An open letter to Ian Robson, the guy who put his name to my work. He has apologised and wishes to make amends. Here is his note and my reply.
>“This fucking idiot has grabbed large chunks of the Pumpernickle site
>(including the basic XHTML template)”
>i was only mucking about with it and god knows how you found it, i don’t
>think it’s linked to. i was experimenting with the xhtml.
>the last thing i would want to do is cause offense so i’ve removed the site.
>please/05/i retrospectively ask permission to use it from you, if you are
>the original creator, in the future??
Thanks for getting in touch. I just want to make a few basic principles absolutely clear if that’s ok with you.
1 - The net is an open, free and public space. My websites are in the public domain so you should feel free to use all or parts of them any way you please as often as you like.
2 - At its best, the net is a collaborative space. This means if we all give a little, it benefits all of us a lot. The open source movement is a good example of this as is the web standards movement. In the case of standards, this means making that extra effort to get your page right so that the web as a whole is improved.
3 - Our ability to generate original thought, whether it be a line of code, a photograph or an 800 page novel is a big part of what makes us human. The moral right to be identified as the author of one’s work is an important, universal human right.
So what does this mean?
In a nutshell, take my code, make it better, and then send it back to me. If you want to use my design components, go ahead, just don’t put your name to them until you’ve put enough of yourself into it to make them yours.
Finally, if you don’t want to credit me, that’s fine too. Just don’t credit yourself instead.
All the best,