How do I waive attribution rights?

James Grimmelmann james.grimmelmann at
Fri Jun 18 13:16:05 EDT 2004

At 11:49 PM 6/17/2004, Evan Prodromou wrote:
>On Fri, 2004-06-18 at 01:48, Nathan Jones wrote:
> > What is the recommended way to waive attribution rights? Say I
> > licence a play under Attribution-NoDerivs; how do I make it clear that
> > people don't have to mention me on the program, or other reproduction,
> > despite the big "BY" image on the licence?
> >
> > Or is there not a recommended way?
>I don't speak for Creative Commons; just another list member.

I don't speak for Creative Commons, either.

>It's been mentioned that this could be done, either under the
>"revocation" clause of section 4a, or the "if supplied" phrase of
>section 4b. However, nobody's really made it clear what the mechanics
>are for waiving your attribution requirement.

The removal clause in 4(a) of the Attribution-NoDerivs license only applies 
to collective works; I don't read that language as dealing with verbatim 
reproductions.  It's also more in the way of an open disavowal than a 
simple waiver of the requirement for attribution.  If I had to ground a 
waiver in some place in the license, I'd choose the "if supplied" langauge 
in 4(b).

>It seems like the main way to do it is simply not to supply a name,
>title, and licensing URI for the work.

I think this approach frees the recipients from the attribution 
requirement.  It also doesn't stop them from doing some research, figuring 
out your name, and putting your name back in on the work when they 
distribute it.  You may or may not want that.

>Another way would be, when you
>give license notification ("This work is available under the blah-blah
>license"), say something like, "I request that you not use my name or
>the title of this work."

I think this language means you want the work go out anonymous.  If you 
don't want that, but instead want people to have the option not to name 
you, you could say, "You may use either [my name] or no name to identify 
the author of this work."  Does that seem like a reasonable solution?


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