[cc-community] Norm-enforced attribution (was Re: SA but no BY?)

maiki maiki at interi.org
Tue Nov 20 14:00:16 EST 2007

Gavin Baker wrote:

> I don't have much of an opinion here, I just find it interesting that
> the view perpetuated by the CC licenses is that attribution is a right
> almost universally desired, when there appear to be a number of examples
> where
> (1) the author doesn't want attribution,
> (2) the author doesn't want to require attribution, or
> (3) the author doesn't want to use copyright law to compel attribution.
> (There is a difference between 2 and 3: roughly the difference between
> "You may attribute me if it's not inconvenient" and "Please attribute
> me, but I won't sue if you don't".)
> Maybe this reflects the tension between CC licenses as an intellectual
> tool to encourage people to think critically about copyright, and as a
> practical tool designed to grow a commons (optimizing license adoption
> and ability to re-use licensed content).
> - --

I was under the impression that the reason attribution became universal 
was not from universal desire, but more of a logistics thing, hardly 
anyone used it, allowing CC to maintain less licenses. I haven't 
followed that link, though I am interested in what it presents. It is my 
experience, which is not concerned with academia, that most people like 
attribution. I don't think that it is a stretch to say that the folks in 
the scientific community are vastly outnumbered by the non-scientist 
bloggers and amateur photographers out there using Attribution.

I do think that as tool this both helps and hinders the cultural impact 
of the license. Interface is important, and those who don't know 
anything but Attribution don't have a compelling reason to question it. 
On the other hand, we (as advocates of Free culture) could just point it 
out, instead of running a license that is not "worth" the work to 
maintain it (this being based on my assumption as to why the 
non-Attribution component was dropped).


> Gavin Baker
> http://www.gavinbaker.com/
> gavin at gavinbaker.com
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