All of my content is uncopyrighted :)

George Kao

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I used to be in fear that people would steal my content 😥

I would make sure my content had a clear “copyright” notice.

And when I was surfing social media, I would be vigilant about whether people in my industry were using “my” ideas…

It was tiring. And eventually, I realized that it was a futile effort.

Most people are honest and shouldn’t be made to feel like suspects…

…and the few who might steal “my” ideas (I now don’t believe any idea is fully “mine”) are going to find clever ways that I cannot prevent, or even notice.

Plus, karma always comes around…

Fear begets fear.

I also observed an important dynamic within me:

Every ounce of energy I put towards fear of piracy/theft was also stifling my creativity.

The thought underlying the fear was this:

“I am a limited creator. I’m only able to produce a few worthwhile things in my life… so I better protect the little creativity that I’ve got!”

This is a lie — manufactured by our egos — and reinforced by other fearful egos.

I now believe the truth to be this:

You are a limitless genius.

If you’ve ever written a single sentence in your life, you have a proven ability to create.

And that ability can keep growing throughout your life.

If you have energy for some topic, you have the potential to generate unlimited ideas on that topic.

There is a well of creativity within you that cannot be exhausted.

Once you learn to consistently tap into your well of creativity, you’ll have more ideas than you know what to do with.

So I stopped worrying about anyone repurposing my content or using it in whatever way they want.

It’s given me peace of mind, and a continual inspiration for creativity.

Today, I have many more ideas than I have time to create.

(If you need help growing your Ideas/Creativity muscle, try the “idea machine” exercise.)

Unlimited creativity is what no one can steal from you.

On the other hand, when we are in a fearful state of “protecting content” we’re using energy that otherwise could have gone towards creating more — and better — things.

(Of course, it’s different with physical items, which by its nature are limited, and makes sense to be cautious with. However, ideas are intangible. Ideas have limitless abilities to morph, innovate, and renew.)

Interestingly, once I put my attention to creating more content — instead of protecting — I also started to attract more loyal readers, students, and clients.

These wonderful fans were more likely to care about my business’s well-being, and therefore less likely to pirate my content anyway, and more likely to encourage friends to buy my products.

What I’ve seen is that a generous stance attracts other generous people.

You generate lots of goodwill when you liberate your content and commit to creative generosity. Your audience grows in loyalty, and eventually in size as well.

The more loyal and larger your audience, the more monetization opportunities you’ll have.

By contrast, a fearful stance attracts more situations to fear.

I encourage you to always remember: there’s no need to fear the theft of content and creativity — they’re unlimited.

A shift in mind/heartset that liberated my fears

Around the same time that I made this decision (2014), I was experiencing a shift in consciousness / my relationship to spirituality.

I became deeply aware of the Eternal Security that I now believe is the real foundation for all of us.

Here’s what I came to believe:

We are forever taken care of. We are inevitably on a path towards greater Good, despite the seeming ups and downs of life. We are always guided by a Wisdom and Love that will never abandon us, no matter what we do or how we fail.

Therefore, there is no need to fear, not ever.

I believe that we are being called to become more creative and generous through our content. By practicing creating consistently and generously, we grow our skills and our ability to contribute to a wiser world.

My content is all Creative Commons Zero (CC0).

I made the decision to put all my content into the Creative Commons… specifically, the “CC0” license (No Rights Reserved). This means anyone can re-use or re-purpose any of my content, without needing to give me any credit nor attribution.

You are welcome to copy my entire website, all blog posts, even all my courses, and call it your own, without ever mentioning my name.

Of course, if you literally did that, it would be the opposite of authentic business ;-)

The point is that when you share any ideas that are so called “mine”, you never have to be afraid of forgetting to credit me. When it comes to “my” content, you are liberated to share anything that resonates with you, anywhere you like, without credit to me.

However, if you do use content you got from “me”, I hope you’ll improve upon it, and allow me to reuse it too :)

My sincere wish is that we can help each other build a world where ideas get better and better… rather than indulging in a fearful need to claim credit.

I also wish to be free of the fear of possibly stealing others’ ideas. But since we don’t live in that world yet, I try to give credit whenever I am conscious of using someone’s ideas. However, in my own content I don’t want to give that burden to others.

​Speaking of giving credit, my original inspiration for this bold move was Leo Babauta who has uncopyrighted his content and books since 2008.

In summary, liberating my content from copyrights has grown my audience and made me more creative. I now have more ideas than I could possibly write or create in a lifetime!

That, and more peace of mind 😊

(An initial version of this article was published in 2014. Now updated in 2024.)

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George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com