Open Attribute, a simple way to attribute CC-licensed works on the web

Jane Park, February 7th, 2011

Open Attribute, “a suite of tools that makes it ridiculously simple for anyone to copy and paste the correct attribution for any CC licensed work,” launched today with browser add-ons for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The add-ons “query the metadata around a CC-licensed object and produce a properly formatted attribution that users can copy and paste wherever they need to.”

If you use our license chooser and copy and paste the resulting HTML code into your website, then you’re pretty much good to go. Anyone who uses the Open Attribute browser add-on to query your site will automatically receive a formatted HTML or plain text attribution that they can copy and paste to give you the proper credit.

Open Attribute uses CC REL metadata found in the pages to generate the attribution metadata. You might remember that we developed a guide with real examples to make CC REL metadata much easier to implement: CC REL by Example contains example HTML pages, as well as explanations and links to more information. If you’re curious to see how Open Attribute pulls the metadata, the guide includes a specific section on Attributing Reuses.

Open Attribute is a direct result of the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival held last year in Barcelona on Learning, Freedom and the Web. See Molly Kleinman’s post for a more comprehensive run-down of the origins and team behind Open Attribute.

6 Responses to “Open Attribute, a simple way to attribute CC-licensed works on the web”

  1. Jason says:

    Love the idea but it doesn’t work on any site I’ve tried it on (including !) using Google Chrome. Also tried it on and my own website.

    Looking forward to a functional version of this, tho!

  2. Jane Park says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the info. Please help Open Attribute log bugs at

    I found the Chrome add-on to work for, fyi.


  3. Wondering if “Data” mightn’t be a useful “format” option to add.

    Also wondering whether one has to have “BY” in the CC licence. What if one doesn’t want things attributed?

  4. Richard,

    CC licenses without BY were dropped because 98% of people chose BY, providing opportunity to reduce number of core licenses and corresponding complexity and interoperability problems from 11 to 6. You can’t add restrictions to a CC license, but you can always waive requirements, so you could use eg CC BY-SA and stipulate that attribution is not required.

  5. HI–I often refer people to Creative Commons for images,and we’re often stumped by the format of an attribution that credits the creator and should be used within the user’s presentation. Please advise.