Why I put my content into the Creative Commons

I used to fear that people would share my paid courses forward, without their friends paying for it.

I would try to lock down my content, putting it into a password-protected membership site, and being very obvious that people were committing theft if they shared my paid content.

One day, I realized that those who are going to share my paid content with their friends, are going to find ways of doing it that I cannot prevent.

More importantly:

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

I realized that the primary thought underneath the fear of content theft is this:

I am a limited creator. I’m able to produce very few worthwhile things, so I better protect my limited creativity.

This is a lie whispered by our egos, and perhaps given to us by those who raised and educated us.

The truth I believe is this:

You are an unlimited genius in your field of expertise and passions.

If you have the energy for a topic, you have the potential to generate unlimited ideas. It is a muscle that you can grow. Once you do, you’ll have more ideas than you know what to do with.

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

I have more course topic ideas than I have time to teach and sell.

If you need help growing your Ideas/Creativity muscle, consider practicing the “idea machine” exercise.

Unlimited Creativity is what no one can take or steal from you. When you are in the mindset of “protecting content” you are simultaneously stifling your creativity.

(On the other hand, physical items are by its very nature limited, and it makes sense to be cautious there. Not to be in “fear” — but to be wise about protecting a truly limited resource.)

Once I fully put my attention to creating more and better content, rather than protecting, I also started to attract more loyal clients, students, fans.

These wonderful audience members 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/services.

You can generate that same kind of goodwill when you liberate your mindset towards content creativity and generosity.

Negativity spawns more negativity. Fear of content theft tends to attract more content theft.

Always remember: there’s no need to fear its theft, because content and creativity are unlimited.

Around the same time, 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.

Therefore, there is never a need to fear.

I believe that we are being called to become more creative and generous with our content. By following that calling, we become better people who create a wiser world.

Starting a few months ago, I made the decision to put all my free content — all my videos and blog posts — into the Creative Commons. I choose the “CC0” license (No Rights Reserved) wherever possible. This means anyone can re-use or re-purpose any of my content, all without needing to give me credit.

That means you are welcome to copy my entire website, including all its blog posts, and call it your own, without mentioning my name. Of course, if you literally did that, it would be the opposite of authentic business ;-)

The point is that you never have to be afraid of forgetting to credit me, when you share any of my ideas forward.

Putting your content into the Creative Commons is a radical move and I don’t recommend it for everyone. You need to feel truly liberated about your content and not feel resentful, if you decide to do this.

My purpose is to contribute to the possibility of a world where we can all focus on making ideas better, rather than needing to always claim credit, or to be fearful we might have stolen someone else’s ideas.

(Since we don’t live in that world yet, I do try to give credit whenever I am conscious of using someone idea. However, in my own content I don’t want to give that burden to others.)

I’d like you to feel free to use or improve on any of my content. You don’t have to wonder whether you made it “unique enough” to call it yours. Whether or however you modify “my” content, you are free to publish it under your name.

May we collectively and diligently work to keep making better content, and thereby move humanity’s progress along more quickly, ease suffering sooner, and grow beyond our limitations.

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store