When do you give attribution?
The Copyright Act is almost totally silent on the point of “attribution” (when, why, and how to give the author of a work credit). This is almost certainly due to the purpose of copyright law
, which is not necessarily about helping a creators gain fame from their work or preserving the artistic integrity of their work.
Crediting an author of a work you use may strengthen a “fair use” argument. Also, crediting the author may be necessary if it’s required by the work’s license, such as a Creative Commons license
If your use is fair, the law doesn’t require you to credit the person who you copied from. Crediting is just a moral, ethical, and professional imperative. But it can also stave off legal trouble. If you don’t credit the original author
, you may anger her and motivate her to sue you, even if she will lose.
If you have questions about when, how, and why you should attribute work that you borrow from, feel free to contact New Media Rights via our contact form to find out whether you qualify for free or reduced fee legal services. We also offer competitive full fee legal services on a selective basis. For more information on the services we provide click here.