On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111(a)gmail.com>wrote;wrote:
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:24 AM, Anthony
People have a right to be credited, and printing
a URL in a
book or on a T-shirt or at the end of a movie doesn't cut it.
1) Why doesn't a URL to a comprehensive history list "cut it"? If
anything, I would prefer the URL be used instead of a simple list of
pseudonyms because the URL will contain the revision history and will
display not only who has edited the page, but also the magnitude of
As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be available.
I think it's a bit more than that, though. The credit should be part of the
work itself, not external to the work. When you're talking about a website,
it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a work
can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both kept
nearly 100% reliable). None of these three things are true with books,
T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).
Also, the URL doesn't cut out only 5 of the
authors from the list when a reuser adds a title page
all credit from the vast majority of contributors).
I don't think crediting only 5 authors cuts it either. I think anyone who
has made any significant contribution should be credited. I think there's
some grey area as to what is considered "significant", but that grey area
has nothing to do with the number of authors.
2) Printing a small list of pseudonyms of the back of a T-shirt is no
more helpful then the illegible legal disclaimers on
Frankly, I don't understand the point of printing a Wikipedia article on a
T-shirt in the first place. This is a stupid example I include only for the
sake of completeness, because others keep bringing it up.
Sure they satisfy the letter of the law but certainly violate it's
spirit. A small comma-separated list tacked on to the
end of a printed
version, or scribbled on the bottom of a coffee cup may satisfy the
letter of the attribution clause, but certainly does not satisfy it's
How many authors is a coffee cup going to have? Again, I don't understand
why coffee cups are even a consideration.
Is it really better to have a list of authors that may
illegible, not-searchable and not-sortable?
I certainly would consider it to be a violation of rights if the list of
authors were illegible. If you can't fit the authors legibly on the work,
then you can either 1) get special permission from the authors, or 2) write
your own damn content. That's how rights work. You don't violate someone's
rights just because it's convenient to violate them.
Wouldn't attribution be
better handled by a well-designed web interface? Is it
reusers to determine what is the best way to give credit, when we can
give credit in a very positive and well thought-out way and let
reusers simply tap into that?
I think reusers should determine what the best way is to give credit.
However, if they can't meet a minimal standard, then they ought to not use
the work at all.
If you think a URL meets that minimal standard, then I guess we've reached
an impasse. I think it's quite clear that it doesn't, though. Not without
the authors *explicit* consent.