W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > January 2013

Re: Important: Preserve Content Attribution

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 01:22:31 -0500
Message-ID: <50FA3BA7.7080101@w3.org>
To: "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Hi, folks-

As an addendum, it may be a good idea for us to investigate how we can 
make sure that attribution is preserved from removal by casual editors 
who aren't familiar with our policies.

There may also be other kinds of information or content that we want to 
be immutable, including any legal advice or security warnings.

I can think of 2 ways to manage this technically:

1) try to find a way to make certain blocks editable only by admins 
(with a template somehow?);

2) try to find how to make any edits to a particular block send out a 
notification to some watcher.

I don't know how feasible either of those approaches is... I welcome 
other thoughts.

In the meantime, maybe we could add some instructions in the template, 
that show up in the form, that warn people from changing the attribution 
without careful consideration.

Thoughts?

Regards-
-Doug

On 1/19/13 1:12 AM, Doug Schepers wrote:
> Hi, folks-
>
> There was a recently a slip-up in which some of the attribution on
> certain pages was removed; this has been corrected... no harm, no foul.
> But I thought it was a good idea to remind (or inform) everyone of the
> importance of attribution.
>
> Attribution is critical to this project, from a legal, practical, and
> motivational perspective.
>
>
> On the legal side, our license is CC-BY, or Creative Commons
> Attribution. When we agree to the site license, we all agree to honor
> this. Failing to provide attribution, or removing past attribution, is a
> violation of the letter and spirit of this license. Note that there are
> two exception to this:
>
> 1) things that only state facts, and not interpretation, are not
> protected by copyright, and are thus outside the bounds of licensing .
> But this line can be gray... a compilation of facts is protected by
> copyright if the selection and arrangement of the material is original;
> it's safer to provide and preserve attribution
>
> 2) if all the original material from a particular source has been
> excised from the article, attribution for that source can optionally be
> removed; in practice, however, we are only using this to deliberately
> simplify the license the article is available under, e.g., if the
> original content was under CC-BY-SA (Attribution and Share Alike), we
> might remove all the old material so it can be reused under CC-BY.
>
>
> On the practical side, attribution is used for fame and blame. Fame is
> praising the original contributor for their content, so people know who
> to credit and thank when they are reusing the content. Blame is the
> flip-side of the same coin... it helps users (and reusers) to evaluate
> any possibly bias on the part of the original contributor.
>
>
> On the motivational side, we are lucky enough to have many primary bulk
> contet contributors, and we hope to have large numbers of community
> contributors over time. Part of what motivates those contributors is the
> aforementioned well-deserved fame... remove that attribution, and you
> undermine motivation, and the project suffers; even people who don't
> want notoriety per se still have a sense of fairness, and may be
> discouraged if their contributions are not afforded equal treatment.
> This even affects people who are potential contributors... they see how
> contributions and attributions are handled, and that may affect their
> decision on whether they will start contributing.
>
>
> So, everyone, please remember not to remove existing attribution, and
> always give credit when adding content.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Developer Relations Lead
>
>
Received on Saturday, 19 January 2013 06:22:39 UTC

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