Free Resources, Copyright and Licenses

Grabbing Internet Resources is Easy, But Should They Be Used?

Tools Hammer and SpannerAt Eye we produce documentation and software. In doing so we often use tools and materials that have been developed by others. Some of those tools and materials are free. Free stuff is great, it reduces your costs and the altruistic people who give it away do not want to be encumbered with chasing payments, they enjoy the creative process itself and want to share and show off their output. Their reward is the goodness that flows from people using and appreciating their creations, and maybe some publicity. Sharing is also infectious, we give back by publishing articles and resources on this website (and OK maybe get a little publicity).

Man carrying a bag of money There is so much available on the Internet and it is so easy to move digital resources around that a culture has emerged that assumes everything on the Internet is free, or should be free. Now that would be wonderful if true. However people and companies still need to pay their bills and thus some need rewarding for the time an effort they put into their creations, be it products, services, music, art, writings, film or software. They have the right to sell their work and not give it away. Everyone should respect those rights, it is fundamental to the way economies work, without payment for creations there would be no flow of money which would result in stagnant markets and poverty for many more than at the moment.

Copyright Allows Those Who Create to Earn Make a Living

Public Domain Copyright SymbolIt is easy enough to grab digital creations from the Internet, even creations that should be purchased are readily available for no payment if you know where to look. However, just because if can be done it does not mean it should be. If you walked into a book store and picked up a book, and walked out without paying you would be committing a crime. If you download an e-book that should be paid for without paying you are doing the same type of crime. This applies to many types of digital creations not just books, as soon as something original is created it becomes protected by law, the law of copyright, and applies to many types of media: books, music, films, television shows, videos, pictures, cartoons, audio recordings, software and writings (such as blogs) in general. Continue reading