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Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:10 PM
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Were you guys aware that SQLServerCentral doesn't allow any of the content you guys post here to be used for any commercial use? I was looking over the terms of use and was kind of shocked to see the following:

4.2 [highlight=#ffff11]Any material contained in the Site (the "Red Gate Materials")[/highlight] and all intellectual property rights in the Red Gate Materials are either owned by us or have been licensed to us by the rights owner(s) so that we can use those Red Gate Materials as part of the Site. You are only allowed to use the Site, the Red Gate Materials and any intellectual property rights in them on the basis of these Term of Use.

4.3 [highlight=#ffff11]You are not permitted to copy or use any of the Red Gate Materials for any purpose[/highlight], although you may print a copy of any page of the Site for your [highlight=#ffff11]personal, non-commercial use[/highlight]. Replication of content through feeds is not permitted. Feeds are limited to 500 characters and must include a link to the relevant content on sqlservercentral.com.


That seems like a pretty harsh restriction for a site like this. I've learned a lot here and luckily they can't take away what I've learned but as for all the great code examples, etc., that you guys have shared, if I want to take advantage of them, apparently my only choice is to reinvent the wheel. I have been a great fan of this site but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

- Les
Post #1575324
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:38 PM


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I suspect that's there to 'prevent' someone from copying the entire scripts collection, sticking it on a DVD and selling it, or collecting the articles into an ebook and selling it on amazon, not to stop you from using something posted here in your job.


Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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Post #1575337
Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014 10:23 AM
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It's possible that you are correct about the intent but the effect of the wording is the same, nonetheless. I can't really subject my company to liability over the use of some code which wasn't authorized, however unlikely it is to actually become an issue, so even if I find something on the site which is exactly what I need to solve a problem -- Steven Willis's excellent virtual tally table comes to mind -- I pretty much have to find some way to implement something on my own which uses the same principles but avoids using the actual code -- which seems pointless and tedious and I suspect was probably not what Mr. Willis or most of the other contributors had in mind when they so generously shared their code.

There are plenty of other websites around which openly allow use of code shared on the site - their owners obviously didn't feel the need for such restrictions. I'm not a lawyer but I suspect that there are ways of restricting the use of entire collections of information without needing to restrict isolated instances.

- Les
Post #1575681
Posted Friday, May 30, 2014 3:15 AM


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I've checked in with the powers that be. I suspect pretty strongly that you're misinterpreting that statement, but someone should get back on this, soon I hope.

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Post #1575987
Posted Friday, May 30, 2014 4:59 AM
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I would think that the below is simply to say "You can't reproduce it in an article or sell it as it is." If you read 4.2 closely the prohibition appears to be on Red Gate materials not on all materials on the site. However it can be easily read that they have licensed the materials and can exert influence to remove blatant plagiarism or theft. Using the content of the forum in your company for commercial purposes does not appear to be prohibited as long as it is code in a working product and not a book or article using wholesale from the site.


lnoland (5/28/2014)
Were you guys aware that SQLServerCentral doesn't allow any of the content you guys post here to be used for any commercial use? I was looking over the terms of use and was kind of shocked to see the following:

4.2 [highlight=#ffff11]Any material contained in the Site (the "Red Gate Materials")[/highlight] and all intellectual property rights in the Red Gate Materials are either owned by us or have been licensed to us by the rights owner(s) so that we can use those Red Gate Materials as part of the Site. You are only allowed to use the Site, the Red Gate Materials and any intellectual property rights in them on the basis of these Term of Use.

4.3 [highlight=#ffff11]You are not permitted to copy or use any of the Red Gate Materials for any purpose[/highlight], although you may print a copy of any page of the Site for your [highlight=#ffff11]personal, non-commercial use[/highlight]. Replication of content through feeds is not permitted. Feeds are limited to 500 characters and must include a link to the relevant content on sqlservercentral.com.


That seems like a pretty harsh restriction for a site like this. I've learned a lot here and luckily they can't take away what I've learned but as for all the great code examples, etc., that you guys have shared, if I want to take advantage of them, apparently my only choice is to reinvent the wheel. I have been a great fan of this site but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

- Les
Post #1576008
Posted Friday, May 30, 2014 7:07 AM
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Yes, you're right, it is definitely a mistake. As Gail has pointed out, it was done at a time when the site was suffering from the community's contributions being plagiarized by several sites. The wording was intended to allow us to take legal action against out-and-out plagiarists easily on behalf of the community, and the last thing on our minds was any desire to stop legitimate use of what the community has submitted. We're getting it changed as soon as we can find an acceptable wording. I would have written ‘You are not permitted to republish any of the Red Gate Materials for any purpose without explicit consent from the owners of the intellectual property’, but then I'm not a lawyer!

In the meantime, if anyone needs an assurance about using any of the materials on the site for their work, then drop Steve, Tony or I an email.


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Post #1576053
Posted Friday, May 30, 2014 10:17 AM
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Andrew Clarke-161005 (5/30/2014)
Yes, you're right, it is definitely a mistake. As Gail has pointed out, it was done at a time when the site was suffering from the community's contributions being plagiarized by several sites. The wording was intended to allow us to take legal action against out-and-out plagiarists easily on behalf of the community, and the last thing on our minds was any desire to stop legitimate use of what the community has submitted. We're getting it changed as soon as we can find an acceptable wording. I would have written ‘You are not permitted to republish any of the Red Gate Materials for any purpose without explicit consent from the owners of the intellectual property’, but then I'm not a lawyer!

In the meantime, if anyone needs an assurance about using any of the materials on the site for their work, then drop Steve, Tony or I an email.


I really appreciate the response and definitely think that they need to change the wording. Like I said, I really like this site and have learned a tremendous amount by coming here and would hate to see it hampered by a restrictive policy which seems at odds with the purpose of the site. While the code snippets in many cases are simply good examples of usage or demonstration of a principle and therefore don't really need to be used verbatim, there is the occasional inclusion of a fully realized tool that is very useful. While I doubted that there was ever a significant risk from using something I found here, I don't have a right to subject my company to any such risk. And while I would likely still come here regardless, there are others who might read the terms of use and just move on since there are other sites which don't have such restrictions. That would be unfortunate for both us and them.
Post #1576186
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 10:43 AM
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Even if the wording is not changed, I can't see how anyone would use any code samples without making it their own. If I copy a bit of code, I will need to change server names, table names, etc. I may not like the varaible names the author has, so, I will change those. What remains is the concept and no one can take that away.

Changing the aggreement to clear things up is a good idea, though.

Tom
Post #1577420
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