Am I doing something wrong by sharing modified versions of others recipes?

Case number:699969-988602
Topic:General
Opened by:GaryForbis
Status:Closed
Type:Question
Opened on:Thursday, September 30, 2010 - 19:31
Last modified:Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 08:30

Twice I've shared a modified version of Tlaloc's Mutate All.

In both cases the recipe has disappeared.

I have left the original libraries in place in compliance with the included copyright notice and only changed the function I modified, changing the name in the modifed routine.

I don't want to step on anyone's toes. I just want to share my changes while keeping attribution of other's work. How do I do this so my labor is shared with others? Do I need to swipe code and modify sufficiently to make the original work anonymous? That would feel like stealing.

(Thu, 09/30/2010 - 19:31  |  17 comments)


spvincent's picture
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Joined: 12/07/2007
Groups: Contenders

I see nothing wrong with modifying someone else's script and sharing it: progress in any field is made by building on the work of other people. I do think it's polite to have a comment in the script somewhere that acknowledges the original author.

Tlaloc's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2008
Groups: Mojo Risin'

All of my scripts are licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). I encourage people to use my code. See that link for exactly is allowed and not allowed, but it is a very liberal license...the main points might be summarized as: don't make money off it, and don't remove credit from inside the code. That is actually the overview; the full legalize is linked at the bottom of the page.

Since the foldit people didn't specify what conditions shared code was shared under, I wanted to make it very clear that I allow people to re-use my code. Feel free to change parameters, fix bugs, modify algorithms, re-use my library, whatever. Because of the way copyright law works (in the U.S. and most of the world), if I didn't include the license, you actually don't have rights to re-use code.

The one thing I ask is that if you re-publish in the public recipe list that you rename the script as something that doesn't have the word tlaloc in it. I want to be able to search for 'tlaloc' in the public recipe list and only find my scripts. I really don't care what you name them privately, or even in group lists, I only care about the public list.

I've noticed that when I modify an existing script, it actually gets removed from the public recipe list until I explicitly re-share it. So if I am fixing bugs, or modifying an algorithm, my script may vanish off the public list. That is probably what is happening to your scripts...you made a change, but didn't republish.

Brick's picture
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Joined: 07/15/2008
Groups: Beta Folders

You have GOT to be kidding !!!!

You're going to go on about copyright law with shared scripts in this game?

If you don't want people to use it , then don't share.

If you share it, it's open.

Period.

No need to go off the deep end with license blah blah blah.

Brick's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 07/15/2008
Groups: Beta Folders

You have GOT to be kidding !!!!

You're going to go on about copyright law with shared scripts in this game?

If you don't want people to use it , then don't share.

If you share it, it's open.

Period.

No need to go off the deep end with license blah blah blah.

Brick's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 07/15/2008
Groups: Beta Folders

You have GOT to be kidding !!!!

You're going to go on about copyright law with shared scripts in this game?

If you don't want people to use it , then don't share.

If you share it, it's open.

Period.

No need to go off the deep end with license blah blah blah.

Joined: 09/18/2009
Groups: SETI.Germany

I regard those license informations as important.

If Person A created something, but Person B does some modifications, and people say only person B invented it, and only this person gets credit/attention for it, this would be unfair.

@GaryForbis:
If you want to be on the safe side, copy the code into an external editor, edit it there and re-paste it into a new Foldit script.
Then, It wouldn't be shown as child of the original script, but sharing it will work always correctly.

Brick's picture
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Groups: Beta Folders

You are confusing attribution and licensing.

It's absurd to think that a script written as part of this game is something that could or should be licensed. It is no more an "invention" than making manual moves. Do you want to patent those too? Maybe everything said in chat is copyrighted too?

This is such a ridiculous conversation.

mimi's picture
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Joined: 11/17/2008
Groups: Contenders

I've noticed recently that a number of scripts that I have downloaded have disappeared from my cookbook.
If an original script disappears from the recipe list when it is modified does that also remove its downloads - or have I got another problem here?

Joined: 08/06/2010
Groups: Contenders

OK, I think this explains it. I've modified the script after sharing it. I will always create a new versio after sharing. As it turns out I have made some changes and this seems to be a common thread. Tlaloc's 3.04 has some improvements that have me thinking about my chice not to wiggle after every snap and also to wiggle at all on some amino changes. I share my current version simply because it's finds a few points where neither Chrashguard's nor Tlaloc's does while missing some points their scripts find. There's still a couple of days on 366 so an improved version could still be helpful. Crashguard's script will take some more time to understand.

By the way, I've notice the scoreboard gives me new points prior to them showing up in Recipe Output. It feels strange. I've let my script run all ning and it's taken me to 14098 on 366. Still, it's just a mod of Tlaloc's v3.0

Thanks all.

Joined: 08/06/2010
Groups: Contenders
Status: Open » Closed

I believe some are rightfully concerned that someone else will take their work without compensation, obtain financial reward off of it and then attempt to prevent others from using it. All of these "intelectual property rights" concepts are confusing.

Since I have a reasonable explanation I've closed this. I like being able to remove older versions of my code, and my first attempt where I accidentally shared a version with Tlaloc's name in the recipe name. That was embarassing. All future releases of my code will start with Gary. While I've mixed my code with existing routines I'll towards keeping the original code intact using this technique:

tlaloc={}
crashguard={}
...
local function _x ()
...
end
tlaloc.x=_x
_x=nil
...

recipe={
x=tlaloc.x;
y=garyforbis.y;
...
}

recipe.x()
recipe.y()

I have yet to try:

recipe.z[i].x()

I'm thinking I want segment specific functions I can set base upon situation and call without knowing which it will be set to. If I can't put functions subordinate to arrays I'll just reverse it and make the index a parameter into an array of functions.

Thanks all. I'm still a newbie. There lots of little ideosyncracies.

Tlaloc's picture
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Groups: Mojo Risin'

Brick-

Copyright law is insanely overprotective. The problem is that according to the Berne Convention (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works), adopted by the U.S. on March 1, 1989 (and most of the rest of the world on other dates), works are copyright at the moment of creation. They do not need a copyright notice, registration with a copyright office, or anything else. There is a provision for fair use; however, using the entire work in a derivative work is unlikely to be considered fair use even for academic purposes.

Believe it or not, your writing in this forum is copyright in most of the world and cannot be used by others, except as fair use, without an assignment of copyright. Someone cannot produce a book that is The Best of the Foldit Feedback without the permission of the authors of the individual comments.

An author can put his works into the public domain, but that is an explicit act. When an author does that, it can be used in any fashion anyone else likes. I did that once with something I wrote 18 years ago, and really didn't appreciate having my work show up in books with minor changes and without any attribution. Nothing I do will ever be released into the public domain again.

By licensing my work with the most liberal license in common use (wikipedia uses a version of the Creative Commons license), I make clear exactly what I allow and expect. Any modifying someone else's script who doesn't release it, is actually a violation of copyright unless they explicitly say otherwise.

One way that the foldit developers could alleviate this problem is to make the act of sharing scripts publicly assign the copyright to the foldit group. They could do the same with posting in feedback and the forum.

Joined: 06/17/2010

Sometimes when you share script, then edit and save (on same name) it disapears from site.
If you want to keep shared script you need to save modified on different name (ie next version number).
If you want to update script you need edit same one was shared b4 and share it again.
Odd procedures, but works for me.
I only want to manage my shared scripts from site, ie delete very old ones.

Joined: 05/09/2008
Groups: Void Crushers

The whole cookbook / recipe system needs to be revamped. There are many other threads on these issues.

Joined: 09/18/2009
Groups: SETI.Germany

For those who still have the wrong impression that Tlaloc wants to patent his scripts:
Strictly speaking, Creative Commons is a form of copyleft, and not copyright.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft

So, he is anti-patenting his scripts, and this is a good thing.
If you create something useful, even for the benefit of all people, and you don't copyleft it, there can still be an institution which can copy and/or change it, then patent it and then asks all people for money if they want to use it and forbid using it if they don't pay.

I know a person who created something and showed it a company.
The people of the company said they won't use it, as it has some flaws (like each prototype), but they improved it and patented their version.
Now, it's original inventor is not longer allowed to use his own creation!
The company says, that he has copied it from them, and he can't prove that he created it.

Take the MP3 codec, for example.
The Fraunhofer Institute of Hannover created an algorithm (software, like here) to compress sound files and patented it.
Everybody now, who uses this original codec has to pay a fee (if you buy MP3-playable devices, this fee is also included).
This is why Codecs like Lame exist. They aren't that precise than Fraunhofer MP3, but they are free.

The FLAC codec is a free codec and is copylefted.
It prevents that companies or persons claim it as their invention and ask for money to use it.

Joined: 09/18/2009
Groups: SETI.Germany

Let me give a situation for scripts:
Let's say Tlaloc created a script and wouldn't copyleft it.
Then, another person (let's call him X) copies or changes the code a bit and copyrights it.

X can now say: "Hey, this is my code, I patented it. You have to give me $5 per use/month ... whatever, or I forbid you using it!"
So, all of us (even Tlaloc) can't use his own script any longer for free, we can't even improve or change it anymore, as derivates of this script are also forbidden.

Brick's picture
User offline. Last seen 4 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
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Groups: Beta Folders

That is such an over-the-top interpretation of copyright.

And no one is talking about patents, which is a totally different thing.

If anyone wants to copy a Fold.it script which has a useful life measured in days, more power to them. Why would anyone care?

Joined: 09/18/2009
Groups: SETI.Germany

If somebody just copies or changes scripts and doesn't publish them, he doesn't need to care, that's right.

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