[Foundation-l] Commons and The Year of the Picture

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 22 14:51:45 UTC 2009

Yaroslav M. Blanter wrote:
>> i dont think the argument here is that people can make money from commons
>> and the pictures etc, its the fact (as i see it) that a commercial site
>> has
>> a link from the french wikipedia side bar to their site to make a profit.
>> what is the difference between this and link spamming and advertising.
> Well, this is one point. Another point is, as far as I know, Wikimedia.fr,
> which benefits from the commercial use, does not transfer money to support
> other projects. I would not object to commercial use of MY pictures if I
> knew that the profit is in a transparent (like donations) way invested in
> the infrastructure of the whole foundation. So far, I have not seen any
> evidence that this is the case. On the contrary, the main argument in the
> discussion was "We have decided to do it in French Wikipedia, and Meta has
> nothing to say about this".
>> I disagree that 800x600 is perfectly fine
>>> because,
>>> it may be fine for online content but it is not fine when printed.
> Not really, I can print it out and it works fine. But not as a poster of
> course.
> Cheers
> Yaroslav



... - this is a slippery slope indeed and a
dangerous precedent to set, especially at the chapter level. There are
potentially ways it could be done properly (eg open access to suppliers
meeting a certain standard, non-profit printing, etc.) but so long as we're
meeting our targets the potential cost does not seem to be at all worth the
significant risk.

I hope MaxSem returns once sanity prevails,




The French chapter is a non profit organisation and France is not confined
to a single language or a single project. When the French chapter aims to
support the Wiki community and does this in France by doing similar things
to the Germans, I can only applaud them. By opening up the French cultural
heritage to us, all our project will benefit. By running projects locally,
the WMF organisation does not need to be involved the Germans brought us the
Tool server, I will happy to learn how the French will make a difference.

Consequently the notion that we will not all benefit from the work of the
French chapter is hard to support.

Couple of quick clarifications/reminders

1. This project was not started and developped by the French chapter, 
but by a wikipedia participant, who happened to ask the support of the 
French Chapters. Which we agreed to offer. So, there is no slippery slope.

2. The French Wikipedia community has done an non-exclusive arrangement. 
Only one company has been involved for now because it was the only one 
interested and because it was interesting to first "test the concept".
If you look carefully at the interface, it is quite obvious it is 
planned to welcome other companies; as well as to welcome community 
feedback on quality of service provided.

3. There is very little difference between this project and the 
Pediapress one. Actually, the only serious difference is that one make a 
donation to Wikimedia France and the other to Wikimedia Foundation. The 
other serious difference is that one is ported by Wikimedia Foundation 
and the other one ported by the community.

4. Prior to starting the service, the company spontaneously made a 500 
euros donation to Wikimedia Foundation. And was disappointed to learn 
afterward that it would not be tax deductible. Wikimedia France provides 
this deductibility, hence augmenting the chance of higher donation from 
the company.

5. I see comments as well claiming that the operations of the French 
chapter do not benefit the projects.
Please find here: 
the list of all pictures that could be added to Wikimedia Commons and 
our common pool of knowledge only THANKS to Wikimedia France (through 
funding of the amateur photographs travel to various famous event, or 
through the accreditations provided by Wikimedia France to access press 
areas in order to take good quality pictures).
That category, supported by Wikimedia France, already host 800 good 
quality freely-licenced images.

6. I also see comments claiming that the benefits of Wikimedia France is 
not transparently reinvested in the entire infrastructure.
You will find the financial report of the association:
- in 2005: http://wikimedia.fr/share/rapport_financier_WMFrance2005.pdf
grand total: 2721 euros
  - in 2006: http://wikimedia.fr/share/Rapportfinancier_final2006.pdf
see details of expenses in the document.
- in 2007: 
Regarding 2008, our year report is not yet published.
But you will be happy to learn that we spent 2059,99 euros for the 
digitization of old documents (put in wikisource)

But more than that....

In november 2007, the board approved the following resolution which I 
will translate for you

Le CA autorise la dépense de 2228€ pour l'achat (software + support) de 
Zeus Web Server (ZWS) qui sera installé sur le toolserver Wikimedia.
Documents relatifs
Email avec les détails techniques
Extrait: « it's trivial to justify the cost of ZWS; by spending EUR2,000 
on a web server, we can improve performance by 4 or 8 times - the 
equivalent of spending EUR10,000 or more on servers. »

The board approves the spending of 2228 euros to purchase (software and 
support) of the Zeus Web Server to be installed on the Wikimedia toolserver.

River Tarnell said: « it's trivial to justify the cost of ZWS; by 
spending EUR2,000 on a web server, we can improve performance by 4 or 8 
times - the equivalent of spending EUR10,000 or more on servers. »

So, here is the point. At some point, Wikimedia France thought of 
deploying its own tool server to provide services to Wikimedia users.
And then, we thought that it would probably be a duplication of efforts 
with the work done on the current tool server. And rather than hosting 
its own tool server, decided to help the development of the German tool 
server. And funded that. Gerard, at our little level, you may say that 
French helped the Germans ;-)
Note that I have no idea if that has been entirely implemented or not 
yet, but that's not the point.

Three lessons imho

Lesson 1: I know some people suffer from the idea of others making money 
from what they put under a free licence. If that really make them 
suffer, they should quit putting text and images under a free licence.

Lesson 2: Pediapress and wikiPoster (and other projects in the future) 
bring good service to our projects and our users. If a project such as 
Wikiposter is removed, so should PediaPress.

Lesson 3: Wikimedia France clearly does not communicate enough on what 
it does. We should push the point. Next time, we'll do a press 
communicate when we fund anything international ;-)

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