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Aharon Varady

Aharon Varady

Community Planner (M.C.P.) and Jewish Educator (M.A.J.Ed.) working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of Torah study. I am the founding director of the Open Siddur Project, http://opensiddur.org

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WordPress Plugin for Applying Free-Culture Compatible Open Content Licenses to WordPress posts

Over at the Open Siddur Project, I was looking for a way that users sharing their work could automatically select between any of the three free/libre compatible licenses offered by the Creative Commons. Well known among free-culture activists, not all Creative Commons licenses are “free” according to the Free Software Foundation’s definition of free.[1]By free, we here refer to free as in libre: freedom to adopt, adapt and redistribute, and not free as in gratis. Our project only offers users a choice of the three licenses which are compatible with one another and are agreeable with the FSF definition, namely, the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA), and the Creative Commons Zero, a Public Domain dedication (CC0).

CC-0-PD.svg.150x100 CC-BY.svg.150x100 CC-BY-SA.svg.150x100

Our site, opensiddur.org, currently uses WordPress as our Content Management System.[2]We’ll likely migrate to our own homegrown web application once it is finally built. In the meantime it’s WordPress. WordPress has something like a bazillion third-party plugins, which is nice enough but often hard to locate. I went about seeking out a plugin that might suffice. Having the freedom to tweak or improve software is one reason I’ve enjoyed working with WordPress in the past. In this post, I want to share what improvements I made to the plugin I chose. It might save you the trouble of having to wade through WordPress’s unwieldly plugin directory.

There are a handful of plugins designed so that wordpress authors and administrators can apply one or any number of Creative Commons licenses to site posts. After testing George Notaras’ Creative Commons Configurator, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine & Brett Mellor’s License (a component of the MIT Educational Collaboration Space project), and the OpenAttribute plugin, I ultimately settled on OptimalDevs’ Creative Commons Generator plugin.

OptimalDevs plugin wasn’t immediately perfect for my needs, but it was close enough (compared with the other plugins) and with some extra tweaking, I’ve set it to work at opensiddur.org and here at the Omphalos. You can see an example of my implementation below.

My main issues with OptimalDevs’ plugin were the following:

  • it didn’t yet include an option for choosing the Creative Commons Zero, a Public Domain dedication.
  • it offered the Non-Commercial and No Derivative options — Creative Commons licensing options which conflict with the FSF definition of free.
  • it lacked a user editing option for the language displayed in
    applying the license.
  • it lacked a user choice option for the images displayed in applying the license.

All my editing was limited to the ccg-admin.php file and the addition of an images directory with the three images I created using the Creative Commons licensing icons.

If you look at the code you’ll notice the displayed text and images are tightly integrated with the code. In my mind, the content and code should be kept separate, so I hope OptimalDevs might take a look at what I’ve done and consider some improvements.

You can look at the download and my changes here, CCG-tweaked-by-ANV. You can also download and install it in your own wordpress site. (One note: you’ll need to move the images directory to the root of your site.)

I want to publicly thank Andy Hernandez Salazar (OptimalDevs) for releasing his plugin and for helping a stranger with his open source software.

 . Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike . 3.0 . Unported .
“WordPress Plugin for Applying Free-Culture Compatible Open Content Licenses to WordPress posts” is shared by Aharon N. Varady with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner (M.C.P.) and Jewish educator (M.A. J.Ed.) working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of Torah study. His work on the Free-Culture movement and adoption of Open Source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz. Aharon Varady studied environmental planning, GIS, and planning history at DAAP/University of Cincinnati, and the intersection of theurgy, experiential education, and ecology at the Davidson School of Education/JTSA. He welcomes your comments and personal messages.

Notes   [ + ]

1. By free, we here refer to free as in libre: freedom to adopt, adapt and redistribute, and not free as in gratis.
2. We’ll likely migrate to our own homegrown web application once it is finally built. In the meantime it’s WordPress.

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