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#1 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:21 PM

Hello Everyone

I am not sure if I am posting in the right place or not, but anyway the following is my problem.

I am totally confused with understanding the copyrights concept generally, and for published software codes specially. Usually I read tutorials from Java main site or from other sites, too, and they put on their sites pieces of code or a full code to make the reader try it and understand it. but I find sometimes in the very beginning of the code this statements:
/*
* Copyright © 1995 - 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
*
* Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
* modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
* are met:
*
* - Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Does this mean that as long as I got the idea of the code from sun Microsystems site, I have to do what they requested? Even if I took just a piece of it in my code, or even if I modified it to suit my interest??

So I really do not understand the range of authority of tutorials' authors, as I thought that they make the free tutorial so that I can read it to get more experience and use it in the way I like.

Does this also mean that all tutorial over the net obligate me to do the same in case of using their published codes?

What is the game rules here?

Thank you

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Replies To: Question about licensing

#2 Dannyboy997  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:20 PM

This depends on their licence.

Usually you may take / copy the source code of tutorials. But you may not use it in commercial jobs. Some tutorial sites, depending on the author will let you but rarely.

For a personal project just to learn, and practice then Yes you may take the source code from the tutorial and tamper with it, as long as it doesn't break any terms of use / policies that the site may have.

Cheers,
-Daniel
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#3 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:56 PM

View PostDannyboy997, on 30 September 2010 - 01:20 PM, said:

This depends on their licence.

Usually you may take / copy the source code of tutorials. But you may not use it in commercial jobs. Some tutorial sites, depending on the author will let you but rarely.

For a personal project just to learn, and practice then Yes you may take the source code from the tutorial and tamper with it, as long as it doesn't break any terms of use / policies that the site may have.

Cheers,
-Daniel


So, Copying and pasting the source code of these tutorials is not permitted, or permitted with some restrictions.
Ok, this point has been cleared.
But some questions arise:

1-In the mentioned case above (sun microsystems),I think it is permitted to use it commercially, but I have to produce their copyrights with the binary form. Right?

2-There are a lot of tutorials and forums around the net that gives me the solution of problems in one's code, without mentioning clearly
any rights or limitations.Does this mean that they permit this implicitly? (ex: if I ask in a forum about problem, should I ask the person who provided me with the solution about permissions to use this info commercially? )

3-What about the answers and tutorials here in Dream in Code? Are they for learning only and I can not use what I learned-not the tutorial themselves- commercially?

4-By the time, I will learn from the tutorials which I read, and someday I will decide to apply all the experience I gained to produce some software solutions to gain money. What will be the case then? should I remember from where and from who I have got every piece of information, and ask its author : please sir, permit me to use this piece commercially ? (That' not logic at all, it looks like slavery!!I do want to learn and at the same time I want to apply what I have learned, because learning without applying have no meaning)


thanks for help
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#4 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

The copyright license should be located somewhere where you can look at the nitty gritty details. For example, for most of my software, I use the GNU Public License:

Quote

/*
Copyright © 2010 Stephen Schwahn

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>
*/


That is only a small piece of the full license, which is distributed with the software and online. Often, it IS difficult to tell what they are saying because it's lawyer speak, but simply, the license should tell you under what conditions you can use their code/binaries.
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#5 Dannyboy997  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

Quote

1-In the mentioned case above (sun microsystems),I think it is permitted to use it commercially, but I have to produce their copyrights with the binary form. Right?

Thats correct!

Quote

2-There are a lot of tutorials and forums around the net that gives me the solution of problems in one's code, without mentioning clearly
any rights or limitations.Does this mean that they permit this implicitly? (ex: if I ask in a forum about problem, should I ask the person who provided me with the solution about permissions to use this info commercially? )

For forums you may use there solutions commercially. Let say you need help on some code, and they help you by added some of there code. Then you may use that code for whatever you want. At least on Dream-In-Code

Quote

3-What about the answers and tutorials here in Dream in Code? Are they for learning only and I can not use what I learned-not the tutorial themselves- commercially?

For Tutorials: It depends on the author, you should P.M / Email him to see what the restrictions are, if there are any. Some tutorials is only for learning purposes. Check with the author and the site that the tutorials are hosted on. Here on DIC, just P.M the author.


Quote

4-By the time, I will learn from the tutorials which I read, and someday I will decide to apply all the experience I gained to produce some software solutions to gain money. What will be the case then? should I remember from where and from who I have got every piece of information, and ask its author : please sir, permit me to use this piece commercially ? (That' not logic at all, it looks like slavery!!I do want to learn and at the same time I want to apply what I have learned, because learning without applying have no meaning)

You don't need to credit the people that helped you learn. As if you read a book on the subject, and later on once you've fully learned from the book, take up a job you don't need to credit the book.
What you've learned is yours to keep.

Hope this makes sense,
-Daniel
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#6 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:58 PM

View PostDannyboy997, on 30 September 2010 - 02:19 PM, said:

You don't need to credit the people that helped you learn. As if you read a book on the subject, and later on once you've fully learned from the book, take up a job you don't need to credit the book.
What you've learned is yours to keep.

Hope this makes sense,
-Daniel


This is very important point!!
So in case of reading some code and, copying and pasting or reading and writing it into the IDE and changing the variables and classes names and modify the code to suit my interest, this will be the same case of learning and applying the meaning.Right?
(Usually I read tutorials to search a solution for a certain problem
so when I find the the tutorial containing the solution, I have to do some action and get use of it immediately)

What is the red line that makes a border between using commercially info in a non commercial tutorial, and reading the non commercial tutorial with under standing and use it?

Thank Dannyboy997 for your patience and for your help
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#7 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:09 PM

View PostDogstopper, on 30 September 2010 - 02:12 PM, said:

The copyright license should be located somewhere where you can look at the nitty gritty details. For example, for most of my software, I use the GNU Public License:

Quote

/*
Copyright © 2010 Stephen Schwahn

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>
*/


That is only a small piece of the full license, which is distributed with the software and online. Often, it IS difficult to tell what they are saying because it's lawyer speak, but simply, the license should tell you under what conditions you can use their code/binaries.


For Dogstopper:

1-Then If use your published code (or any GNU code)with my own commercial software, I will make txt file containing your copyright details and attach it with the software folder itself, right?

2-What if I used more than one code obligating me to reproduce their license? Do I make several txt file, each containing one of them??

3-What about my own copyright in this case?
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#8 pbl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

View PostDogstopper, on 30 September 2010 - 04:12 PM, said:

The copyright license should be located somewhere where you can look at the nitty gritty details. For example, for most of my software, I use the GNU Public License:

Quote

/*
Copyright © 2010 Stephen Schwahn

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>
*/


That is only a small piece of the full license, which is distributed with the software and online. Often, it IS difficult to tell what they are saying because it's lawyer speak, but simply, the license should tell you under what conditions you can use their code/binaries.

So your name Doggy is Stephen Schwahn ?

View PostThe Last Fighter, on 30 September 2010 - 05:09 PM, said:

2-What if I used more than one code obligating me to reproduce their license? Do I make several txt file, each containing one of them??

Yes

And your Copyright will be added to the list
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#9 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:31 PM

View Postpbl, on 30 September 2010 - 06:13 PM, said:

So your name Doggy is Stephen Schwahn ?


That's me!

@The Last Fighter, yes, I think it's only if your program is Open Source. You can still use my code commercially, but it has to contain my copyright and be open source.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html
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#10 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:55 PM

Yes, I understand.

But now my last question remains not answered:

What is the red line that makes a border between using commercially info in a non commercial tutorial, and reading the non commercial tutorial with under standing and use it?

This post has been edited by The Last Fighter: 30 September 2010 - 04:56 PM

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#11 Dannyboy997  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:15 PM

Quote

Yes, I understand.

But now my last question remains not answered:

What is the red line that makes a border between using commercially info in a non commercial tutorial, and reading the non commercial tutorial with under standing and use it?


Well the red line would be:

Using non-commercial tutorials in commercial business. That said there's also things that can pass by. If you learn an how to accomplish a certain task, functionality then by all means use it. Because the idea / the way it works / the theory is not licensed, but the specific code is.

I guess programming (Or learning to program) is like taking notes from a text book where you write down the outlines of whats important, not word by word. There for learning from a tutorial and implement it into your own program can be done as long as you take only the key elements that make up the functionality and not variable by variable.

Hope this Also makes sense,
-Daniel

This post has been edited by Dannyboy997: 30 September 2010 - 05:16 PM

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#12 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 01 October 2010 - 04:40 AM

Yes Danail this is the key point I think.

So we conclude now that copying/pasting or word by word/variable by variable coding is the thing that is meant to be prohibited to do without obeying the license or without asking the author.

So as concluded rules for a new programmer:
1- read tutorials (commercial or non commercial)
2- Copy/paste the codes in the tutorials in the IDE to see the result and learn.
3-Understand the code very well, by understanding the role of methods and classes.
4-Let the tutorial and its code aside
5-write now your own program with your own variable names
6-now the program is yours(even if it is similar in construction to that was in the tutorial)
7-Sell the program with your own copyright only (without involving the copyright of tutorial's author)

Right sequence, isn't it?

Tutorials author really do not license the idea I think. He licenses the code/comments/variable names as a combination that makes unique identity of his work, but again not the idea.
I think really that the red line in this field is some what fuzzy, so let's call it a red area.

But man can come and erase the copyrighted comments in the code, putting his own, changing variable/methods/classes
names, putting his own, reformulating the code (if needed) to suit his interests. Then, Is he now innocent and own the program? :whistling: :whistling:


Otherwise, what we can call this:
http://download.orac...loWorldApp.java

a copy right for the idea of hello world program :bigsmile:

This post has been edited by The Last Fighter: 01 October 2010 - 04:43 AM

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#13 Adkins  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:35 AM

Sounds to me like you are getting dangerously close to the idea of derivative works. That whole topic is a completely other shade of gray.

The best thing that you can do is simply use those tutorials that you are finding to learn, not to piece meal your own program together. Copy and paste (even if you change the variable and method names) is a really bad way to program. It is so much quicker if you can read over the tutorials, peruse the code, and then learn what it is you need to know in order to re-create the IDEA on your own.
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#14 The Last Fighter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:19 AM

I do not understand the term "Derivative work"

About the point in which you say "not to piece meal your own program together", I think the matter not always as you describe. I have faced a lot of situations in which some obstacles facing me in my code, so I search tutorials for these points and get the piece of code That I need, then change the variables names and methods names(if necessary)
, then I come back again to my own coding. What are problems regarding this action?

"Copy and paste (even if you change the variable and method names) is a really bad way to program. "

Does "Bad way" mean illegal ? or mean inefficient?
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#15 eker676  Icon User is offline

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Re: Question about licensing

Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:40 PM

"Bad way" is referring to learning. You don't learn by copy and pasting. You learn by writing code yourself.

Onto the original topic.

If you copy and paste a little code into your project that's fine, if you don't release it to the public.

Every one learns at some point. No one on earth is born a coding master. So, it just happens that over the course of learning, they will copy and paste some code into their project. Anyone who says they have never copied even a single line of code is totally full of crap. While it's not exactly legal, it does happen.

However, lets say your coding a great application your going to release to the public. If Oracle/Microsoft/etc. finds out you used 1000 lines of their copyrighted code in your 'hit' application. Your going to get hammered with lawsuits.

There is definitely gray area. If you burn a cd and give it to your friend the Feds won't come knocking at your door the next day. However, you burn 1000 cds and start selling them online, things will turn out differently.

I do not advocate copyright infringement in any way. I'm just being realistic.

Short snippet on derivative works. That is basically referring to you taking a program, making a few changes and then re-releasing it as your own work.

This post has been edited by eker676: 02 October 2010 - 07:43 PM

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