This is just a quick article to remind everyone of my standing offer to please use my work however they like, and that it isn’t necessary to attribute any words I’ve written to me if you don’t want to.
I think a reminder is due because lately I’ve been seeing more people take me up on this repeated offer on social media, with people sharing quotes I’ve made without putting my name on them or sharing screenshots of my Twitter posts but cropping my name off of them, and I want to make it clear to everyone that I am fine with this and think it’s great.
I have probably the coolest readers of any online writer in the world (not to brag or anything), and sometimes they get upset when they see somebody sharing something I’ve said without giving me attribution. So I’d just like to make it clear to everyone that what they’re seeing is perfectly fine, and I’ll explain why.
Reminder that anyone who wants to republish, translate or use any or all of my work has permission to do so free of charge, with or without attribution, in whole or in part. Put it on your blog, make merchandise, make pamphlets, make books, use it however you like.
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) May 4, 2021
Firstly and most importantly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because I don’t do what I do to get rich and famous, and I’m not in this to have people stroke my ego. My sole objective here in this space is to do what I can to help expand human consciousness and bring awareness to dynamics which threaten the survival of our species, and to get good ideas circulating in an information ecosystem that is severely polluted with very bad ideas. Anyone who shares my work, with or without attribution, is as far as I’m concerned helping to facilitate this goal.
And sharing my work without attribution can actually often facilitate this goal a lot further than sharing it with attribution, in my experience. I’ve seen words I’ve written share far better online without my name attached to them than they did when I originally said them, and it makes sense that this would happen if you think about it. I’ve got a negative reputation in many online circles because I’ve said things that are offensive to pretty much every political faction at one time or another, so there are a lot of people who’d be more inclined to share a cool idea or quote that doesn’t have my name attached to it than one that does. If the words are helpful then it shouldn’t matter what name is attached to them, but it often does matter and if removing my name from them helps circulate those words then in my opinion that’s an objectively positive thing.
Secondly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because it doesn’t hurt me financially or professionally at all. Because of the entirely gift-based model that my crowdfunded project here is based on, I don’t get any more money by people coming to my website or clicking my articles, so I’m not losing anything when they don’t. My patrons tend to be people who’ve noticed over an extended period of time that I put out work they like and want to support, not people who just saw a quote they enjoyed once.
When I first announced my policy of letting everyone use my work for free a number of people expressed concern and responded as though I was doing something dangerous that might be detrimental to me. And I guess it makes sense that people would be a bit alarmed by something so far outside the norm, but I’ve had my content-sharing policy in place for three years now and have never once had a bad thing come of it. All that’s happened is a bunch of platforms have republished my work and a lot more people have been reading my articles, which from my point of view is beneficial because my articles are well-sourced and truthful and my ideas are good.
I Permanently Release All Copyrights To All My Writing. Use Any Of It However You Want.
"This includes tweets, blogs, poems, digital or print, past writing or future writing, to be used however anyone wants to use them."https://t.co/18RJ28x6tv
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) April 5, 2019
Lastly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because that’s just the kind of world I want to live in. Where ideas and information flow freely, where people don’t feel the need to cling tightly to their creations and inventions because they’ll starve if they don’t have enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts, where creators don’t constipate their creativity by continually fighting for control over old ideas that aren’t even alive and inspired for them anymore, where patents aren’t used to suppress human development and innovation for the profit of a very few. Where we’re all creative geniuses in a constant state of inspiration flow, pouring our unique gifts out into the world for the benefit of the whole with the confidence that we’ll all be taken care of by the collective.
I try to make my whole life a kind of sigil for the world I’d like to see emerge in the future, and my work here is very much an extension of that practice. If I can also help to create that world by setting a good example, so much the better.
So please do use my work in whatever way you want. Make tweets, memes, articles, flyers, zines, posters, signs, stencils, books, merchandise, whatever. Put my name on it, put your name on it, or make up some fictional name and attribute it to them. Use all of it or use parts of it. Keep it as is or change it. Do it for free or do it to make money. The words aren’t mine, they’re yours to do with as you please.
And feel free to bookmark this article so you can show it to anyone who tries to tell you different.
My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.