I was irritated there was no attribution style license on Google Code, specifically, no Creative Commons license. So, I joined the Google Code mailing list, found 2 previous posts from people asking for CC being added as a license option, with responses that didn’t make it seem too likely to happen. I posted anyway, and got the response that it pretty much wasn’t going to happen, and that although they do not have the older bsd license that has an attribution aspect, they suggested other code hosting services.
Further irritated, and thus emboldened, I joined the Creative Commons Developer mailing list. I let them know the situation, asking if there was a way maybe we could use some positive PR to show how it was a good move for Google to support the CC license. This would work well when people use graphics and other design elements for projects, for example in the software projects hosted since a lot of that stuff is CC Attribution nowadays.
Instead, I’m provided with a link to the Creative Commons FAQ by a CC developer representative. It clearly states that Creative Commons is not designed for software, and they ask you to use other licenses. I was floored. I’ve been using Creative Commons since 2003; that’s almost 4 years, and I had no clue! I started using CC Attribution because:
So, naturally, I just assumed I would too. This was about the time many Flash Designers were stealing other’s code online to show as their own during interviews for Flash Developer positions. I am a big supporter of sharing code, but I wanted some form of control over how that code was used; specifically, keeping my name associated with what I originally had a hand in writing. This made my career, so Creative Commons set clear expectations of that. Secondly, it made those using my code for commercial projects comfortable in knowing they had legal rights to do so. Share the love, empower the masses, and as an artist you get exposure. A lot of early ActionScript is a lot easier to remix anyway, so it seemed like a match made in heaven.
Fast forward to yesterday, and me feeling like an idiot.
For now, I’m stuck with MIT; I briefly read the other licenses (Apache 2, Artistic License/GPLv2, GNU General Public License 2.0, GNU Lesser Public License, Mozilla Public License 1.1, New BSD License) and the MIT one is the only one that is immediately understandable, and appears to jive with my “I wrote this for fun, hope it’s useful to you, just don’t hold me legally liable for it’s use”. I’m sure if I find an open source guy at the next conference I attend, I can get some more layman explanations of my options.
Anyway, I think the Creative Commons FAQ is wrong. ActionScript is a dynamic language in a wonderful artistically capable runtime engine (the Flash Player) and tool set (Flash & Flex). The sharing & remix culture is what helped ActionScript become so successful and contributed to my career. This is exactly what Creative Commons is built around, and the Attribution 2.5 specifically is aimed at the Flash Developer culture in my opinion. This isn’t a cop-out or excuse to my previous ignorance; I truly believe the statements above.