Creative Common Attribution Share Alike, Skins and... understanding

  • enforcement • right • license • share • squared • disrespect • theme • respect • bloggart • law
  • 1711 words

Something very peculiar is currently going on behind the scene of this blog. My fork of bloggart has been taken and adapted to make a new website dedicated to a TV show, Skins.

The work has been commissioned by a not well specified "Skins Writer" entity to ScholisTech.

I don't like it

So far, so good. It feels good to know that someone appreciates your work, isn't it?

But there is a problem: ScholisTech took Bloggart, took my theme, removed any reference to me, bloggart and the license, and released the thing.

This is bad for three reasons:

  1. Breach of the Creative Commong Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license that I choose for the blog theme
  2. There is (was) no reference to me as the initial author of the theme "Squared"
  3. There is no reference to Bloggart
  4. WTF?!?!?! What kind of developer nowdays does s**t like that?

Now, I admit that from my point of view, the theme is "nothing special" and "still needs a lot of work to do the CSS right" (as a friend was noticing today :-P). Indeed, I developed it fast enough to have something "out there", but the CSS needs to be cleaned up.

Yes, exactly: that's their 404 page!

But there is a License to respect, for frack sake!

They are kind, but don't get what I mean

We are now at 6 emails from them to me, in which I'm trying to make myself clear.

In short, they don't seem to understand how important is the License I choose for the blog. There is a reason and a logic behind it, and I want it to be respected.

Follows the sequence of emails (so far).

Me

Dear ScholisTech, I came across this website http://www.rivermountainhighschool.org/, on which you put youself as "developers" in the bottom credits. In facts, this website Theme, instead, is mine! I have developed it as an addition to the Bloggart App Engine application. Here is the engine: https://github.com/detro/bloggart And here is the directory containing the theme definition: https://github.com/detro/bloggart/tree/master/themes/squared My blog is: http://blog.ivandemarino.me/ I'm not interested in putting down your website, but you don't realise that there is a license on it, the Creative Common Share Alike 3.0. This means that I can SUE you. What I'm asking, is for you to modify the theme back, and restore the links in the footer that refer to me as the developer of the Theme. I'm confident this clarifies the matter. Here is a link to the Creative Commons website http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions that explains that I can sue oyu just because I have the CC license putted on it digitally. I hope to hear from you soon. Regards Ivan De Marino

 Skins writer

Hi there! We have seen your post and decided you should get credit! The developers did mention and show us your website and they are extending the basic functionalities to it. We wanted to go with what the main developer suggested to us. We are just writers and we want something that we can ask a developer to extend on. We will however make sure that you are fully credited! Please let us know if you have anymore concerns immediately. Thank you, Skins Writers

Me (about the license)

Hello. It's good that my name is now there. But your so called "developers" removed the Cretive Common licenses "Share Alike". That is a BREACH on it own. Please ask them to restore the Creative Commont License footer. Regards

Skins Writers

Hi there, We are on the phone now, I asked her to remove that link so we have more visibility to the teen writers that will use this site. Eventually, we will have a section of the site to host a forum and I'd like to see a page for credit as well. I have made a request to re-instate the "Share Alike" link but I doubt people will want us to share the site and I doubt we will. We will look more into our responsibilities though. Thanks for reaching out to us and please don't hesitate to let us know if you have anymore questions, comments or concerns. Thanks, Skins Writers

Me (the freaking LICENSE!!!)

It's not a matter of "Sharing Alike". It's a matter of License: http://creativecommons.org/ Anyway, thanks for reacting fast to my request. I just want that things are done legally. Regards

Skins Writers

You're welcome and yes it's understood. We certainly talked and read, thank you for that! Could we personally ask you to no post negative posts on twitter about whoever helped us put this site together? It was a last minute idea and we needed to get something up and fast. They recommended a couple of stuff and we decided to go with your most of your look. If this is going to be an issue, please let us know. Please remove any (allegedly negative) posts you may have done. Thanks again. Skins Writers

ScholisTech LLC

Hi Ivan, My name is Zie and I work with and represent ScholisTech LLC. The group that owns this site in question contacted us this morning and we have resolve a the issues including re-instating your name next to the theme. Angela, Copied is the writer and correspondent. I appreciate your email but here is a little background and time line for you. We were talking to the writers about a project then they mentioned to us that an idea which they needed done on the spot. We told them we can help and showed them some bloggers stuff, some wordpress and some AE stuff. Angela liked your theme and wanted us to work with it. We however had to develop quiet some features that they immediately needed like the ui editor etc...We went ahead and took their request and finished up the site adding and still adding some of the stuff they want to see. Most of the changes that you pointed out were requested from us. My understanding is that they did not want the creative common link at the bottom because they said it was cluster. I made sure that all of her requests from both the writers at SKINS and your requests were fulfilled this morning even though it was second hand. Scholistech is in fact developing all of the modules that they want apart from bloggart and adding all of their requests to your theme. We take full responsibly of their site and you should let me know if there is anything else we missed in the cc license. Regards, Zie

Skins Writers, in the person of Angela Scolado

Hello Folks, Ivan, first I loved your site! the developers at Scholistech did show us your website among 10 others from different live blog systems. We decided we wanted something similar or based off of what you had. This was a last minute thing and we needed something quick, fast, and ready. I had them develop all the rest of the features that we needed on the look but mostly the site's back-end itself. We have live statistics on all of our blogs and that's something that needed to be developed for this. We are bloggers and the edit box was too basic for us but they said they could give us real toolbars. We still liked and asked them to develop some of our most needed features so they did! This morning, you talked to one of my associates and she got us to meet and we asked the folks at Scholistech to put your name there next to the theme. As for the license stuff It will be there but again. Let's stay positive and embrace to new site. The kids will love to write about the show and that's what count for us. I want to thank you Ivan for being brilliant; and thanks so much to ScholisTech for putting up with us. They did an amazing job and I hope we weren't too much stress for any of you guys. Ivan, anything else. let me know or someone from my team Best, Angela

Me, again about the license

Hi all, Thanks for the answer and the kind words. Also, thanks for adding the credits to me for the design, even though you are transforming it a lot. There is though a point that stands and it seems not to be cleared yet. I invite you to read the specific license I chosen for my OPEN SOURCE work: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. The "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0" license is structure in the following manner (I quote it here): -----------------------------------License [...] -----------------------------------/License This is the EXACT TEXT of the license (that, again, you can find at the link above). I'm not denying you to use Bloggart and my theme, "Squared". Indeed, it's OPEN SOURCE for anyone to use. But the License applies! You myst full fill the license requirements. The one I'm mostly concerned about is the "Share Alike" aspect: you can (and should) develop all the extra functionalities you need. But it's important that those extra are SHARED ALIKE - in other words, SHARED BACK as OPEN SOURCE software. Ideally, you could just contribute to the project (that is hosted on GitHub and the link is very well publicised on my blog). The other option would be to obtain from me a "Waiving" of the license: but I'm not interested in money, so it's out of discussion. I hope this makes even more clear what are my final objectives in all this: I want that the License that is applied to this work get's properly fulfilled. Best Regards Ivan De Marino

What would you do?

Or, what would you have done if in my shoes?

Should I ignore the whole thing? Should I let them breach the license, not giving it much credit? Or should I try to enforce it?

Yes, absolutely: this is a matter of principle! My blog theme is poor, and bloggart is a bit more than a test application. But here is about having license, that a lot of people work on, to be respected.

Plus, this is a bit about Open Source: I want this particular aspect to be respected!

Thoughts, suggestions and advices are MORE THAN WELCOME.

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