[TOS] Textbook: author attribution

Greg DeKoenigsberg gdk at redhat.com
Wed Mar 24 15:17:54 UTC 2010

On Wed, 24 Mar 2010, Matthew Jadud wrote:

> If you borrow and edit a large chunk of someone else's text, are you
> an "author?" Were they an "co-author" of the book?
> I think, when borrowing, you should acknowledge the lift at the end of
> the chapter where the borrowing took place, and perhaps duplicate that
> in an overall ack at the end of the text. This acknowledges their
> contribution, but they are not directly a contributor to the new,
> unique work that the book you're writing represents. Therefore, I
> don't think they would be "co-authors" in the traditional sense. (Yes,
> this isn't "traditional," but at some point you might want an ISBN,
> and you don't want librarians to have a brain hemmorage when you try
> and put something on them that doesn't fit Dublin Core. They will make
> it fit, regardless of any new ideas you throw at them...)
> I would leave "co-authors" of the text to mean "people who contributed
> *directly* to the assembly of the artifact you are calling a book." If
> there are people who don't fit the title of author, add a Colophon a
> la many O'Reilly texts, where you acknowledge the editors, anyone who
> does design work on the book, the tools used, etc. I don't think that
> the re-use of CC-licensed text necessarily means that the original
> author had any creative input into The Work that the new
> book/article/etc. represents.

All right, this is a good articulation of that funny feeling in my gut. 

> When you freeze and go to SVN, I'll be glad to provide editing support, 
> if you want someone to do a front-to-back read of the text. I'm on 
> spring break, and can break free a few hours to go straight through. 
> Username "jadudm" is preferred for SVN, if this is desired in the next 
> day or two.

Actually, I'd prefer that this happen on the wiki.  Once we've gone to 
SVN, we're essentially final.  If you could go through a full read on 
Thursday evening or Friday morning, though, of the draft tagged 
"0.8-FINALEDIT", that would be perfect.


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