[FM Discuss] the nature of authorship
jmswisher at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 15:44:35 PDT 2009
I agree that licensing had little effect on the two book sprints under
discussion -- the background of the participants played a much larger
role. If the Firefox sprint had used GPL, I think we would have gotten
the same questions about using and crediting other people's work. If
the FSF sprint had used CC, it might have raised some eyebrows and
lost a few ideological participants, but I suspect the overall dynamic
would have been the same.
As Greg alludes, I don't think technical writers have a strong sense
of "authorship", because they rarely get authorship credit. In the
days of traditional manual production, there might have been a sense
within a tech writing team that the "Widget X" manual was "Bob's book"
while the "Widget Y" manual was "Mary's book". With the growth of
single-sourcing and topic-based production, that culture is fading.
However, techwriters do have a strong awareness of copyright -- that
their employers' is to be protected and that others' is to be
respected to keep the company out of trouble. That, combined with lack
of experience of open licenses, translates into a strong reluctance to
use others' work.
On Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 2:25 PM, Greg Urban <gjurban at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Adam:
> I'm not sure what 'romantic notion of authorship' is. Can you say more
> what that is?
> Are you talking about the popular image of an author as a creator?
> In my experience as a tech writer, I feel more like a construction worker.
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