Online T-SQL Scripts and Copyright

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Online T-SQL Scripts and Copyright

    Brad M. McGehee
    DBA

  • This is an excellent article, and long overdue.

    Is there a standard boiler-plate for this?

    R Glen Cooper

  • What's a bit sad is that "borrowing" T-SQL or any other online resource is that it doesn't really help us learn better. Should job requirements say: "Must know how to Google T-SQL"? It's like the commercial imperative to do more with less and do it faster is breeding a generation of lazy (and unqualified, dare I say) IT pros.

    But I digress off topic. In terms of copyright, my opinion is that regardless of what the law says if you nakedly put anything in the Cloud then you can expect someone to use it without your permission. It's like leaving your car running with windows down and doors unlocked in front of the 7-11. There's a good chance someone is going to steal your car. One can ponder the legalities of that as one walks home ๐Ÿ™‚


    James Stover, McDBA

  • I will only have problem if Microsoft is not providing code samples because if you know what you are doing you could modify their code for most needs. I have seen Microsoft code in developer articles in MSDN magazines without credits and in their custom component vendor sample code.

    I used the US government copy of ANSI SQL online pre Google days to study so I have problem with most copy right issues because most SQL is implmentation of ANSI SQL and vendor add on. Yes there are admin scripts but you could also get the same with Embarcadero so there is alternative. I don't go to sites with many of these rules it complicates simple issues from modified Microsoft code. Code is about 30 percent of software so maybe my design skills is the reason I have not needed most over complicated code.

    Kind regards,
    Gift Peddie

  • Good article ... one for the lawyers and intellectual property folks for sure.

    However, just think about how ludicrous it can be.

    How many DBAs have freely copied and implemented the scripts from BOL ... lots of scripts from v6.0 to the present. Imagine the legal morass that already exists in that fact alone. Just think about it. Even on BOL now you even have a 'copy code' button just about everywhere !

    Then there is the situation where mny have even been given scripts from MS PSS as workarounds !

    Just think, in addition to MS/SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and DB2 and probably countless other DBMSs have also put their respective client/user communities in the same risk situation. That is why I initially mentioned that it is a bit 'ludicrous'.

    Maybe we should run this past the legal folks !!!

    RegardsRudy KomacsarSenior Database Administrator"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."

  • I'd never considered copyright issues when googling code, getting scripts from sites like SSC or blogs, or posting code to SSC, on my blog, or to the SQL Server Code Repository set up on LIve Mesh by Jamie Thompson. I just assumed anyone could figure out the code I provided given the time.

  • Glen Cooper (4/18/2009)


    This is an excellent article, and long overdue.

    Is there a standard boiler-plate for this?

    The http://www.fsf.org/ website has standard boiler-plate text for offering the code free to the public.

    Brad M. McGehee
    DBA

  • rudy komacsar (4/18/2009)


    Good article ... one for the lawyers and intellectual property folks for sure.

    However, just think about how ludicrous it can be.

    How many DBAs have freely copied and implemented the scripts from BOL ... lots of scripts from v6.0 to the present. Imagine the legal morass that already exists in that fact alone. Just think about it. Even on BOL now you even have a 'copy code' button just about everywhere !

    Then there is the situation where mny have even been given scripts from MS PSS as workarounds !

    Just think, in addition to MS/SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and DB2 and probably countless other DBMSs have also put their respective client/user communities in the same risk situation. That is why I initially mentioned that it is a bit 'ludicrous'.

    Maybe we should run this past the legal folks !!!

    Microsoft does give a LIMITED PUBLIC LICENSE for their sample code. See: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/cc300389.aspx.

    Brad M. McGehee
    DBA

  • Good editorial, Brad. We often forget that T-SQL scripts are protected just like any other source code.

    I want to add that Codeplex projects include a license that take the guesswork out of copyright protection. Project coordinators can choose from several existing open source licenses or create a custom one. This is one reason why Codeplex is such a great place to share and use free code.

  • I donโ€™t think that writing SQL Code should be protected by copyright laws. There is a very big difference between writing a novel or creating a movie and writing T-SQL. It would be ridiculous if one day weโ€™ll find out that we canโ€™t use sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats to check fragmentation because someone wrote a script that used it and decided to copyright it. On the other hand writing my own story about Harry Potter is defiantly a violation of copyright laws. If I decide to write a story there are endless subjects to write about. If I decide on a subject there are endless ways to write about it, but when I write T-SQL script there are limited numbers of logical ways to do it.

    Adi

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  • James Stover (4/18/2009)


    What's a bit sad is that "borrowing" T-SQL or any other online resource is that it doesn't really help us learn better. Should job requirements say: "Must know how to Google T-SQL"? It's like the commercial imperative to do more with less and do it faster is breeding a generation of lazy (and unqualified, dare I say) IT pros.

    But I digress off topic. In terms of copyright, my opinion is that regardless of what the law says if you nakedly put anything in the Cloud then you can expect someone to use it without your permission. It's like leaving your car running with windows down and doors unlocked in front of the 7-11. There's a good chance someone is going to steal your car. One can ponder the legalities of that as one walks home ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am sorry but I don't agree with you at all. I don't see it laziness to copy code from the internet. I use it rather to see if I can learn something from the other person's code. I don't feel like I steal code. If you post an article on SSC then I presume you give me permission to copy the code. What would the purpose be of these articles be if I cannot copy code from them. We might have a couple of people (which you get from all walks of life) that are actually lazy but don't just classify everyone that copies code the same.

    Brad, I agree that if you do not specifically state that this code is licensed that you must then deliver proof that the code is yours. I can't see how anyone can prosecute you for that. Don't you need to prove that the code is yours and how are you going to do that if you did not license it.

    :-PManie Verster
    Developer
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Holy Bible
    I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Mckinley Dirkson (Well, I am trying. - Manie Verster)

  • rudy komacsar (4/18/2009)


    Good article ... one for the lawyers and intellectual property folks for sure.

    However, just think about how ludicrous it can be.

    How many DBAs have freely copied and implemented the scripts from BOL ... lots of scripts from v6.0 to the present. Imagine the legal morass that already exists in that fact alone. Just think about it. Even on BOL now you even have a 'copy code' button just about everywhere !

    Then there is the situation where mny have even been given scripts from MS PSS as workarounds !

    Just think, in addition to MS/SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and DB2 and probably countless other DBMSs have also put their respective client/user communities in the same risk situation. That is why I initially mentioned that it is a bit 'ludicrous'.

    Maybe we should run this past the legal folks !!!

    Hang on a second there. When a person buys a Microsoft product you get a license for it, not so? Then that means I can use that product and everything going with it with their permission so, why would it be illegal to copy code from BOL for instance. Let's not pull the dam from under the duck here.

    I think that a website, like SSC for instance, should explicitly state that all code on this site is under license if that is the case as well as the code should also have copyright specifications in it otherwise I assume that it is free.

    :-PManie Verster
    Developer
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Holy Bible
    I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Mckinley Dirkson (Well, I am trying. - Manie Verster)

  • rudy komacsar (4/18/2009)


    Good article ... one for the lawyers and intellectual property folks for sure.

    However, just think about how ludicrous it can be.

    How many DBAs have freely copied and implemented the scripts from BOL ... lots of scripts from v6.0 to the present. Imagine the legal morass that already exists in that fact alone. Just think about it. Even on BOL now you even have a 'copy code' button just about everywhere !

    Then there is the situation where mny have even been given scripts from MS PSS as workarounds !

    Just think, in addition to MS/SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and DB2 and probably countless other DBMSs have also put their respective client/user communities in the same risk situation. That is why I initially mentioned that it is a bit 'ludicrous'.

    Maybe we should run this past the legal folks !!!

    Hang on a second there. When a person buys a Microsoft product you get a license for it, not so? Then that means I can use that product and everything going with it with their permission so, why would it be illegal to copy code from BOL for instance. Let's not pull the dam from under the duck here.

    I think that a website, like SSC for instance, should explicitly state that all code on this site is under license if that is the case as well as the code should also have copyright specifications in it otherwise I assume that it is free.

    :-PManie Verster
    Developer
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Holy Bible
    I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Mckinley Dirkson (Well, I am trying. - Manie Verster)

  • Brad, not to nitpick but your link is from MSDN:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/cc300389.aspx.

    This represents a far wider scope of products, not limited to SQL Server alone. Below is about the only link in BOL I could find:

    ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/MS.SQLSVR.v9.en/sqlgtst9/html/6854121d-429d-4d1b-9d64-342583e08378.htm

    Sounds like there is a bit of a hole in things when the links are compared ...

    RegardsRudy KomacsarSenior Database Administrator"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."

  • Nice article...very informative!

    This is something that we normally tend to overlook.

    But now on, I will keep this in mind...and tell my colleagues about it too!

    Thank you, ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yashoda.

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