[Foundation-l] Proposed revised attribution language

Michael Peel email at mikepeel.net
Fri Mar 20 17:16:32 UTC 2009

On 20 Mar 2009, at 17:03, Ray Saintonge wrote:

> Michael Peel wrote:
>> On 20 Mar 2009, at 08:57, Tim Landscheidt wrote:
>>> 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.
>> I'm not talking about references to a text, I'm talking about a copy
>> of the text. That's completely different. Please, give me examples of
>> where text is reprinted with the authors attributed as "[...] et al."
>> or none at all.
> A copy of Wikipedia text is frequently used in eBay descriptions of
> books.  The attribution is simply to Wikipedia, and does not  
> progress so
> far as to say "[...] et al."  That's about as much as anyone could
> reasonably expect, no matter what the licence says.

I was meaning non-Wikipedia text, i.e. existing attribution methods  
for other works.

In the case of eBay, where the use is temporary, attribution by URL  
seems fine to me. Were it more permanent (e.g. a proper website, or a  
book), then attribution by author names would seem more appropriate.

> Only my own laziness and the economics of publishing prevent me from
> putting together a book of related Wikipedia articles.  (Maybe a
> wiki-guide to Vancouver in time for the upcoming Olympics.) If I did I
> could do so safely in the knowledge that no-one would sue me. For any
> author to expect otherwise is to suffer (to use Milos's appropriate
> term) from "bourgeois egotism."

That's an argument for clear rules, with no relation to attribution.  
A simple rule saying "if you use this text for that, attribute these  
authors" suffices and removes any doubt about anyone being sued.


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