and thanks!

    You have joined the ranks of serious altruists, along with people like Tim Berners-Lee (who gave away the Web to make sure it would catch on).

    • And nonviolent communicator creator Marshall Rosenberg who never charged fees. Check him out on YouTube.

  • My advice is to use an explicit, free license (either Free Documentation License or one of the CC licenses) to insure that your words won’t be distorted. Just to be sure.

  • God Bless your brave heart CJ

  • Thank you Caitlin for your fantastic writing and for giving it all away for a better world.

    I am an admin of No MSN on Facebook and quite often post your articles as I read them. I will continue to do so as you are far more an eloquent writer than any of us admins of that page and you do great research that we don’t have the time to do ourselves. Between you, Patrick Henningsen, Eva Bartlett, John Pilger, and a few others there is hope that real journalism can be kept alive and with integrity. Of course we can’t forget Mr Asange and Wikileaks who I hope survive the latest establishment bully tactics (to put it mildly).

  • an act of some rare person who actually acts on their socialist beliefs.

    • This is free enterprise not Socialism. Unrestricted use of information in the public domain. Check your facts.

      That said I’m not surprised that in the current reality up would seem like down and vice versa. The last thing anyone wants you to believe is that you have rights or ownership of anything, even the product of your own mind. Which coincidentally is the thing that IS Socialism.

  • Very noble of you Caitlin x


  • You probably know this but there is a way you can tailor your release of rights to your desires. Check out Creative Commons, which was set up some years ago by Larry Lessig with considerable help from the tragically late Aaron Swartz.

  • You are the best, a true journalist interested in spreading the truth with out the personal gains. A rare treasure. I hope more people will support you on Patreon

  • I’m sorry for this criticism, but you deserve to be credited. There’s a meme about how, if you see a great quote that’s credited to Anonymous, a woman in history said it. Ever since, I have assumed that to be a fact. I consider it to be a crime against humanity, because women, men, and others alike are robbed of the idea of non-male thought leaders. As it is, too many sh1th34d men try to erase your name from the public thoughtspace…
    …though that’s kind of why you’re releasing credit, isn’t it? “Leave my name behind, so the words perpetuate.” It’s to your credit that your ego doesn’t need that acknowledgement.
    Thank you for writing for us, in all the ways you do.

  • Ah, the eternal law of generous giving! Well that is awesome. I am impressed and it will come back to you a thousand fold in some form, coin or fashion. You can count on it!

  • Thank you, because I often reference your words in my FB and email diatribes, as you can sometimes better express my feelings in writing than I can.

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