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The right way to build on others' creations

You may think you're an original but you're wrong. You may have labored long and hard to realize an idea, but 'nothing comes from nothing.' Claiming sole credit will never win you long-term supporters. 

  • Be grateful that people are showing you the way.
  • Be mindful that they recognized their ideas in your work. 
  • Be careful to share credit as much as possible.

Huffington Post: The "Imbecile" and "Moron" Responds: On the Freedoms of Remix Creators, 2010-Oct-15, by Lawrence Lessig

Second, I said that we needed to develop better norms to govern remix creativity. Obviously, professional filmmakers since the beginning of film have incorporated the film work of others in their film (or if not from the beginning, it would be really cool to know who was the first). But the norm that developed among filmmakers was to ask for permission first. That norm, I believe, makes no sense in the current context of remix creativity. ...

But even if permission isn't required, I do believe attribution should be. Not legally, but morally. Too often, in my view, remix creators feel that "fair use" means no obligation to be decent. I don't believe that. I believe that if someone uses someone else's work, even if the law says that use is "fair," the remix creator should acknowledge the work she remixes, by giving attribution somewhere in the work.