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

Sam Johnston samj at samj.net
Wed Jan 28 01:13:42 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 1:59 AM, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:

> Just how much control do you expect from the Central Committee?  Sure,
> it's a given that some will-intentioned initiatives will go dreadfully
> awry.  Bad things have happened in the past, and bad things will happen
> in the future; None of it will be prevented by imposing strict central
> control.  Wikimedia is a resilient organisation, and it didn't get that
> way through paranoid musings about a tarnished reputation.  It's not
> that fragile.

My primary concern is that all the potential ramifications of such actions
be properly considered - the income is irrelevant in the context of the WMF
budget and yet the risk could be extreme. For example, deriving revenue
directly from the content could cause problems for fair use[1], let alone
the prospect of users uploading copyrighted or otherwise restricted (eg
trademarked) content.

Another liability to consider relates to problems with delivery. Normally
such convenience services include strong disclaimers of warranty and
liability but checking one of my contributions[2] shows offers to 'Choisissez
un imprimeur *accrédité*'. By referring to these vendors as 'accredited' we
are stating that they are officially approved and raising many questions
about the accreditation process itself.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for this type of innovation and where better
for it to come from than the chapters, but we also need to exercise caution.


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_under_United_States_laws
2. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:CloudComputingStackLarge.svg
3. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/accredited

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