Why you need to credit scripts and flames.

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

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.

The message

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.

thank you
Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Why you need to credit scripts and flames.”

  1. I’ll post comments made by people in the group

    Nancy Pierce
    Well written and explained Michael! Using links people provided when I was new to JWF certainly was a huge help to me in my JWF journey and they still are a huge help🙂 We all appreciate the hard work you put into creating your amazing scripts and the hard work you put into maintaining the Sanctuary’s website. If someone doesn’t have the common courtesy to mention and link on their personal page or anywhere else they post, they do not have the right to access the treasure trove that is the Sanctuary 🙂

    Michael Samuels
    i feel everyone should have a chance to scripts/ flames & other resources available and so have fun and come up with their own creations plus as the old saying goes. – Give Credit where is due… that’s why i agree with asking if 1 uses a flame or script or even code by another , please to share it with the rest of us..

    Michael Starkey
    i appreciate you guys always sharing your creations! it helps out so much. That knowledge is invaluable and worth much more than just credit for YOUR WORK lol

    Pavlusenco Appel Cristian
    To give a link for whatever resources one uses it`s commune sense. Period.

    Charles Smith
    Michael well stated and written. Tis a shame that some folks sour it for the rest of us.

    Timothy David Waggoner
    Well put Michael. Not only is posting such links helpful to the group (in terms of knowledge at least), it shows respect to the person or persons who created the content one follows and/or tweaks. I for one love to see what others do with my pieces. Makes me feel fuzzy and warm. Lol.

    Geoffrey N Barnes
    This has been going on since apohysis. It It sad where things don’t get properly credited.

    Tracy Colello
    I don’t use scripts much, but I enjoy seeing all the creations. I like at least knowing the name of the script (or if it was randomly generated).

    Angel Rodriguez
    it sad that someone would get offended, such fragile egos.

    Geoffrey N Barnes
    Another one gets me is that someone rips someone for a creating script and yet uses one 5000 times over and will be super defensive or secret about. Biggest thing is trying your own path. I have millions of flames they may not see the light of day because of some attitudes.

    Heather Law
    Getting people to acknowledge other people’s work seems to be like pulling teeth. I put this up on my DA profile in May and got about 90 views, one fav and one person commented, and that was it. I *know* a lot of my watchers use scripts in their work because I see the results, some barely tweaked.


    I’m sure I’ve gotten rammy and forgotten to attribute scripts to their creators, not saying I’m perfect either. But I sure wish more people would take the whole 2 or 3 minutes to attribute and link to the scripts.

    Jane Spaulding
    I fully agree about crediting the source of things. It is universally difficult to get people to do this in the arts. I know many artists who do various forms of art, mobile art being some of the greatest offenders, who will “borrow” from others to create their composites and never mention that they have done so. It is wrong but, people seem to feel no remorse for doing so.

    Long before I was involved with Fractal art, back in the earliest days of computer-generated art done with Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and PhotoImpact and other apps, I was working a great deal with many of the top name sci-fi fantasy artists through Dragon Con. People would cut out their figures and their elements to create “tags” that they would share around with one another. Even with the association attorney writing to the worst offenders, this did not stop. It will not stop here either. We can remind people, but there are many who feel that as soon as they “touch” it, it becomes theirs. Sort of like the toddler rules of possession. I use this example because it is the same mentality.

    I try to do my best to credit all around but do not always remember to do so on every post. Most of the time, if something goes on Art Equasion, my art page, it is all there with the original post and I share from there. Since I do not really like DA, and I seldom post there, I am probably one of the slackers in the “giving credit” arena there. I do credit the software, but that is usually it. Most of what I post there, though, is from scratch.

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