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

RE: Important: Preserve Content Attribution

From: Eliot Graff <Eliot.Graff@microsoft.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 19:06:11 +0000
To: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
CC: "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CE3A5BFD1228D84A8D9C158EEC195FD53F62B94A@TK5EX14MBXW601.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
+1 to Chris' suggestion.

Requiring the selection of an attribution property at the time of topic creation--even if that is "no attribution"--and then locking down that property should work. We could make the property editable by an admin, though, for when and if it does need to change.

I also agree that a statement of our policy around licensing and attribution and the reasons that this encourages and protects content submission would make a fine blog post.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: Chris Mills [mailto:cmills@opera.com]
>Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:16 AM
>To: Doug Schepers
>Cc: public-webplatform@w3.org
>Subject: Re: Important: Preserve Content Attribution
>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
>> 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 19:06:44 UTC

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