Image courtesy of the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Foundation
Painting entitled: Ballet Dancers
Shared under the Creative Commons attribution
Creative Attribution. Giving credit where credit is due. You may notice, I always post where I get my pictures for my blog, even if it is from the Internet Hive Mind or Facebook posts. Creative attribution is important, not only because it is the (copyright) law, but by acknowledging the hard work of others you encourage them to continue and others to attempt.
Copyright is important. Economic and sociological studies have shown that in countries where people have their property protected from confiscation, physical or intellectual property, they are more likely to create beyond bare needs. If people don't realize any gain from the hard work of creation, planting crops or developing software for example, they aren't going to continue doing it. They are going to pour effort into those items where they or their family has gain, or at least meets the necessities.
At the end of the day, the priorities for people are food and shelter. If their work does not gain these items, and they have no other means of gaining them, they will switch work ... or die.
A no-brainer decision.
If they have food and shelter, and leftover time beyond that, they may invest it in creative activities which don't put food on the table. But if they have a choice between creative activities with different levels of profit, so they can get luxury items like clothing, Internet, and transportation, they will choose toward the greatest profit and personal enjoyment. For some people, like painters, the personal enjoyment comes from the activity.
By always acknowledging the personal efforts of people, and following the copyright levels they choose, you are supporting them ... and they will create more cool stuff. Modern life allows a lot of free time, granting people the ability to post stuff online just to give away. Wikipedia is just one of the phenomena related to modern life's free time.
In closing, I would like to mention posting the Creative Attribution is just good manners. Like writing a thank you note. Someone took the effort to make something you can use for free. Putting their name to it is a big thank you shout out.
Needless to say, this subject is important to me ... as an painter, calligrapher, editor, writer, and embroiderer. I do a lot of free stuff I share; I also do a lot of stuff just to keep a roof over my head. Thank you for recognizing my work, for buying those things I do sell, and for sharing what I give away for free. I appreciate it. Without you, I would be doing my arts a lot less.