I'm looking for an open source license that lets people do whatever they want - just like the MIT license - just as long as they attribute the original author, i.e. me.
Does a common license exist for this? If so, what is it?
The MIT License itself says:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
Just make sure to put your own name in the "above copyright notice".
The Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License (or WTFPL) is very close to what you're looking for. It is only lacking attribution.
It sounds like a joke license, but it's approved as GPL-compatible by the FSF.
You could just add a bit to the license requesting attribution, but I'm no lawyer so I don't know if that would fly in court. What are the odds of a court case over your project?
Actually it does contain a copyright notice. and therefore attribution
The GPL has a history of confusing folks and scaring them off. The Apache License is more straightforward and probably what you want.