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View Full Version : How ethical to use Javascript libraries that are available on the net?



Zavdieli
05-22-2012, 02:18 PM
I want to do something with JavaScript on my website but don't know how to implement it, but i've found it has already been written by someone and is available to download free as they've put it on net.

So is it right morally to use something that someone has already been written? does this count as cheating? does it infringe any copyright?

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vwphillips
05-22-2012, 02:42 PM
credits should be left intact(or a reference to the source)
it should not sold or distributed for gain.

ApacheTech
05-22-2012, 02:57 PM
It all depends on the copyright the author has left with it. The unwritten programmers ettiquette dictates that you should leave any annotations intact and give credit to the author within your own work. Copyright, Copyleft or other reservations may have been left by the author that will have extra stipulations.Code may be protected by a GNU/GPL Licence, a Creative Commons Licence or a proprietory licence. Any source code with a proprietory licence available to view online should be looked at very suspiciously.

Sample code on forums such as this one is pretty much fair game unless stated otherwise.

ApacheTech
05-22-2012, 03:09 PM
// This script is copyritd by me unda proprietory licence. If yoozz wantz too use my c0d3, yoo muzt giev mee piles o'money! If yooz haz this code in yor werk, yooz owe mee wonga! pay now or be 4eva sood.

var doSomething() {
// Do something.
}

Otherwise, people could do this. Not that it stops them, but we usually ignore script kiddies like that.

If you're majorly concerned about copyright infringement, which you shouldn't be, ask the author directly.

For use in personal projects or for self learning purposes, don't worry too much about acknowledgements. If it's only you who'll see it then nobody cares. Likewise, if you're using someone's code, then adapt it to fit your project, then change the variable names and values and add some new objects etc, you no longer need to have the acknowledgements for the original code; as it's now more your code than theirs.

djr33
05-23-2012, 03:45 AM
If it is available for download (like the scripts on this website) then you should have no problems using it (according to whatever Terms of Service it has, like maybe not for commercial purposes). But if you need to take apart the website to find all of the code (eg, looking through source code, figuring out how it works, saving the files manually), then clearly that's not meant for distribution.

If you're uncertain, ask. If it is not intentionally made available to you, then using it without permission is copyright infringement, yes.