Moral rights is one of the core values which used to be defended at
least in the past, at least by a few community members. Things are
changing so quickly these days that I can be sure of nothing, but it
seems to be still the case today as shown on
with wording such as "retain the right to be attributed" and "I
reserve the option to take action against anyone who uses this work in
a libelous way, or in violation of personality rights" (personnality
rights might be something a little different from authorship's moral
rights, but the respect of personality rights is also a way of showing
respect to universal human dignity)
It is even more clear with the French version of that template at
with the wording "je suis conscient de toujours jouir des droits
extra-patrimoniaux sur mon œuvre" which is synonymous with "I don't
waive the moral rights I own on my work".
In particular, I remember the following talk we had on the French
village pump where we discussed whether it was cruel to require people
to agree with the Declaration of consent for all enquiries, with some
people expressing that what we are asking them to agree with is too
harsh, some of them ending up not wanting to agree to more than a NC
(Non Commercial) license :
My view is that with a standard GFDL 1.2 or CC-BY-SA 1.0 there is a
middle ground with some rights waived and some rights reserved, even
if they allow commercial use.
I think it is important to convey throughout the reuse chain the
feeling that the reusers are grateful to the content creator for
having created the content. And that gratefulness or recognition (that
someone did a good work, or an average work, but in all events, a work
good enough for reuse) is expressed by attribution.
There is also another line of doctrine which says that attribution is
a tribute, which is the symbolic price paid for the work by the
reuser. Under that doctrine, a free work would no longer be called a
"free as free beer" work, but a symbolically paid work. A long time
ago, people used to pay works with wikimoney. It may look a bit
childish, or a waste of time, but I think the symbolic message of
wikimoney is great :
. Is conveying gratefulness feelings to other human beings a waste of
I think reusers should keep in their minds that the wikimoney is the
attribution. If you attribute the work correctly and follow all the
other license's requirements (like adding a link to the legal code on
website) you are symbolically paying some
wikimoney for the work.
But I think it is not possible to promote such values and at the same
time be friends with the people who create and promote the CC Zero
I think it is extremely embarassing to see the Creative Commons
website promote CC Zero for the Open Clip Art library. What wrong have
SVG graphic designers done to be treated in such a harsh way ?
Enabling anybody to build upon their work with no duty to share alike
? Enabling anybody to reuse their work without crediting them ? Why
isn't there anybody defending them ? Don't they deserve that minimal
symbolic payment that is attribution ?
Are they such under-citizens that they don't even deserve the minimal rights ?
I also think it is difficult to be friends with Open Street View,
given the so strange way they use a creative commons attribution
license. Attribution means providing the name that identifies the
creator personally. Writing the sentence "Individual OSM mappers do
not request a credit over and above that to “OpenStreetMap
contributors” " is an act of dehumanization. They don't actually
request this. They are compelled to choose between agreeing with this
harsh treatment or not participate at all. They are never asked what
they really want, if they would like to be personally attributed or
not. And they are never taught that as a human being they deserve that
minimal recognition feeling which is attribution.
If you don't teach people that they have rights, they will never be
able to be strong and defend themselves.
So there is a big need to educate people that as content creators,
they have the right to be attributed.