I got an email from someone in the early hours. The mail said that they had just finished copying the tutorial from my site, and would I have a problem with it if this person offered it from their site. They added that credits would remain untouched.

Yes, I most certainly have a problem with it, and I refused them permission.

Which tutorial ? There are 4.
What credits ? There are 3 credits mentioned – one to Moose, one to Laughing Lizard and one to Eric Meyer. There is nothing in those docs at all to indicate that I created them.

Where the tutorials are located, there is no problem whatsoever with traffic. The site never goes down, the bandwidth is not an issue to me, and the space costs me nothing – it came ‘free’ with my adsl line. So what’s the point in someone else offering the files ?
One argument could be that if that site went down, the files would not be available – wrong, they are mirrored here, but I would need to change some directory names.

I don’t actually view the work I’ve done as finished.
Plans are afoot which may affect the CSS tutorial, the ftp one could yet be added to, Quicktags could be expanded, phpmyadmin – when I have learnt something I have in mind – may also be altered. So having multiple copies around the net makes updating them impossible.

It’s also MY work. I decided to do the work, I took the time to create and check what I did, I offered it not just for assisting others but also to the scrutiny of those with more knowledge than myself. I deliberately did not include references to me inside the tutorials, and I deliberately ensured that each tutorial was a standalone directory.
I have offered them to Matt if he wished to host them on the WordPress site. This offer has not been taken up, but it still stands.

If someone who has already contributed to the WordPress community offered to translate and then host the files, that would be very welcome – after all, if they are willing to take the time to get it all translated, and to host them, then yes, because what I did was for the benefit of WP users, they could indeed have the files.

But just saying that you think it is a ‘good idea’ for you to copy my work is not on. At all. In fact, the only motivation I can possibly see that someone would have for that is to drive traffic to their site, or to load each tutorial with ads. Not with my work you don’t. If you want traffic to your site, then contribute work of your own. I will protect my work.

2 thoughts on “Copyright

  1. I agree. copies all over the place rapidly go out of date and it’s hard to keep track once they start replicating the stuff all over the net. Also, he let you know he had copied it and *then* asked for permission to host. Ah well, at least he asked. A lot of people don’t bother.

  2. IMHO Mark you are right on the money with this. If someone wants to assist their readers they can put up a brief write up, a recommendation and a link. Other than that, duplication could really dilute the quality and your control. If he wants one let him write his own. 😉

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