Rama Rama <ramaneko(a)gmail.com> wrote on wed, 23 jan 2008 10:32:11 +0100
and since it has been such a long time I decided to use some kind of
full quote :)
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
What about a page or section on a page explaining all this stuff (except
the OK part) to them? We could then point them to there by linking it
from notification and otrs templates ...
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.
As we already saw, this point is quite disputed. I'm going with Andrew
here, who suggested to insert a link to the author when there's a chance
of him getting an article. At German Wikipedia we currently do the same
thing with painters.
On the other hand: Are readers really interested in all these details? I
think the people interested in details will also click the picture to
enlarge it. Then they will see the name of the photographer as well.
Either way I think we need to explain the circumstances to our
contributors, which I just did:
I also liked the idea of changing the icon below the thunbnails. Maybe
the i-thing or localised text would really be better, but I'm afraid
that's a question for the devs ...
Flo's movie quiz:
The lord tells me,
he can get me out of this match,
but he's pretty sure: You're fucked!