Readers of this blog know how critical I can be of Creative Commons, the non-profit organization that crafts pre-made, standardized license agreements for creative works.
Or rather, how critical I can be of Creative Commons users. I quite like Creative Commons itself. My trouble has been with downstream folks who struggle with the fact that CC-tagged content is not public domain. CC-licensed works are frequently misattributed, with creators going unrecognized and users potentially running afoul of copyright law.
No one is more aware of the misattribution problem than Creative Commons itself, evidently. Today the organization released a new interactive license-generator that bends over backwards to provide detailed, machine-readable attribution information. Consider the new metadata input tool:
Content creators can easily embed customized attributions into the license metadata. This tool cannot stop willful infringements, of course, but those were never the primary trouble with CC anyway. Rather, the new tool marks an important step towards stemming the fuzzy tide of inadvertent, lazy, and deadline-induced misattribution. With CC-licensed material emerging on the internet pre-tagged, automating the attribution, we're now that much closer to a technological fix for Creative Commons' most persistent weakness.