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

Re: Important: Preserve Content Attribution

From: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 09:15:45 +0000
Cc: "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-Id: <C618A7D6-3D77-4151-A1AA-616FD0A62DA4@opera.com>
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>

Chris Mills
Opera Software, dev.opera.com
W3C Fellow, web education and webplatform.org
Author of "Practical CSS3: Develop and Design" (http://goo.gl/AKf9M)

On 19 Jan 2013, at 06:22, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org> wrote:

> 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.

Nice overview Doug, this kind of information might be interesting as blog post  hint hint ;-)

We could perhaps have a system whereby when an article is first added, the attribution information is a mandatory field for addition, addable by anyone, and then when they've finished  their addition (for now), it gives them a "finalise this article first draft, yes/no" meaning that the content is still editable, but certain information is locked down and only editable by admins, such as the attribution info...

> 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 09:16:16 UTC

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