Attribution War

Glenn Otis Brown glenn at creativecommons.org
Wed May 26 16:19:45 EDT 2004


greg -- this is all very solid and correct except for one key point 
about the *kind* of attribution people have to give.

here are the various kinds of attribution requirements possible under 
the 2.0 licenses, and the various acts by the licensor that can trigger 
them:

1) no attribution -- if licensor says "do not attribute this to me" or 
doesn't provide an a
2) pseudonym attribution -- whatever name the author provides at the 
point of licensing is the name you must attribute
3) attribution -- ditto, and the default set-up under all 2.0 licenses
4) attribution plus linkback -- only a requirement if licensor 
specifies a url to link back to; not a default requirement

all of the above tempered by "reasonable to the medium and means" you 
are using, which i can tell you, is actually a VERY meaningful phrase 
in contract- and lawyer-speak.

note that these four levels of attribution are all possible under the 
2.0 licenses, even if the DEFAULT is that BY is required. we did this 
intentionally -- more user flexibility but through a simpler UI, fewer 
licenses, fewer permutations. etc.

thanks

glenn


On May 26, 2004, at 7:18 AM, Greg London wrote:

> The By: clause is now built in as standard equipment.
> 97% of licenses created had the By: option.
> It reduces the number of license combinations from 13 to 7.
>
> By: is not the same as Copyright Notice.
> A copyright notice is "Copyright 2004 Greg London".
> By: is "sort of" like the BSD advertising clause,
> except that in software, copyright notices just
> naturally tag along, but in almost every other
> medium, you've got to do some work to "attribute"
> the previous authors and contributers.
>
> The GNU-FDL license includes "Invariant Sections"
> which allow the original author to insert
> an advertising clause that must tag along with the
> document, and must be placed prominently in any
> derived works. This won't work for major, multi
> contributer works like wikipedia, but if you're
> doing a one-man or one-team project, then it might
> make sense.
>
> One important caveat, the GNU-FDL will ALLOW the
> author to add invariant sections, but it does
> not REQUIRE the user to do so. By default, there
> are no invariant, attribution-like, sections.
> The license contains clear and detailed instructions
> on how to add an invariant section.
>
> It sounds like CC licenses will have attribution
> "on" by default, which is odd, since the author
> should have to add a section like
>
> "with the following attribution clauses:
>   http://www.greglondon.com"
>
> or something. If the author does not add that
> phrase, then downstream authors should not have
> to hunt around trying to figure out what the
> original author wanted for an attribution phrase.
>
> Do you want a URL as attribution?
> Your name? Pseudoname?
>
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