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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Para's Avatar
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    How to copyright a php script?

    Hi, i have a php script that ive written, id like to copyright it somehow, because i no how people steal code.

    I think im going to make it open source, im not 100% yet.

    can anyone give me any advise?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Seeing as you've written it, you automatically own the copyright to it. There's nothing else, to my knowledge, that you need to do.

    Unfortunately in this day and age, copyrighting something doesn't stop a lot of people from stealing it

    Sam
    Sam Hastings

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Para's Avatar
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    ok, but say someone stole my code and re-released as their own, what step do i take to prove its mine? i could be lying? and who would i contact to stop this person? unfortuantly there is no internet police

    maybe the best way is keep it open source and my SourceForge account will be the record of the code, but that still leaves me at the point of 'how do i stop the thief selling the code' ?

    thanks for your input

  4. #4
    Web Design Ireland cianuro's Avatar
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    Why not encrypt it?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard triexa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cianuro
    Why not encrypt it?

    Sounds like he probably wants it open source... so encrypting it is taking 100 steps backwards...
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  6. #6
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    If he releases it as an opensource product people are going to be using the code all over anyway.

  7. #7
    Web Design Ireland cianuro's Avatar
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    Exactly.
    However, what I have seen some scripts do is encrypt the copyright. For example, encrypt certain parts of the script containing copyright information and also encrypt a function that disables the script if the copyright is missing.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot Para's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cianuro
    Exactly.
    However, what I have seen some scripts do is encrypt the copyright. For example, encrypt certain parts of the script containing copyright information and also encrypt a function that disables the script if the copyright is missing.

    Thats an idea, thanks.

    But the point about who does one goto if such a thing happens?

    Is it just a matter of contacting their host and hoping for the best?

    Is there no internet based organisation that one can report things like this happening? such as a fraud or copyright organisation?

    Im not going to need to go to that much lol my script isnt that good but im very curious on how small developers are protected on the internet.

    Thanks for your input people.

  9. #9
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Copyright infringement is a civil matter.

    You would have to sue the infringer.

  10. #10
    Web Design Ireland cianuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709
    Copyright infringement is a civil matter.

    You would have to sue the infringer.

    Exactly. And most of the time, its not worth the effort.

  11. #11
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Para
    im very curious on how small developers are protected on the internet.
    Basically they are not

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru El Camino's Avatar
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    how do php forum developers protect their scripts?

  13. #13
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Most don't

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict Olate's Avatar
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    If you're going to release it open source and/or on SF, you can't encode it since the OS licenses require the source code to be available. The OS licenses also allow anyone to use your code (within certain terms) anyway. If you don't want people to use your code then you're better off not release it open source.

  15. #15
    get into it! bigduke's Avatar
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    para, its pointless ... you cant stop people from stealing it ...

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Well when your product is open source it isn't called stealing, but re-distribution. If you want your script open source the main protection you have are trademarks, which allow your product to only be released under that name by you. If you don't want anyone to just use your product then I suggest encoding your script and using some licensing software.

    My suggestion is to license your product under an open source license, which will give you the benefits of an open model, but protect any trademarks and such you have in the software. My suggestion is the OSL:

    http://www.opensource.org/licenses/osl-2.1.php

    This has enough restrictions to not only protect you, but provide for the maximum effort to let every user that uses your software of their granted rights (express assent). Many others will disagree with the OSL, so you should also look into the GPL.

  17. #17
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    Licensing software is pretty pointless as you have to encrypt the code. If you only encrypt the code that does the licensing stuff, you could simple delete the block of encrypted code.

    If you register the copyright, you can prove that you own the copyrights to it. I reccomend www.c-site.com, which I think is run by godaddy.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict Olate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snareklutz
    Licensing software is pretty pointless as you have to encrypt the code. If you only encrypt the code that does the licensing stuff, you could simple delete the block of encrypted code.
    You'd just put the licensing code in an essential file, then encode that entire file. Delete the file and the app stops working.

    Quote Originally Posted by snareklutz
    If you register the copyright, you can prove that you own the copyrights to it. I reccomend www.c-site.com, which I think is run by godaddy.
    There is no need to register copyright. You can in the USA (and maybe other countries, but not in the UK), but I see it as a waste of money. The simple way to prove you own it is to make a copy, then post it to yourself using recorded delivery. Then don't open it. Or even better, post it to a solicitor or bank and ask them to keep it.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard
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    You'd just put the licensing code in an essential file, then encode that entire file. Delete the file and the app stops working.
    Believe me, he'd know.

    There is no need to register copyright. You can in the USA (and maybe other countries, but not in the UK), but I see it as a waste of money. The simple way to prove you own it is to make a copy, then post it to yourself using recorded delivery. Then don't open it. Or even better, post it to a solicitor or bank and ask them to keep it.
    Speaking from the US, officially registering a copyright with the government is not too expensive and holds up better in a court of law. Sending to yourself certified will work, but if you really have to defend your right to something it is a risky bet.

    In the US I believe there are other laws governing software copyright, so you may want to take a look at that.

    I still recommend just licensing and encoding it. It is guaranteed to work and help you keep your software under your control.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast phantomceo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJH
    Seeing as you've written it, you automatically own the copyright to it. There's nothing else, to my knowledge, that you need to do.

    Unfortunately in this day and age, copyrighting something doesn't stop a lot of people from stealing it

    Sam

    Here in the USA, in order to defend or uphold coyright, you have to regsiter it with the library of congress. Yuo cant make a claim of copyright violation untill you do this. Im not sure about the UK, but check into registering your script the same place that writers/publishers register a book.


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