Tag Archives: Plagiarism

The Problem of Attribution Erosion

The Problem of Attribution Erosion

Attribution ErosionThink about your favorite joke. Who told it do you or where did you read it? Who told that person? Who originally came up with it (assuming it was just one person)?

Odds are you have no idea who originally thought of your favorite joke or how it was created at all. You have no idea if it evolved from an earlier joke, how any such evolution took place or who added what along the way.

That’s because jokes are an excellent example of the idea of attribution erosion.

The basic rule of attribution erosion is simple:

The More Times a Work Changes Hands, The More Likely Attribution is Going to Be Missing, Incorrect or Incomplete

This is pretty much a fact of life and not something that can be easily changed. Every copy or retelling of a work is imperfect and the more times something is copied, the more likely attribution will be destroyed.

While it’s a simple idea and fairly easy to grasp, the implications of attribution erosion for creators who want to be credited for their work are very important.Continue Reading