By Michael Bourne
It’s long been considered good etiquette when using other peoples resources, to credit their work and/or link to the place you got the resource from. Almost always people are content with this, because they appreciate the work that went into creating something that they then share so others can use or modify, or learn from. Seems a simple request to ask people to do this. Licensing under Creative Commons also requires that people credit their sources when they share work created with shared scripts or flames. Nothing has to be paid for, so it’s the good nature of the creators of these things that they share with the community.
Links back to resources
When I started with JWildfire, I was in awe of the amazing work that people were creating. These people put links to places where I could download scripts to learn from, and flame packs that I could load and experiment with, and see how they were constructed. If there hadn’t have been links, I’d have found the whole thing more difficult to grasp, but as it is, the community at large are very generous. So each time I used a flame, I credited it and linked to it, when I modified and posted online.
Why I ask for links only
As I’ve mentioned in several scripts of mine, I’m not bothered about personal crediting. No need at all to mention my name, because it’s not about ego. It’s about sharing a link so that others can also try things out for themselves if they’re not aware of them. Again almost all of the time, people are happy to do this. But recently and in the past, people are just downloading the scripts, creating images and not mentioning at all how they were created or posting a link to the script. This gives the impression they created their image from scratch on their own, which isn’t fair on anyone who creates resources for community use. Recently someone decided for themselves that it’s all about my ego because they don’t want to post links on their facebook timeline. They also said that they were told off (not true either) and we were rotten to them (also untrue), they were asked politely to link to scripts, they even agreed and apologised, but hours later were on a rant about it again.
At DeviantArt, one member ran one of my scripts, posted it in a competition and won, with marks for originality ! No link to the script or any reference to it. Another who kept posting images without links, I contacted and they said they didn’t want anyone else finding out how they’d made “their” images, despite being minor tweaks to script output. I don’t know whether people just are not for the community, or they are trying to mislead. More recently, someone who I asked to be an admin at the Sanctuary group, when asked to link to scripts started ranting about me being rotten to them, and that it was all about my ego. They said that their facebook friends weren’t interested at all how images were made, but went on to say that it was created mainly an Escher on T1 which contradicts that totally.
The effect of seeing your hard work without a link, or for others credits, is demoralising. When people effectively pass a good part of your work as their own, or try to sell it even without any kind of acknowledgement, you become demoralised and less likely to create and share further. I spend a lot of time keeping this website maintained as a resource to help people learn and play with JWildfire. Putting links when you use resources, not only helps the community but it increases the chance that others will get into making great fractals. I’ve also spent a lot of time learning how to script, and much longer creating them. For some it was a matter of months of work. Now, because of what has happened, I don’t feel like making them for people to not share or try and make a profit off.
It’s simple, just copy the link to whatever it is you use, and post it with your picture. If your friends aren’t interested, it makes no difference. You may get a friend who is and clicks to find out more. As far as I can see, there’s no genuine reason not to post a link. We’ve even made a handy set of links people can refer to at the Sanctuary Group on Facebook. If you don’t then you’re deceiving people, and giving the impression you created it all yourself and not helping future users find great things that will help them.