First, the legalese.
Unless otherwise stated and to the extent possible under law, I — Eugene Eric Kim — dedicate all written content distributed on this website, Faster Than 20, to the public domain. In other words, I waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights.
I don’t own any patents or trademarks, but if I ever acquire any, I’ll be sure to address them here as well.
What does this mean?
It means that you can do whatever you’d like with the content on this website. You can share it, reuse it, repurpose it, plagiarize it, sell it, and so forth — all without restriction. You don’t have to get my permission, pay me, or even credit me.
Of course, if you find this work meaningful or useful, I would appreciate attribution — I’m human after all — but I do not require it.
Are you crazy?!
Why are you doing this?
Look, I care about credit… and money. If I’m doing something valuable, I ought to get compensated for it in some form or another. But I also care about relationships and impact. Not everything should be a transaction.
I’ve been giving away my knowledge for as long as I’ve been working in this field, and the experience has always been overwhelmingly positive. It honors the generosity of everyone I’ve learned from over the years, and it’s been great for business. People find ways to give when they find things valuable, even when they’re not required to.
What’s different is that before, I required attribution. You would think that’s a low bar, but it’s still prevented people from reusing what I’ve created. So I’m eliminating that barrier by renouncing all rights to this work. My hope is that even more people will benefit, even if I don’t get direct credit or compensation.
What does this mean if I want to contribute something here?
This only applies to my written work. If you comment on a blog post, you maintain copyright to that comment by default.
If you’d like to contribute a guest post or an improvement to one of my toolkits, you also have to be willing to waive copyright for that contribution. I will attribute anything you contribute, even if I’m not required to do so, because it’s both practical and a nice thing to do.
This is not a virus. It does not infect everything it touches. For example, if you mention a proprietary toolkit in a guest post, while your post itself will be public domain, it will not affect the license of your toolkit.
Does this apply to pictures?
It applies to all of the diagrams that I share (and that I have rights to). It does not apply to my photographs.
Photographs are complicated, and honestly, I haven’t figured out what to do with them yet. One of the reasons it’s complicated is that the subject of the photo has rights too, and I want to make sure I’m respecting their rights. In order to do that, I will continue to retain my copyright on photographs that I share here.
I love your work, and I want to do something for you anyway. What can I do?
Just because I’m not requiring it, doesn’t mean I won’t happily accept attribution. As I said earlier, I’d appreciate it! Or, you could buy one of our toolkits.
But the most important thing you can do for me is to simply use the work, and leave a trail. Let somebody — anybody — know what you’re using and what you’re learning. It doesn’t have to be a comprehensive case study. It could be a little note or signal. You could share it with me (I love hearing about what people are learning, good or bad), with another colleague, or with the world at large. Just share it with somebody!