Seven years ago I started working on MozCC, an add-on for Firefox that
exposed Creative Commons license information embedded in web pages.
Little did I know that add-on would be the start of a career with CC,
eventually leading me to San Francisco, and subsequently around the
globe to talk about CC’s technology. MozCC was dropped from active
maintenance somewhere around Firefox 3, but of the tools I built during
my first couple years at CC, it’s the one I still get the most questions about.
This summer, Igor Lukanin
on a Google Summer of Code project for CC to develop a replacement for
MozCC, an add-on for Firefox that would expose license and attribution
information. While the project wasn’t totally successful, it did produce
an add-on that detected CC licenses in pages, and exposed details about them.
Last month I had the opportunity to attend Learning, Freedom, and the
Web, the first Mozilla
Drumbeat Festival, in Barcelona, Spain. One of
the issues identified by attendees was that, while there are plenty of
works being licensed under CC licenses, knowing how to properly
attribute re-use is still a challenge. How many times have we seen
presentations made up of beautiful photos, with a simple “CC licensed,
Flickr” under each (if that)? The proposed solution was an attribution
tool that would generate reasonable attribution for CC licensed works,
based on information available.
I’ve spent the past month or so hacking on Igor’s code in my spare time,
using it as the basis of an attribution generator for Firefox. The
result is OpenAttribute (working
by the Drumbeat group), which is available for testing on Firefox 3.6
and above (I’ve been testing with 3.6 and 4.0b8 on Linux). As Dame
sang, this is
“all just a little bit of history repeating.”
OpenAttribute is an add-on that displays a small “CC” icon in the URL
bar when license information is present. Clicking that icon displays the
page’s license information and, importantly, copy and paste HTML you can
use to attribute the work. You can click the “More Information” button
to display the details on licensed objects in the page.
There’s still work to be done, but at this point I think it’s ready for
broader testing. You can download the
and find the code
on github. Feedback, questions, suggestions should all probably go to
the attrib-generator Google
|tags:||add-on, cc, drumbeat, firefox, mozcc, OpenAttribute