Today's #unpopular #opinion:

#Attribution is overrated

What I agree with about attribution:
- It shouldn't be lied about who the author of the work is, in the same way in which lying about anything is bad.
- In the current economical framework, requirement of attribution is a little more justified for free as in freedom works, as an alternative reward for direct money. BUT by requiring an attribution, the artist is still dealing with #business -- they're buying an ad, just not with money, but with time invested in creating the ad. In this sense I find such works not purely independently created #art, but largely a product of the #market.
- Asking for attribution is totally okay as long as it is not a legal requirement of the license.
- It is a good habit to attribute works that you extensively reused if it is not a big hassle, no matter the license conditions. I always try to do this.

The main points why I think it's overrated and why everything should be public domain ( #CC0 ):
  • The fact that attribution is not required legally doesn't mean it won't be attributed. In fact most people naturally do this, even with #publicdomain works. It is not like people are waiting for an opportunity to use a work without giving credit, there is no gain to such behavior. Not even in the commercial world!
  • The idea of "everything has to be owned by someone" is a product of the """intellectual property""" #propaganda, and leaks to the #freeculture world. The #copyright cancer makes us believe we own any piece of fart (#pun intended) we involuntarily produce in order to participate in a lottery of "this can go viral and you can become rich just by chance". That makes us believe we have to sign under everything just in case. In fact, as #freeculture argues, this copyright lottery has a lot of very wrong side effect that make the net result negative. Let's not support this.
  • One the side effects is that a required attribution creates real problems in practice. Creating a work based on many other works (personal experience: a Minetest texture pack) adds a lot of hassle, and requires the artist to keep a mile long list of every small work they used for any brush and small chunks of pixels or audio samples, with proper attribution format each individual artist requires. That is discouraging to creating new art and takes a bit of the precious energy of the artist away, making them not be able to fully concentrate on the art. A small mistake in such list makes you infringe on copyright as if you simply """pirated""" the work. For this reason, I personally filter out all free content that is not in public domain when creating derivative works -- so if you create an amazing work but license it CC-BY, I won't ever even see it.
  • If the work is really great and does go viral, the original author will absolutely most certainly be found and credited even without an attribution requirement. Why? Simply because people are curious and do want to support that person to create more such work. It is society's interest to find the true author in order to make them create more great work. The fact that authorship can be stolen changes nothing about the requirement of attribution -- it can be stolen either way (and that is wrong).
  • Love for creating art is a prerequisite for being an artist, and so the creative process is always a reward in itself. The net gain of creating art is therefore always positive for the artist, unlike as for example a factory worker, who hates their #job and has to be compensated with #money for doing it. The artist should require no compensation, which the attribution (an ad) represents. The fact that no one pays artists unless they fight for money is just a fault of #capitalism. So the attribution requirement may be a necessity at this specific moment, but we should admit that it is a hotfix of a faulty system and this should be eliminated eventually.
  • Requiring attribution is saying I need attention. If you want attention, don't do art (in a broad sense, such as programming, math, ...). Start a food blog at #instagram.
So please, dear #freeculture friend, next time you #share your work, please consider the #CC0 option, as I do :-)