After the recent discussion about image submissions through OTRS, I'm
putting my code where my mouth is:
CISS - the Commons Image Submission System
How it works: mail your images to
and the mails (and images, if you included any) will appear on the site above.
That, said, it doesn't work - yet! It's a partially working demo with
more flaws than I can count, so any help is welcome.
Some flaws in this version:
* Uses my email adr on the toolserver
* No upload to commons
* No answering to mails
* No mailing thread management
* No real thumbnails
* No mail deletion/closing/archiving
* No spam filter
* No flood prevention
Hell, it doesn't even sort mails by date yet!
Despite all this, it should demonstrate the ideas I have for that system.
Ideas? Comments? Coding support?
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 10:02:06 +0000
From: "Magnus Manske" <magnusmanske(a)googlemail.com>
Subject: Re: [Commons-l] CISS
To: "Wikimedia Commons Discussion List"
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
On some date, Mangus wrote:
>Thanks for the feedback, Ayelie!
>And, I might take you up on that CSS offer :-)
>P.S.: Does anyone know a way to easily allow Commons admins access to
>CISS (and restrict everyone else)? IMHO everyone should be able to
>have a look, but when it comes to uploading, we might want to limit
>this, otherwise it's completely anonymous mail-and-upload spam...
The obvious solution is user names and password, but that can't happen
with the toolserver, so
how about this:
*Admin puts md5 or sha sum of some secret word on there userpage
(possibly in a nice userbox, or maybe even display:none; so it doesn't
interfere with anything. Could use js to make generating it simple as
type in word, and out plops sum)
*Users use that secret word along with there username to log in to the tool.
Would that work?
Probably Germany residents will be interested to attend Richard
Stallman "Copyright vs. Community" speech in Jena, Germany.
I attended this speech in Santa Clara university and it was very
interesting. I even had insolence and sent couple suggestion about
speech improvement to Richard Stallman :-)
See http://www.fsf.org for more details.
There are also several other Richard Stallman's speeches in Europe.
I'm forwarding the following email I wrote to the OTRS mailing list,
since there may be people working on permissions-commons who are not
subscribed to the OTRS list.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Recently, I have been asked by OTRS agents working on
permissions-commons tickets in French language to create a subqueue
for tickets in French: it's easier to find tickets to process. So I
have created permissions-commons-fr as a subqueue of
permissions-commons. Note that this queue is non redundant with
permissions-fr, which is more specifically dedicated to permissions
for fr.wikipedia. There has been some ticket-move-warring between
permissions-commons and permissions-fr in the past, because some
people considered a ticket in French should be answered by French
people, and some considered it should be answered by people familiar
with Commons. Now there is a dedicated queue for French people
familiar with Commons.
This message is intended to people working on permissions-commons: if
you feel that your work would be made easier by having a dedicated
language subqueue, feel free to tell me and I'll create a similar
subqueue (I haven't made any statistics about the most used languages
in permissions-commons tickets).
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you
have imagined." Henry David Thoreau
Forwarded here at Mark's request (there's something odd in Mailman
that ate the last copy).
Any OTRS volunteers on this list? Please lend your Commons experience :-)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mark Pellegrini <mapellegrini(a)comcast.net>
Date: 11 Feb 2008 06:29
Subject: [Wmfcc-l] Photo submission queue needs more people
To: Communications Committee <wmfcc-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>, English
OTRS discussion list <otrs-en-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
I'd like to start this email off by saying that I think the photo
submission OTRS queue is working very well. Too well, in fact - it's
becoming clear that I cannot do it all by myself anymore. Yesterday, for
example, there were a series of anti-scientology protests across the
world. The wikinews article specifically encouraged people to submit
photos to the photo submission queue. When I went to tend the queue, it
had half-a-dozen emails containing in excess of 50 pictures.
I'd like a few (2-4) more people to have access to the photo submission
queue. But, I'd like those people to understand that unlike the rest of
OTRS (which is dominated by a desire to reply to emails as rapidly as
possible, using impersonal form replies that tell people how they can do
it themselves) the photo submission queue is designed explicitly to make
it easy for 3rd parties to submit photos to us. If you have a picture
you think we will want, email it to us and we'll do the rest of the
work.* (Note: to avoid the system becoming too popular, for the time
being I have explicitely limited it to people; however, this has not
stopped others from emailing in all sorts of things, from the
anti-scientology protests to someone's picture of his pet catfish) To
that end, the photo submissions queue typically requires substantially
more work for me (us) on a case-by-case basis. However, this system has
definite, tangible benefits over a do-it-yourself system (ticket
#2008012210019431, for example -- a guy emailed info-en with a photo and
received a two-page long list of steps to create an account and upload
it. Off-put, he emailed the photo submission queue and had a much nicer
experience) If anyone is interested in working on the photo submissions
queue, please reply to this and let me know. (Note: A working knowledge
of copyright issues is absolutely essential)
* - Provided your email includes a statement that you own the copyright
and agree to license it under a free license, preferably CC-BY-SA-3.0
Wmfcc-l mailing list
A Document Freedom Day is planned in late March, similar to Software
Freedom Day. I imagine some people here may be interested.
Presumably this is not the "first official accouncement" yet (so,
still don't treat as public info yet)...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Heather Ford <heather(a)icommons.org>
Date: 10 Feb 2008 08:49
Subject: [Icommons] Fwd: Invitation to join the Document Freedom Day 2008
remember please not to distribute this publicly just yet - its in the
prep phase -
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Georg C. F. Greve" <greve(a)fsfeurope.org>
Date: 08 February 2008 12:03:23 PM
Subject: Invitation to join the Document Freedom Day 2008
advocating Free Software towards various people and groups is often made
more difficult by their legacy of data lock-in. Migration to some seems
a choice of gaining their freedom by losing all their old data, and in
too many cases that is unfortunately true enough.
The logical answer to this are Open Standards that give everyone the
freedom to use, study and implement them. But most people don't know
much about this issue and generally don't take care to save their data
in ways that allow them to choose and live in freedom.
There has been some debate about this through the years, with particular
focus around the Open Document Format (ODF) due to current events.
In this group, people have been discussing the idea of a "Document
Freedom Day" for some time - and FSFE's Serbian team now jumped at the
possibility and took initiative for the Document Freedom Day, which will
advocate freedom of data in the area that everyone has a direct
relationship to -- documents -- to raise awareness about the principles.
The Document Freedom Day is planned as a complimentary activity to the
Software Freedom Day - so the two are placed six months apart: The first
Document Freedom Day will be held 26 March 2008.
The message of the DFD will be focussed on benefits of freedom in data
and formats, specifically the Open Document Format (ODF) and the
relevance of Open Standards.
You can find the (still rudimentary) web site at
and you are very much invited to join this effort as an organisation and
get personally involved.
If you know others who might have an interest in this activity, please
feel free to also invite them. But please avoid blogging about this
before the first official announcement, as we would prefer to add some
more information first.
With best regards,
Georg C. F. Greve <greve(a)fsfeurope.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe (http://fsfeurope.org)
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom! (http://www.fsfe.org)
What everyone should know about DRM (http://DRM.info)
iCommons Executive Director
The iCommons Summit: 29 July - 1 August 2008, Sapporo, Japan
Phone: +27 11 327 3155
PO Box 1453, Saxonwold, 2132, Johannesburg
Icommons mailing list
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
Yesterday, I exchanged a few e-mails with a professional photographer to
confirm the licencing status of some of his work on Commons. I discovered
someone willing to confirm the licence, but evidently quite disgruntled by
his experience of Commons. Two lessons can be learned from what I read:
1) We are victims of a paradox which forces us to be especially annoying
with the most precious of our occasional contributors.
A significant proportion of the high-quality photographs of celebrities
uploaded on Commons are copyvios. This forces us to be especially strident
with copyright issues towards well-meant photographers. Short of the most
courteous civility, repeated requests amount to downright harassment, and
may appear to question the word of the uploader.
I don't have a magic formula to break the paradox itself, but we should make
efforts to sensibilise our users:
* be extremely polite
* apologise for bothering people with seemingly superfluous paperwork
* apologise for seemingly doubting their word
* offer to help and advise personally if the user needs anything
* formulise the request in such a way that a simple "OK" from the user is
sufficient. Open-ended questions are creepy ("what next, my credit card
number ?") and bothering ("how many bleeding mails will I have to send
before they are content with what I gave them ?").
* assume that the user knows all of our rules. We are there to guide them.
* assume that the user is aware of problems that we encounter as Commons
administrators (typically, that most photographs that look like his are
2) There is definitely a trend of professional photographers to request
credits under the image in articles. This is what they are accustomed to.
I (and a few others) think that we should make efforts to sensibilise our
users to this. We can definitely afford to credit people in articles. This
is a small concession which costs us very little and can benefit us greatly.
I have recently been discussing a possible change in licensing for my future
The details of that discussion aren't important at the moment, but there is
one point I would like to raise before the larger community.
I was told by Lupo (whom I eminently respect) and others that adding binding
copyleft  provisions to my work would be incompatible with the concept of
"free works" that Commons employs. 
In broad terms, the kind of copyleft I was considering is the strongly viral
sort. Specifically, if you use this image, then the remainder of the
document/work that it appears in must be either have been released from
copyright or be placed under one of several acceptable copylefts (e.g. GFDL,
CC-BY-SA). It has always been my intention that this be applied in such a
way as to be compatible with Wikipedia, Citizendium, Encyclopedia of Earth,
other works published under copyleft.
Paradoxically, I was told that a requirement for making future works free is
itself "unfree", since Commons adopts the position that freedom must be
"available to anyone, anywhere, anytime" , and requiring copyleft on the
larger document unduly restricts who can use it and when.
One of this reasons this confuses me is because Stallman and the FSF already
consider the GFDL to be strongly viral. In specifics, their intent was that
the "aggregation" provisions of the GFDL be construed narrowly, and that all
other works be classed as "modified versions" such that the work as a whole
would be subject to copyleft. Specifically the aggregation provisions in
the GFDL says that a work may be combined "with other separate and
independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or
distribution medium... if the copyright resulting from the compilation is
not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what
the individual works permit."  They really intended this to be limited
to situations like seperate documents on hard drive, or seperate songs on
CD, where the relevant works are very clearly distinct and independent. It
is not legitimate, in the FSF opinion, to mix GFDL images or text with
materials that are less free than the GFDL in any single document.
As you may be aware, this is not the same as the position of Creative
Commons with respect to CC-BY-SA. Creative Commons considers their copyleft
to be much less viral and only apply to directly modified works. In other
words, the copyleft on CC-BY-SA images only requires a further copyleft on
modified images, and not on any of the accompanying materials. In
particular, you can mix CC-BY-SA images with generic copyrighted text,
without violating their terms.
This difference in viral degree reflects the different goals of the FSF vs.
CC, with the former focused on creating free content while the latter is
more focused on giving options to authors and changing the way copyright
works. You may also be aware that resolving this is one of the sticking
points in discussions to make the GFDL and CC-BY-SA compatible.
Having summarized the above, I consider my position as closely aligned with
the FSF interpretation of the GFDL. In other words I want free works to be
those that give rise to more free works by virally expanding copyleft. I've
been told that in effect this is not an acceptable goal for materials on
Commons. And by immediate extension that the FSF interpretation of the GFDL
is also essentially "unfree". (I will note that a strict application of the
GFDL copyleft would exclude the use CC-BY-SA on any page bearing GFDL
content, and in practice that is not the way Common/Wikimedia behaves.) It
is also worth noting that I already apply the FSF interpretation of the GFDL
with respect to the GFDL images I have published. In other words, I expect
and demand that reusers copyleft their documents when they incorporate my
GFDL images into them
So, I would like to get feedback from the community about whether viral
copyright is acceptable within the context of Commons' free content goals?
And if not, what should be done about the GFDL which the license's authors
(and some publishers, like myself) already consider to be strongly viral,
even though in practice the Wikimedia projects don't often treat it that
-Robert A. Rohde
 http://freedomdefined.org/Definition - Definition of Free Works
While reviewing some other code, I went in and started ripping up some
of the file type & validity checks in MediaWiki's upload system, as
they've been driving me nuts for some time.
One quick subproject was tossing in an XML well-formedness check for SVG
files. For the curious, here's a report on the invalid files I
encountered while testing this with files from Commons:
-- brion vibber (brion @ wikimedia.org)