Don't be a dick technologist


Being a technologist doesn't mean that everything we create is created from scratch. We Google around, find lots of write ups, blogs, articles, and code and we take them all for writing our own solution.  However the effort we put to create our solution would vary a lot. Our solution may depend on a lot of libraries, or at times we have to copy some code and get started. All this is so usual to our normal routine work, but one thing many of us forget about is the license that needs to be respected - especially when dealing with Open Source licenses.

A decade back, people used to question the quality of the Open Source, but today with professional open sourcing in place this mindset has changed and people now have thinking that using Open source is good. However many people still believe that "Open source is free". People also wrongly believe that "Every visible source code is open source". Another wrong belief about Open Source is that for source code - "can-see is can-copy". This mindset needs to change. People must know the license that applies to any piece work (including a write-up), and must faithfully abide by the license.

But most of the time, reading the license text is very verbose and complex with legal terms that many of us would fail to understand it. But irrespective, we all must give due respect to the hard work of the people(s) who originally created the work, and which you are now using. This is rightly summarized by the DBAD license (Don't be a dick license). This license rightly brings out in simple and humorous way the courtesies that every user of the piece of work must follow. This license focuses on the moral responsibility of a person copying the work, rather than legally binding the person to do something or prevent it. It highlights the fact that many people copy other's work, and remain ungrateful, and do not attribute their work to the original work, or even worse - complain about it.

I personally may not apply a DBAD license due to its loose legal terms. However,  I would love to put its text along with my work, to let other know how important it is to show some courtesy to the creator of work. I would love to reproduce some of the context text of the license here.

As developers we all want to protect our code from dicks that try to steal, sell, infringe or just generally rip us off. For this we have licenses like GPL, MIT, etc.
Sometimes however, you release a project where you just don't care what happens to the code. For this Sam Hocevar created the WTFPL which is a brilliant license.
For those of you who want something in between, try the DBAD license.

One thing which every person and company using other's work in their own work (especially when using Open sourced work) must understand is that although the work is free to copy, the license accompanying it is still a legal license and should be abided. The copyright owner (or someone on their behalf) of the work can always sue the infringing dick. When you make loads of money by selling someone else's work, do care about buying them a pint or a coffee please, or at-least acknowledge them. Don't be a dick!

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