I know. I know. I am not great at blogging.
Time just flies by. That does not mean that things are not happening. Of my several projects, the one I call Distant Thunder (see this website) is going a little slowly. But that is because I am trying to refine some artistic technique — and bashing my head up against how to incorporate dreams into a narrative. But more on that some other time.
Other things are happening. Tiger (that is, the tiger from my book Did Tiger Take the Rain?) got loose. She just decided to take off into the big, wide world. In reality. I regained the rights, and Tiger and the book are on their way into the open source world of Creative Commons.
There is a lot of information out there on what open source is. Just see Wikipedia (which is itself “open source”). It started out in computer software. In the bigger world that most of us inhabit, like music, education, medicine, science — children’s books — the concept of “open source” is what lies behind the Creative Commons movement.
According to the study Made with Creative Commons:
“The commons is not just about shared resources…A resource is a noun, but to common—to put the resource into the commons—is a verb. [It is a] … social practice of commoning, managing resources in a collective manner with a community of users…Special regard is given to equitable access, use, and sustainability” (Made with Creative Commons, Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, Cntrl+Alt+Delete Books, Copenhagen, Creative Commons 2017; https://creativecommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/made-with-cc.pdf).
A major criteria of the Creative Commons strategy is to bypass the controlling, profit-based capitalist market — to restore the balance in environmental sustainability, personal relations, etc., Their case studies show that the main focus is a “social mission”: “to make the world a better place” through involving the commons — i.e. the public at large. Reaching out to the “commons” can decentralize distribution, ensure access for all, maximize constructive participation, have a global reach, etc..
So how did Tiger get involved with this? A copyright lawyer contacted me to ask if I would be interested in being part of an effort she is spearheading that works to bring regularly published children’s books into the hands of children who would not otherwise be able to afford them. She notes that most of the world is experiencing a virtual a “book hunger” (see Lea Bishop-Shaver (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2694318). If I went along with the idea, putting my book out there under Creative Commons means that the book can be made available to children around the world who would otherwise not be able to afford it. It will be downloaded, copied, printed, distributed and even changed by anyone, virtually the whole world.
Tiger will not directly bring in money through sales. But it never did anyway. So here is the rationale. It is possible that up to one billion children worldwide do not have regular access to books simply because they cannot afford them. Through a Creative Commons license, Tiger has the potential of becoming accessible to thousands of children worldwide.
Can you think of any payback more wonderful than that?