07 April 2010

On a minor dilemma

...which probably afllicts many people with a web presence from time to time.

I was approached by email, and very politely and punctiliously, by someone requesting permission to use material from my site, on a course this person was running. No problem. The pages are explicitly covered by a standard form of Creative Commons licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

But the email included a link to the site of the institute/clinic my correspondent represented. Frankly I found it dubious, promoting a range of "alternative" therapies and "wellness" interventions. I have no problem with the latter. If people want to spend their money on something which they believe will make them feel even better, regardless of any evidence, that is up to them; but I have serious reservations about the former. If there is evidence to support "alternative" medicine, it's not "alternative", it is just medicine.

The use to which my correspondent wished to put my material seemed quite straightforward--to print it out as a handout to support a teaching session on a mainstream and almost uncontentious topic. And my correspondent did not have to ask. I'm sure my stuff is printed out and used thus hundreds of times a day without anyone taking the trouble to ask. And the Creative Commons licence does specify;
AttributionYou must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

So, should/could I have applied different rules to this request because of my views of the ideology of the sponsoring institution?

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Comments welcome, but I am afraid I have had to turn moderation back on, because of inappropriate use. Even so, I shall process them as soon as I can.