View Full Version : Copyright Question

07-29-2005, 07:30 PM
Hello. I recently found a good contact form and I have a question about the copyright. It says: "This script is free to use as long as you retain the credit link". But what if I changed up the form and added color and stuff, do I still have to retain the credit link?


07-29-2005, 07:53 PM
Short answer no... long answer yes... you dont want to be known as "that guy"

07-29-2005, 08:38 PM
Copyright can only be applied to something that is written and is unique to the author. If I write the phrase 'The cat sat on the mat' I can't claim copyright because it is such a common expression. Similarly, if I create a contact form and use the fields name, email, comments etc, then I can't claim copyright.

However, if I add a nifty little introduction to my contact form, and the text is obviously unique to me and my writing style etc, I can claim copyright on that. So don't go copying these bits.

Also, if the author has spent many hours creating some finely coded javascript, cgi, php, asp etc to make the script do something they may be able to claim copyright on their work. There are situations where copyright wouldn't be upheld, for example where the script uses such common functions/expressions that nothing new has actually been created, they've simply rearranged something that everyone else is already doing.

Check out US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/) for a faq about using copyrighted material.

Being a good Internet citizen, you would normally contact the author and request permission to modify their form. And even if the author doesn't really have the right to claim copyright for any of the reasons above, they may have still spent a lot of time making the script, and a simple acknowledgement of their efforts is a small price to pay.

Hope that helps

07-30-2005, 04:30 AM
Ok. It sounds like I'm just going to keep it there until I get ahold of the author which I am going to do soon. The script in question can be found here. (http://www.tele-pro.co.uk/scripts/contact_form/)

Thanks both of you :thumbsup:

08-01-2005, 12:23 PM
In my opinion, you still have to retain it.

How do we credit the Open-source wares like phpBB ?

We give a link as a credit "Powered by phpBB" for their effort and hard work although we modify their source code with various kinds of MODs. :)

08-01-2005, 07:11 PM
I put the link in the comments in 2 places.