Update: Writing for Ransom?
To pick up again on my previous entry where I wondered whether I should copyleft one of my articles, I just read this interested /. piece on Ransoming code. Basically the idea is that rights in software remain restricted until a certain amount of money has been raised to pay for releasing it as open source.
Aside from the advertising benefit of reserving an article only to my own website, another reason I am reluctant to copyleft them is that they take a lot of work to write, and require a significant amount of time off from doing billable work for my clients.
In terms of time I could have spent consulting, Pointers, References and Values cost me about $5000 to write. Most of my articles don't take nearly as much work, but one or two thousand dollars worth of time is typical.
I don't think I would require the full amount of that in "ransom" to copyleft an article, as the publicity the articles would continue to generate would be worth a lot, but it would take quite a bit of money if that were all that was put forward to motivate me to copyleft one of my articles.
Let me ask you then, what would you pay me to copyleft any of my writing? Have a look at some of my articles, and email me at email@example.com to tell me what you think you'd pay to get me to copyleft an article. Would you pay up-front, or at least commit to paying, for articles I haven't written yet, based on my past performance?
Something to keep in mind is that, while most of my articles are proprietary, I've been posting everything I write on the web where anyone can read them for free. The copylefting would just allow them to be distributed more widely, allow modifications (usually) and facilitate translation into foreign languages.
Also, I write like this any chance I get. The problem is that I have a hard time finding the time to write. My goal for the last year has been to write one new article each month, but I have never achieved that because I've been so busy just making a living. Getting paid to write would make it much easier to make time away from my development work. I'd do some writing anyway, but I'd do more if I could get paid for it.
I have also wondered about getting grants to write articles (not from individuals, as in the Ransom model, but from charitable foundations or corporations).
I do plan to try writing for magazines, where I would be paid outright, but it would be pretty unusual for the magazines to allow the articles to be copylefted.
MP3's aren't available yet but will be soon. You could always order their new CD, "Way Back When".
They will be playing an east coast (usa) tour early next year.