What do you think about offering works, especially short stories, under a creative commons "some rights reserved" copyright as this author has done? (The work is not completely in the public domain ... see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/. This work is under the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ license specifically.)
My belief is that this type of release actually encourages the creative process and empowers artists to create and reach an audience for their works that might have otherwise required substantial promotion efforts.
Some people think this "cheapens" artistic works, encouraging people to believe that books, music (even movies -- see for example this news story: http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2009/03/17/f-sita-sings-the-blues.html), and other works should be "free" in every sense of that work.