Introduction: Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eric Wilhelm
So, you got your Instructable all posted and sent it to all your friends, and somebody comes back with, "Hey, I want to print a PDF but it says I have to pay."
"Hmm," you say, "I thought I specified Non-Commercial in my Creative Commons License. Let me check on that."
And so the journey begins.
Log out of Instructables and find your own Instructable. Click on the "more info" link.
Step 1: Download That PDF
Your friend must be crazy ... Instructables doesn't violate the Creative Commons licensing. There's not even mention in their Terms of Service [yet as of 2009-Aug-17] about a separate license between you and Instructables so they can charge for your work.
So while you're logged-out (as if you're an anonymous Interweb lurker), click on that PDF link.
What's this? I need to have a "Pro" membership to download PDF's? Okay ... and it's a modest (but not Non-Commercial) expense. Hmm ...
Update 2009-Aug-19: I should have read closer. In 7(d) it says, "you grant Instructables the world-wide, royalty free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, publicly perform and publicly display such Content solely for the purposes of providing and promoting Instructables." It's the "royalty-free" thing that implies they can collect money but they're under no obligation to pay you part of it.
Step 2: No, Really: Download the PDF
Ok, so go back and download the PDF. You'll have to sign in first.
From my limited vantage point, it appears that any user who signed up before that whole "Pro" thing gets to download PDF's. Or maybe it's just our own. Regardless, I think anybody can download the PDF.
Update 2009-Aug-19: It's both. Users with accounts before Pro appeared get 3 months of Pro services and you can always download your own PDF.
Step 3: Edit Your Instructable You Just Acquired the PDF Of
Now go back and edit the Instructable for which you have the PDF. After the last step (or wherever you'd like to put it) add a step so people can download your PDF. Upload the PDF and attach it to this step.
Step 4: Save Your Instructable
You got it: save it.
Step 5: Check to Make Sure It Worked.
Go back to your instructable (logged-in or not) and download the PDF.
And this time, take a closer look. Didn't my license also say, "Share Alike"? Shouldn't it include the same Creative Commons license I specified in the first place? Curious and erroneous, but I don't feel like editing a PDF right now.
Step 6: What About Eric?
As best I can tell, Eric Wilhelm is still pretty much in charge. Why would he be such a jerk?
Whoa, there pardner: let's take a time-out for a minute first.
The guy's just trying to make a buck on his really clever idea. I mean, Instructables is a great tool. It's a nice sandbox for those of us rusty in the whole technical writing department. I have to say, my own ability to explain a process has expanded immensely. Plus, my photography skills have improved.
Step 7: Download As PDF
Go ahead: download this one too as a PDF if you want!