One of the hallmarks of the copyright industry is the use of the @copy; symbol, and later on, the Creative Commons badges. The latter offers a link back to the license itself, while both reinforce the concept of copy protection. The Attribution Engine, desc rived in this post, does the same thing, but is linked to a mechanism giving credit to the original artist. Nice, right? Well no – in reality, they’re no different from the Pinterest or Flickr logos that appear over embedded photos – they use the photo as advertising for some service, which in turn reaps the benefit of the traffic and exposure. Look at how MediaChain’s Attribution Engine awards credit. Fully two thirds of the visible credit belongs to themselves and Creative Commons. What would really give credit is a link back to the source of the image (like this: Image by Ryan Hafey). I believe in attribution, not in unearned advertising for third parties.