[Foundation-l] [Commons-l] Some reflections about the governance of Commons

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 09:22:33 UTC 2009

[foundation-l added back to cc: as well as commons-l]

2009/6/15 Gnangarra <gnangarra at gmail.com>:

> Sysops on Commons arent just handed the tools they first must seek a level
> of trust from the community that trust is because there are times when a
> person must act in the interest of Commons. As a long term sysop on Commons
> and one the higher end contributors sysops do have a level of authority and
> need to exercise their judgement more frequently without discussion then
> other larger projects (like de,en) one the problems is that at times there
> arent the experienced people around to enable a thorough discussion before
> acting.
> This is a particluar problem with local copyright issues as an Australian I
> got a good understand of OZ law and know where to get more info, I also
> gained a fair understanding of US over time and out of necessity but I have
> a very limited smattering of it for elsewhere when there is the necessity to
> make a move if I cant get independent opinions/help then I would defer to
> safest solution for Commons

Yeah. The problem is that to be an admin on Commons requires you to be
a copyright law edge-cases nerd way beyond the point where any
reasonable person would just say "bugger it, just sue me." And the
persistence to deal with, what is it, 10%? of uploads being
unacceptable for one reason or another.

So you'll get people - and it's fewer and fewer - who tend to be
interested in Commons as a standalone project and are
indifferent-to-hostile to the service project angle.

The bureaucratic obstructionism - not active hindering (well, maybe
just a bit), just passive not-caring - accorded the recent Pikiwiki
problems is a perfect recent example.

Possible solution: active recruitment drive on client wikis of
underrepresented languages. Get interested sysops on those wikis to go
through suitable training to become Commons.

This requires setting out precisely what a Commons admin needs to
know. Establish clear and somewhat objective criteria for Commons

- d.

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