[Foundation-l] Proposed revised attribution language

Tim Landscheidt tim at tim-landscheidt.de
Fri Mar 20 08:57:48 UTC 2009

Michael Peel <email at mikepeel.net> wrote:

>> Can we please drop the nonsense that a URL is "no attribution at
>> all" in
>> an offline context? I've made this point before, but URLs do not
>> suddenly become devoid of meaning just because you're using a medium
>> where you can't follow a hyperlink. I could just as soon say that
>> print
>> media aren't acceptable sources for Wikipedia articles because you
>> can't
>> check them by following a hyperlink, it's the same logic. We allow
>> references that adapt the conventions of other media to our
>> context, we
>> should allow people using other media the same privilege in
>> adapting our
>> conventions to their context.

> The issue, from my point of view*, is that they do "suddenly become
> devoid of meaning" as soon as those links stop working. This can
> happen for a number of reasons, including article moves, deletions,
> and (<insert deity> forbid) wikipedia.org going away. There are no
> guarantees that I'm aware of that the links will continue to work for
> even a decade, let alone the full length of copyright (and, given the
> tendency to attribute authors even for PD works, afterwards).

> On the other hand, a local copy of the author list (normally) stays
> accessible as long as the work does.
> [...]

Is this problem really exclusive to online references? I'd
guess there is plenitude of author references to "[...] et
al." (or none at all) out there that cannot be resolved
without access to a catalog or the source material itself
and become "devoid of meaning" at the latest when these re-
sources are destroyed or not accessible.

  If the shards of a coffee mug with a URL attribution get
excavated 100 years in the future, I think a bit of research
on the part of the archaeologists can be asked for.


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