Attribution (copyright)

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Creative Commons license symbol for attribution.

Attribution in copyright law, is acknowledgement as credit to the copyright holder or author of a work.

Attribution is often considered as the most basic requirements in the usage of the works of others, with a long tradition in the scientific community and academia.

If attribution is required by a license, it prevents others from claiming fraudulently to own the work and allows a copyright holder to accumulate a positive reputation that partially repays their losses. In cases when copyright holder is author himself it is regarded as a sign of decency and respect to acknowledge the creator by giving him/her credit for the work.

Copyright holder attribution

The most fundamental form of attribution is the statement of the copyright holder's identity, often in the form Copyright © [year] [copyright holder’s name]. The preservation of such a notice was an invariable requirement to prevent a work entering the public domain; this changed in the United States of March 1, 1989 when the requirement of copyright registration and copyright signment was ended. Copyright holder attribution is in most countries in the world not required, due to Berne convention.

Author attribution

Author attribution is required by several licenses, such as the open content Creative Commons licenses[1] and most open-source software licenses like the MIT permissive license. Open content licenses without the requirement for author attribution are Public domain equivalent licenses, like CC0.

See also


  1. ^ Creative Commons, FAQ

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