Q: What is Thankware?
A: Thankware is the freely offered use of any proprietary intellectual property.
Q: Who may use thankware?
A: It is offered as a gift to anyone who wishes to accept it.
Q: Are there restrictions on this gift?
A: Generally speaking, thankware is not offered without restriction; the gift is in the use. Ownership of the IP remains with the giver.
Q: How can I thank the giver?
A: Along with the offering, a path is provided for gifts to be given to the giver of the thankware.
Q: Are gifts of appreciation demanded or expected?
A: Such gifts are never required or demanded. Any such gifts are entirely spontaneous and voluntary. They are typically expressions of appreciation and gratitude for the original gift.
Q: How did ShareFreely begin?
A: When I was a kid, I had this great idea; I thought, "If only a million people wanted to send me a penny, I'd be rich!". I recently realized that now there is a way to make it happen - the internet.
Q: What is the most fundamental form of wealth?
A: People (and the ideas and products they produce).
Q: Why is this website here?
A: To promote the gift economy; to explain its value and benefits to both recipients and donors of gifts.
Q: What are the most suitable items for thankware?
A: Intellectual Property (IP) of all types - books, music, software, poetry, digital art, games, designs, stories, comics, cartoons, circuits, processes, information, scientific data, etc. -- especially items that can be distributed at no cost over the internet.
Q: Can I link to sharefreely.com?
A: Yes, indeed. Please do.
Q: Who owns the IP?
A: Ownership remains with the creator of the IP. The gift to others is the use of the book, software, whatever.
Q: Isn't this a form of communism?
A: Communism (as practiced in the USSR and the USA) involves the forced redistribution of wealth. Thankware gifts are given freely and any gifts of gratitude are given freely.
Q: Who would want to give things away when they could sell them?
A: Anyone who wants the product of his efforts to reach everyone who needs or could use them. Those who create wish to see their creations in use. They create for the sheer joy of creating.
Q: Why would anyone send a gift to the creators?
A: Only voluntarily, out of gratitude and appreciation.
Q: Must any form of payment be made?
A: No; unlike shareware, there is no obligation whatsoever. The return path is provided simply to enable those with a sense of gratitude to be able to express that gratitude with a gift.
Q: Doesn't this play on a sense of guilt?
A: Please do not feel that way. Please accept and use the gifts offered without any pressure. Do not send any gift out of guilt, only out of gratitude.
Q: Should gifts of gratitude be large?
A: No, they are merely tokens of appreciation. They should be in some way proportionate to the value of the original gift. Proportionate, not equivalent. By the very nature of IP, if a great many people benefit from the IP and of those who benefit, many wish to respond with a gift, then the IP creator will be free to continue to create things of benefit to all.
Q: Wouldn't a small gift be offensive?
A: Not at all! Appreciation is appreciation. If a million people gave you a penny, you would have $10,000!
Q: Has this ever been tried before?
A: Historically there have been other "gift economies" - the Eskimos used to treat each other this way. The early Christian church gave voluntarily.
Q: Should I plan on Thankware to support me?
A: Don't quit your day job - but you'll never know whether or not Thankware will result in benefit to you unless you try it.
Q: What are the tax implications of thankware?
A: According to the Internal Revenue Code, gifts are not taxable. "Gross income does not include the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance" - Sec. 102(a)
Q: Can I send a gift of appreciation by credit card?
A: Yes, by using a free service such as PayPal.com ( http://paypal.com ).
Q: I am an (author, inventor, musician, etc.); how can I participate in the thankware concept?
A: Place your IP on the web in a readily accessible location and label it as thankware. Link to http://welcome.sharefreely.com so that they can read about and understand the concept. For a step-by-step procedure, go to our Creator's Page.
Q: As a consumer, how can I tell if a particular thankware gift is worthwhile?
A: As the thankware concept spreads, thankware will no doubt become reviewed and evaluated just as shareware is. Of course, because thankware is a gift your risk in trying it is very small.
Q: Is there any cost associated with Thankware?
A: This book is free - but make no mistake, it will cost you something to read it. It will cost you at least some time and effort; it may cost more. You may find yourself introduced to some very costly ideas that will change your life.