tldr: Attribution for media on the mobile lightbox viewer is a bit
inconsistent right now, fixing it is IMO worthwhile and doable (and users
do care a fair bit about how it's handled) but you might land on disabling
mobile lightbox or trying a different approach. I understand the mobile
lightbox is not a top priority for the team right now.
- - -
There's a bit of a discussion here
on how to do attribution in the mobile lightbox viewer. If you're not
involved with that, feel free to ignore the below.
Attribution is a hot topic for a lot of people, because it is viewed as
fundamentally being a matter of respect and recognition of their work. So
if you don't get why this is a big deal for people, please trust me that it
is, and that we need to show some senitivity in how we handle it. :)
Organizationally, we also want to be an example for how to use CC licenses
correctly, and how third parties should re-use content from our projects.
Since I've been participating in the related discussions on desktop MMV a
fair bit, let me try a concise summary of what the issues are. I'm CCing
Luis who can jump in with clarifications (Luis, one "legal requirement"
question for you below, feel free to answer offlist to Maryana/Kaldari if
1) Creative Commons licenses allow for attribution "reasonable to the
medium or means" by which a file is being utilized. That means some level
of variance between desktop and mobile may be defensible.
Other licenses (used for some files) may or may not include similar
provisions; even without them you could argue that the differences in
medium/means justify a different approach.
2) Lightboxes introduce additional step between user and attribution. We do
not show attribution right below the image in an article, and as you
introduce more steps, you stretch the "reasonableness" definition.
On desktop, the paradigm we follow is "Show required attribution wherever
possible, err on the side of including source information since it _may_ be
required" (the metadata is currently very messy on that aspect).
3) Small variations (such as not linking to the username, which makes some
usernames effectively meaningless without going to the File: page) can
stretch the "reasonableness" definition in the eyes of media contributors.
Note, however, that the username sometimes will point to e.g. a Flickr URL,
and will be ambiguous outside the context of Flickr.
4) Right now mobile MMV does not show any links related to the author, and
does not show the source.
- - -
The specific argument in the bug is that mobile devices have limited
displays and input precision and therefore the introduction of too much
detail can confuse and disorient users if they hit these links by accident,
and that the fallback to the File: page ought to be sufficient for
There are two separate sets of questions here:
- What's the right thing to do to show the appropriate level of recognition
for media contributors? Can this be done without violating good UX
principles for mobile?
- What's the legal requirement, e.g., is it OK to omit the source link when
an author may explicitly request a source to be linked to?
Here's how I think this question should be decided:
* Hard legal requirements are non-negotiable;
* Legal and the community at large should be a partner in defining what
good attribution practices (beyond hard requirements) should look like, so
a recommendation from legal or repeatedly expressed community wishes that
are not a dealbreaker from a UX perspective should be taken seriously into
My recommendation: Add the link(s) (including the source link if it
contains a URL), if you're concerned about link precision, throw some
mobile user tests at it and see if it actually causes a problem --
abbreviate if needed. But I'm OK with a different outcome, with full
consideration to the above issues.
I don't think that's actually very complicated, though getting abbreviation
and potential layout explosions from rich HTML content right while
retaining basic links may be the biggest development cost. Gergo / the MM
team may have some advice on how to handle it.
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation