True Freedom Comes with Basic Income
There's actually a story to this one. Some of you may have noticed I actually originally published this article over 18 months ago. I wrote it under commission, and earned $1,000 writing it. Within six months or so of publication, it was pulled from the site with no explanation. I just went to link to it one day and it was gone. I would have immediately republished it onto Medium then, but the contract I signed for this piece involved my giving up any republishing rights for a period of 18 months. So I patiently waited over a year to be able to republish this.

This experience is itself something interesting about intellectual property. I accepted the payment to write this piece, and gave up my rights to my own creation for a period of 18 months, because I thought it would be available to the public the entire time just as if I'd published it myself. But it didn't work out that way. Here I'd written something for the sole purpose of as many people reading it as possible, and it was hidden from those eyes.

This is one of those things about basic income that I think is another powerful aspect. Because of you all and the basic income you together enable me with, I have the choice to freely publish everything I write immediately, without any contracts, and with my full ownership over everything I write. As soon money enters into the equation, things change. If I accept payment for an article I write, there tend to be stipulations. It can also involve a loss of control, where what's published has been edited and isn't exactly what I wrote.

I am so lucky that unlike so many people out there, I have the ability to release everything I create out into the world for free. I actually prefer to do that too, and I think increasingly so because of experiences like this.

It's also experiences like this that lead me to believe in the potential for UBI to enable IP law reform. If authors are no longer worrying about starving 20 years after they write a book, maybe they won't feel copyright needs to last for 100+ years anymore. Maybe we can lower that back down to something more sane.

I feel the world is enriched as the public domain grows. We should not be keeping our creations, our thoughts, out of the public domain for entire lifetimes and beyond. We should not be so caught up in what's "mine." Let's just enable each other to create, and freely share and remix what's created. 

The idea that important words aren't being read by as many people because of the IP laws that prevent it for purposes of extracting money... I don't think that adds to our collective wealth as a species. I think it subtracts from it.

Anyhow, I'm happy to finally be able to republish this one, and I look forward to many more people reading and sharing it with each other.

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