Quietly sometime in the last 2 months, I switched my CC License to something more strict than what the community of hackers and those who implement these hacks, is used to. Usually you see a 'Attribution/Non-commercial/Share Alike' license, if there is a license. I went a step further and believe a little explanation, and attention directing is required to all my respected readers :)
License and rules
My license is a Attribution/Non-commercial/No derivative Creative Commons 2.5 license. This specifically translates to:
- Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by me.
- Non-commercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work
With the added caveats:
- For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
- Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
The second caveat is the key here. My license doesn't aim to stop use of my work. It aims to 'make' people let me know about any and every use of my work, so that a) I know exactly where all my work is going and how many people are using it (to gauge popularity), and b) I can attribute and link to useful derivative or creative uses of my work. It is really as simple as that. So, along with my rules, there are a few general rules that everyone must follow.
Attribution is something that every hacker deserves, especially after the work they put in to develop their hacks, no matter how easy or simple they might seem. A lot of thinking and time goes into every hack, to make it easier for 'you' as users to implementWe might not succeed all the time in making them easy, but we do try :P. So as a personal request, whenever you implement a new hack on your blog, whether someone else's or mine, make it a point to at least make a post about it with a link backThat link will show up on the hack page's backlinks, so that's a good way of getting traffic to your blog as well!, or if you are really generous, add in a link to the author's post wherever the hack is visible (for eg. with the widget if the hack is like my Asynchronous Labels widget). This way, the hacker will show up on more people's radars, and get the recognition for good work that he deserves :)
Secondly, never use a hackers work for your commercial purposes without due attribution and permission. We make sure every license has the 'Non-commercial' clause, because we make our hacks for free, for the betterment of the community (and a little recognition as well :P). We don't mind you using it one bit, it's meant for you. But making money off of it, without anything coming back to hackers, is not only rude, but rather unfair! I am not asking you pay money to the hackers for your commercial use. That can be negotiated with hackers individually. Most people who implement our hacks aren't commercially blogging anyway (let's face it, they'd rather get professional coders to get their job done), but selling hacks and codes if they aren't yours, isn't the right thing either.
Share alike/No derivative is rather a Grey area, which should be left to individual hackers' discretion. Share alike opens up the work for other people to freely use to develop their own content, as long as they follow the same license. This might/might not cause the new work to attribute any derivation from the old work, which is again unfair since without the original work, the new work wouldn't have been there. This is where the 'No derivative' license does the trick. It forces people to ask for permission before starting their work. This makes sure the author knows that his work is being used. No author will want to hamper productivity and creativity, so the permission will usually fall through as green, but at least this way the author knows how his work is being used.
It can get hard to keep track of scripts and other content that bloggers/hackers come up with. Licenses help us to know exactly where everything is going. So please, respect the license. It's there for a reason. At the end of the day, there is practically nothing stopping you from using a piece of code you like which is on the Internet. If it's visible, you can take it. And we will not come knocking at your door with lawyers (CC let's us do that by the way) if we find you breaking our license. Atleast I won't. But, your adherence to it will enable hackers to generate more quality content, and with confidence that their work will not go unappreciated and wrongly/not credited.
We all like a little encouragement now, don't we? :) As always, thanks for the co-operation and support.