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Ensure that creative works are properly credited to the authors by building the infrastructure needed to automate the process of attribution.
Jonas Oberg
Identity Verified
2 Team Members

Video is great, and the need is URGENT!

- Lawrence Lessig


What do we want to do?

We believe that all creators deserve to get credit for the works they publish. Our goal is to make it easy and automatic to attribute a digital work, for instance when it is used in popular web and blog platforms such as Wordpress and Drupal. We want to do this by persistently associate attribution (and licensing) information with the digital work itself. This will ensure that, even when a work is shared, information of who created it remains.

We want to take the video we published above, which shows the importance and relevance of metadata for this, and translate it into additional langauges to increase the outreach. We have a list of languages which we'd like to do, either as a voiceover in that language, or with subtitling. We'll do more subtitles than voiceovers.

These are the primary languages for voiceovers:

  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • German

In addition, we want to subtitle in:

  • Afrikaans
  • Russian
  • French
  • Dutch

.. and many more.

What we will do that we need money for

We're taking the first steps towards creating the technology required to embed attribution and licence information within a digital work, in a standardised way. There are a lot of things that we need to go on the way there:

  • create more videos, like the one above, to show the need for crediting,
  • create infographics showing the difference metadata and crediting can make,
  • create prototypes of tools and demonstrate their use at events and through webcasts and publicity campaigns,
  • work with industry to encourage convergence around single standards, as well as the community and other organisations, like Creative Commons, to ensure that we're all so that we're all pulling in the same direction,
  • create use cases and white papers to show the result of our work,
  • create a best practice guide that explains what standard to use,
  • make things move!

We'll start with making the video above more useful and available to more people. The cost for this is ca $2,500 per language in which we do a voiceover. We want to do three such voiceovers.

We'll do one language per $2,500 we receive in the campaign. If we receive more than $10,000 (four languages), we'll do another video focused on the importance of attribution and do THAT movie in four languages.

Why is attribution important?

Regardless of if you are in favour of copyright or against the entire notion (or more likely, somewhere in between), a large part of the value of a work lies in the reputation of its author. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook build heavily on reputation. Glyn Moody has written an article in which he claims that reputation transcends licensing and even copyright. Rudolf Ammann has shown in his PhD thesis that crediting each other for links was a big reason for blogging really taking off. Dan Schwabel, in 2011, wrote in Forbes about the reputation economy. Wired has also written about it and Rachel Botsman gave a TED talk about how the currency of the new economy is trust.

There is a lot that can be gained from having correct and accurate crediting of digital works, and we want to make sure that when people see a work used online for which no author is given, they should be thinking "Hey, there's something missing here."

Who are we?

I'm Jonas Öberg, Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation. Prior to joining the Shuttleworth Foundation, I worked for Creative Commons as a regional coordinator in Europe. I have seen first hand the problems people face with attribution when using works in the Commons. I have also heard photographers say that they do not care if their work is copied far and wide through social networks, as long as they at least get credit.

Before I worked with Creative Commons, I was a lecturer in software engineering, the vice president of the Free Software Foundation Europe and a long term supporter of free culture and free software.

Joining me in my thinking is Inger Sundberg, Peter Liljenberg and Viktor Eklund.

Inger is a long-term activist for free culture with a background in English and currently working on her second masters degree, this time in library and information science.

Leaving work as a software architect at G2, Peter has joined us as s senior software engineer. He will lead the development, and he will start by diving into the technology developed by Creative Commons. He is going to start his work in this way in order to ensure that we build upon what has already been done.

Viktor works with us one day a week as a financial assistant, ensuring that our books are up to date and that we are able to account for what we do with our money.

Other Ways You Can Help

Please help us by giving a link to this page to your friends, help us get the word out about the campaign! You can also help us by raising awareness of that there is something called metadata that is super useful, or (once we get to that) help us actually implement this. You can sign up for more news at our web site or get in touch with us by mailing jonas@shuttleworthfoundation.org

If you're a bachelor or master student looking for a thesis topic, we have several interesting options for this. Have a look at our call for bachelor/master students, or get in touch.

If you're a developer looking to help out, we'll most likely do the initial work and communication on Creative Commons' development mailing list. Join us there!

Want something that work today?

Open Attribute is the best option for making attributing a Creative Commons-licensed work easier today. It works with browsers and content management platforms and is currently the best way to approach the issue of attribution without going the full length towards embedded metadata.

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
6% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 30, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    Your name on display

    We'll put your name down as a contributor of the software we contribute to, or develop. In this way, your name will always be part of the source code when someone downloads it. It's not much, but it's eternal!

    6 claimed
  • $40USD
    Stickers galore

    We're making super-cool transparent stickers with our logo for the project. They'll fit perfectly on your laptop or any other flat surface!

    5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $50USD
    Your image metadata-ified

    As an early adopter of our technology, you'll no doubt want your own images filled with good juicy metadata! We'll do the honours for you: you'll be one of the first ever to have an image of yourself, your significant other, favourite pet etc, with our best practice metadata attached.

    1 claimed
  • $200USD
    Tin man on a t-shirt

    Not only are we making stickers, but we're also making super-cool t-shirts. If you're one of the first and lucky, you might get a rare edition where even *we* made an error in the attribution!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $800USD
    Your name in infographics

    We'll create infographics, whitepapers, use cases, and other demonstrators as part of our work. Your name will be used in one of those demonstrators to illustrate the need for metadata and attribution.

    0 out of 20 claimed
  • $2,000USD
    Your name on a character

    We use quite a few characters in our videos and you can now be one of them! We'll put your name on one of the characters used!

    0 out of 4 claimed
  • $3,000USD
    Training & support

    If you're interested in implementing support for this technology in your own product, we'll help you do it. This perks give you the software and half a weeks help and training (delivered by email and/or phone) to get you up and running.

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    You, the star

    Not only are we going to put your name in an animated video, but we'll make sure that our star carries your name *and* work together with our production company to find or create a character that bears your likeness. How cool is that? You, the star.

    0 out of 2 claimed
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