May 17, 2011


To those who are not aware of it (yet), there IS something known as ‘attribution’.

What is it? definition:
Verb – (Usually followed by to)
-       to regard as belonging (to), produced (by), or resulting (from); ascribe (to): to attribute a painting to Picasso

“Attribution in copyright law, is the requirement to acknowledge or credit the author of a work which is used or appears in another work.” Simply put, it means you know and accept the fact that something you’re using belongs to/originated from someone else.

What is it for?
“Attribution is often considered the most basic of requirements made by a license, as it allows an author to accumulate a positive reputation that partially repays their work and prevents others from claiming fraudulently to have produced the work. It is widely regarded as a sign of decency and respect to acknowledge the creator by giving him/her credit for the work.”
So perhaps I should take it that you don’t have either of those – decency and respect?

Why am I saying this now?
Well, let’s face it. I know that you could never have come up with something that bloody smart. Who are you trying to kid, seriously? Besides, I’ve read far too many forwards, quotes, articles online (and offline), books; watched enough (and more) of television shows, movies (and the like) to have plenty of the (un)common sense to separate the what-you-want-to-be-passed-off as your statement to THE original. So quit acting like you came up with a funny/smart/witty/philosophical/thought-provoking one. It’s sad. Really.

I know it’s not mine. But I don’t know who said it, you know…
Yea, yea. I know.
That’s why you could do a simple thing. Google. (By the way, does anyone know if “Google” has been accepted as a verb in some dictionary yet?) You can always find the source (and suffix it at the end).

But what if I can’t find out who said it?
Simple. Put it in “quotes” (like that!). It implies that you’re quoting someone (thought that ‘someone’ may not be obvious). You could fix ‘anon’ at the end too, you know.
(NOW, I’m reminded of a joke I read somewhere –
Q. The greatest no. of quotes was said by one person. Who?
Ans. Anon
Yea, it is funny. I’m sorry you don’t share my splendid sense of humour!)

Note: Attribution can be to any piece of work – photographs, music, sketches/paintings, etc. etc.

I am irritated beyond words when I see someone shamelessly copy-paste some smart line (especially for status messages/updates) and then have to see them graciously accept all the “wow!”, “nice!”, “great!”, “what a thought!” sorta comments, without ever considering to correct the rather mistaken (but favourable) notions of the viewers. They come out with a sheepish I-knew-it-all-the-while dialogue (or try to put on that air) if someone (like me!) corrects them. My ire is directed towards these set of people, as also to those who “promote” this nonsense inspite of seeing it in quotes (Didn’t you really notice it, OR are you just plain stupid?).

P.S. Now that I’ve calmed down, here’s a thought: All these great forwards (noun) that we ridiculously/thoughtlessly forward (verb)…who comes up with those?
Waitaminnit…I know…ANON! 


Siby P said...

Nice one..I agree with u totally on this one..I can see that some folks are giving u a lot of Food for Thought for blogs huh..keep it up..:)

Vijitha Valsalan said...

@ Siby - Thank you! :-)

Dhanya said...

I totally agree! The number of copied SMs I see on FB without any attribution is countless. One minute I'm seeing this quote on Twitter and the next thing I know I'm seeing it on Facebook with the person passing it off as his/her own. Another "in" thing nowadays is to write the quote in your own words. And everyone goes "wow", "fantastic", "so thought provoking" when the actuality is that it is not even original. So annoying!

Spaceman Spiff said...

What brought on the sudden rant? Did someone 'steal' from you? :)

Vijitha Valsalan said...

@ Dhanya - Precisely!

@ Divya - Nopes. I don't think I write any "steal-worthy" stuff! :-D
It's just that I see too many of this kind these days!