sharer's remorse

n. (analogy with buyer’s remorse)

  1. The state of regret experienced when one’s work is used by an unexpected party or in an unexpected way after having broadly licensed the work to the general public.

Someone experiencing sharer’s remorse sometimes tries to put the toothpaste back in the tube by “unlicensing” the work, which is typically not allowed by copyleft licenses such as the GPL and Creative Commons licenses.

Flickr’s default copyright setting for new photos is “All Rights Reserved”, so I have little sympathy for anyone who chose to make their photographs available for commercial use, then suffered “sharer’s remorse” when someone actually took advantage of that licence. —Charles Miller, “Copyright Virgins”

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