Sharing work with the Open Siddur Project
One of the best ways of honoring the intention which inspired the creation of a work dedicated to Jewish cultural vibrancy is to share it with a standard free culture license. The Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license, for instance, provides a legal framework that grants explicit permission to others to modify and adapt the work so long as they provide correct attribution to the original author. Likewise, all derivative works must be licensed with the same license to ensure that the work remains free and is associated with an unbroken chain of attribution from the original work. The Open Siddur Project relies on standard free culture licenses, so any work shared with the Open Siddur Project must be similarly licensed. This web page explains how to share your work in a way that it can be included and disseminated with the Open Siddur Project's open database.
Respecting copyright law
All creative works are protected under national and international copyright law from the moment they are fixed in a tangible form. This includes printed matter, handwritten notes, computer files, photographs, drawings, video clips, audio tapes, and anything else we can perceive through human senses, with or without the aid of a computer or other machine.
The intent of copyright law is to grant a work's creator the exclusive right, for a fixed period of time, to share, modify, or distribute that work, or to assign any of those rights to somebody else. During the copyright period, a copyright holder can choose to license any part of the copyright to allow others to share, modify, or distribute the work in some limited or unlimited way. The copyright holder can also choose to put the work into the public domain for anyone to freely use. When the copyright period ends, the work automatically enters the public domain.
Choose a licensing scheme
For works created in the United States after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. Creators of new works intended for cultural or spiritual use should ask themselves if the length of time copyright reserves helps or hinders its widespread adoption as part of a vital and creatively vibrant tradition. Will proprietary works entering the public domain 70 years after the author's death even be extant and accessible to the public?
The Open Siddur Project is a dynamic archive centered around the concepts of sharing, modifying, and distributing Jewish liturgical material as widely as possible. Standard copyright licenses establish an agreement between authors, the project, and users as to the conditions under which contributed documents can be shared, modified, and distributed.
All contributing authors (or the copyright holder, if copyright was signed over to a third party) must agree to submit their work under the licensing scheme.
Contributing a document to the Open Siddur Project's archive involves surrendering some of your exclusive rights for the benefit of a vibrant Jewish culture of shared creativity. (If you want to reserve all your rights, please consider how reserving all your rights diminishes the opportunity for others to discover, build upon, and improve your work with a project such as the Open Siddur.)
We allow content into our archive if it is released under one of three licenses, Creative Commons Zero (CC0), Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA). Read the terms and decide which you are comfortable with.
Once you have decided, follow the instructions below to write us a license for your content.
Sharing your work
Until the technical framework for receiving shared material is completed in our web application, contributors can share material with the Open Siddur Project using three methods.
- Opensiddur.org: contributors may upload material using this form. Contributed material by registered users at opensiddur.org, will ultimately be incorporated into the planned Open Siddur Project user database in that user's account.
- Wiki: registered users on this wiki may also upload new material directly to the wiki. Registration is free. When you upload a file you will have the choice of a number of licenses to choose from. Choose CC0, CC BY, or CC BY-SA.
- Email: contributions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org . When you email your work, make sure to include with your attachment a statement (see below) indicating which standard free culture license the work is being shared with.
Because volunteer effort is required to integrate your content, it may take some time before your work is integrated in the Open Siddur Project web application database.
Thank you for sharing your work with the Open Siddur Project and the world!
To share content with the Open Siddur with a CC BY-SA license by email, please attach the following statement with the material you are providing:
I am (We are) the original author(s) of _______ and I am (we are) licensing the following attachments under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Attribution may be given as 'Contributors to the Open Siddur Project', with the author's name(s) _______ included in the contributors list.
Creative Commons By Attribution (CC BY)
To share content with the Open Siddur with a CC BY license by email, please attach the following statement with the material you are providing:
I am (We are) the original author(s) of _______ and I am (we are) licensing the following attachments under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Attribution may be given as 'Contributors to the Open Siddur Project', with the author's name(s) _______ included in the contributors list.
Creative Commons Zero (CC 0)
To contribute content to the Public Domain with a CC 0 license (and thus waiving all copyright claims) by email, please attach the following statement with the material you are providing:
I am (We are) the original author(s) of _______ and I am (we are) licensing the following attachments under the Creative Commons Zero License. I/we hereby waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with respect to this work to the extent possible under the law.
Note your sources
In addition to copyright issues, we keep track of bibliographic and contributor data. Please tell us what sources you used for any material that was not originally composed for the document under submission.
For more information on how Open Siddur attributes the work of its contributors, please click here.
The Open Siddur Project uses (or, will use) standard formatting software for all submitted material. We don't ordinarily preserve the detailed layout of submitted works. Instead, we preserve semantic information about the structure of a document. This allows our users to give content from many different sources a consistent "look and feel" of their choice. In order to make your document conformable to our internal archival format, we ask the following:
- Submit your document as unformatted, plain Unicode text.
- Many older documents simulated Hebrew text using special fonts, and simulated right-to-left text by writing backwards. If your document is like that, make a note. Conversion is possible, and will be easier to long as we know that the material is non-standard.
- Be as consistent as possible. If you format consistently, we may be able to write scripts to convert your submission into our format and get it into the archive faster.
- If there are any special formatting cues, make a note of them with your submission.
If you cannot follow one or more of these formatting suggestions, no problem! Someone else probably can. Ask the mailing list.