I hereby release my copyrights to, and place into the public domain, all of the following:
- The hundreds of articles I’ve posted on this website since it launched in 2004
- The articles I’ve published in my newsletters
- The podcasts I’ve posted in the audio section
- The videos I’ve created and posted to my YouTube account.
Unless I explicitly state otherwise, all future content I personally create and publish on StevePavlina.com shall not be copyrighted and shall belong to the public domain.
The StevePavlina.com website design is copyrighted, including the CSS code and the look and feel of the site, so don't copy the design of the site itself. Don't create a site that might be confused with StevePavlina.com.
Larger works that include a copyright notice shall remain copyrighted.
My book Personal Development for Smart People is copyrighted. The book is published by Hay House and by other publishers in various languages.
The audio program Imaginary Men is also copyrighted. This was a group project with multiple contributors.
If I decide to copyright something new that I create, I’ll include a copyright notice within the work.
What Does This Mean?
This means that you have more rights to use my uncopyrighted work in various ways.
Here are some of the things you can do with my uncopyrighted material:
- Repost it on your own website as much as you want
- Translate it into other languages
- Transfer it to different media (articles-> audio, articles -> books, etc.)
- Make money from what you create (sell it in ebook form, post it on your website and make money from advertising)
- Create derivative works based on the content (i.e. books, movies, software, etc.)
Here are some more specific examples of what you can do:
- Package any subset of articles into an ebook, and give it away free or sell it
- Create a website to share my content in another language, translating as much of it as you desire
- Republish some of my articles in your company newsletters
- Turn some of my articles into an audio program
- Create an app based on my content
- Develop a workshop or seminar based on my content
You don’t need to directly ask my permission to do this. You can simply go ahead and do it.
If you’re not sure about something, consult your inner guidance and make whatever decision you believe is right. Or talk to a lawyer if you’re concerned about legalities.
Definitely don’t ask me to do anything that would involve lawyers, contracts, exclusivity, or obligations. I cannot grant you any special rights for content that is now in the public domain.
If I see something really cool being developed (based on my subjective judgment), then I may even help to promote it if I feel it would strongly benefit people. Just don’t expect me to agree to anything in advance before you actually do the creative part.
While I am giving away the copyrights to my work, I am retaining the moral rights to my work.
Moral rights include the right to attribution and the right to preserve the integrity of the work.
These rights are basically common sense, and they'll help both of us avoid unnecessary headaches if you choose to use my work.
If you do reuse my work, you should give proper credit, such as by including a note like "Steve Pavlina wrote this" or "Republished from StevePavlina.com" when republishing my content.
In the rare situations where people have failed to give proper credit, it has worked against them. My work is already known worldwide, and there's a high probability that it will be recognized when republished. Many people do not take kindly to trying to pass off someone else's work as your own. What typically happens is that people will post angry 1-star reviews and publicly call you out as a plagiarist if you fail to give proper attribution.
Giving attribution is simply the smart thing to do. It won't cost you anything, and including my name on the work may even help your sales if you're selling a product.
Although it isn't a requirement, I’d appreciate it if you’d include a link to my website or mention the URL StevePavlina.com when you re-use my work. That's just good form when republishing someone else's content.
If you create a book or product based partly on my material, use your best judgment as to whether or not you feel I deserve a co-author credit for the content you used.
Integrity of the Work
Another aspect of moral rights is the right to preserve the integrity of the work.
It's fine with me if you want to edit some of my work, especially to shorten or simplify it. You can also include my work as part of a larger work with other contributors.
However, please do not attribute words to me that I didn't actually communicate, especially if it seems likely that I wouldn't agree with them.
Use Good Judgment
I encourage you to use my uncopyrighted material in creative and expansive ways. As you do so, please exercise good judgment. Don’t create headaches for me by doing something sketchy or deceptive.
For example, don’t make it look like I’m recommending or endorsing a product when I didn’t explicitly do so. Don’t quote me inaccurately. Don't try to pass off my personal stories as your own.
Do not try to impersonate me, such as by creating fake social media accounts in my name, by giving people the impression that I created a website or product that I didn't, or by soliciting donations in my name.
I'm releasing the copyrights that are noted here, but I'm not releasing any rights to my own identity. I fully retain the sole right to be me.
Also note that impersonating a living person is completely illegal. In addition to being arrested for it, impersonators can also be liable for monetary damages. So don't even think about it.
If you create and publish a product, website, or anything based on my material, make it clear that the product is not published or supported by me personally.
If you release any products based on my work, including software, you must label it in such a way that people will not mistakenly assume that I published or endorsed it. I had better not start receiving support emails for any products you create.
If you create a headache for me, you can generally expect that I’ll do something about it, which may include leveraging my network to open a can of whoop-ass on you till you do the right thing and correct the problem. That said, you have plenty of leeway to be creative here, and if you do create a problem by accident, I’ll probably contact you about it first and give you a chance to fix it before I go looking for the tweezers and blowtorch.
You can make money off my work if you so desire. If you can introduce more people to conscious personal growth, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be compensated for your efforts.
If you make money from my work, there’s no obligation to pay me a portion of what you earn. However, if you feel good about doing so, I’d certainly be grateful if you did share some of the earnings, either on a regular basis or as an occasional donation. This makes it easier for me to sustain what I’m doing and to expand this work in new directions.
Why Am I Doing This?
I like helping people. Uncopyrighting my work makes it easier for people to share these ideas. I believe we can create more positive ripples this way.
I don't like fighting piracy. I'd rather spend my time creating and sharing fresh ideas instead of defending my past creations. Over the years people have made it obvious that they want to reshare, translate, and republish my work. I figure it makes more sense to see them as allies than as enemies.
Sharing my work is more important to me than owning it.