Copyleft is a new age term and more generous than copyright. You have heard copyright a million times. Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection. It’s a legal right, existing in many countries, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others.
As a writer, I used to copyright all of the work until I learned about copyleft. Copyleft is a general method for making a work free. It’s making it available for everyone, all the time without any strings attached.
I first heard this word when I was volunteering in Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. I had gone for a spiritual and self-development retreat where I worked with people from across the globe. In the retreat, we learned a lot of Gandhian philosophy that was based on forgiveness, compassion, gratitude, and kindness. During my stay, we had to do a lot of selfless acts of kindness—no expectations, no assumptions.
I observed that when I was selfless, I and people connected more with each other. There were no hidden agendas so friendships were real and honest ones. When I started offering myself without any expectation, I could do a lot more because there was no worry about who will get the credit. I used to meditate and introspect for hours together. I realized that everything I have was given to me by someone else, and I have to give it all back before leaving this body.
This retreat transformed me to the extent that when I came back home, I decided to change all my work to copyleft and open my arms to the word and embrace everyone who needs me; without any condition. I realized that I am not an owner of anything rather just a trustee.
Copyleft gives me so much freedom. I feel more connected, involved. needed and acknowledged. Isn’t this we all are looking for? Although it works for me because I am not a professional writer, even if I were to become one, I’ll still choose my work to be on public domain—free for all.
It’s a choice we all can choose to or not make. It has taken away all my insecurities, made me courageous, brought an abundant mindset in my life and made me a limitless and unstoppable human.
Take Wikipedia for example, it’s the best example of a copyleft or free for all platform. All my knowledge is mostly because of the internet and if wasn’t free, I would have not learned so much. Thanks to Khan Academy, many unprivileged people across the globe are getting educated for free.
Best things in life are free—air, sunlight, nature, love, peace, kindness. Even life is completely free then who are we to click an image of a beautiful sunset and put a copyright on the image?
PS: Copyleft might not work with your work demands legal protection.