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

Geoffrey Plourde geo.plrd at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 16 06:25:42 UTC 2009

What if there were two image spaces?

From: Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Commons Discussion List <commons-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Cc: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 8:06:19 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [Commons-l] Some reflections about the governance of Commons

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 1:04 PM, Stan Shebs<stanshebs at earthlink.net> wrote:
> David Gerard wrote:
>> 2009/6/15 Rama Neko <ramaneko at gmail.com>:
>>>        Furthermore, I sometimes have the feeling that contributors of
>>> Wikipedia expect us to host all sorts of unacceptable media in return
>>> of the service that they provide; while we of course appreciate the
>>> service projects, this is a problem, particularly when these files are
>>> copyright violations.

I don't have this feeling.  There's some misunderstanding, though,
with different conversations happening on different wikis.   A better
facility for discussion pages that are not tied to a particular wiki
(or are replicated on more than one) would help mediate this.

>>> In the particular case of Pikiwiki, it would of course be very
>>> caricatural to say that all their images are copyvios. There are lots
>>> of out-of-scope party snapshots, too.

Fuzzy party pictures are an icon of the times.

David Gerard writes:
>> Anyone else? Or is the Commons admin community this insular and derisive?

Yikes.  I find the Commons community to be rewardingly inclusive...

> I don't know if this makes me insular and derisive, but as a casual
> onlooker to the Pikiwiki episode, I do worry that there is an attempt to
> strongarm Commons into accepting material that would not normally be
> able to get in. It worries me because if Commons loses its reputation as
> a reliable source of free media, the that loss effectively contaminates
> everything in the project - potential users will be unsure if my own
> photos were really self-made, or I'm putting free licenses on material
> that is not mine to give away.

Absolutely.  This is a contamination problem that affects most online
media sites.  (Jamendo is one I can think of off-hand that does the
cleanest job of trying to confirm licensing of its free works)

> For projects that have committed to only using Commons for media, the
> pressure to accept borderline material is going to be intense, and it's
> always going to be a secondary concern that the files are going to be a
> problem for other clients of Commons. Projects experiencing that kind of
> pressure should maybe consider re-instituting local uploads, which

Actually, I would be content with a less-free repository for media not
suitable for commons but still of use to at least one page on one
Wikimedia project -- I would like to be able to monitor (and pressure
to become totally free) all 'local upload' materials on a single wiki.
The technical advantages of having a single way to call a file from
multiple namespaces would still apply, but there could be strong
pressure to replace any non-free media with free media ... while
releasing some of this kneejerk pressure on Commons.

In a similar vein, I'd like a wiki quarantine where I could post
material that is mostly free but contains some non-free parts (a logo
or something that needs removal) -- to allow a community of editors to
see and revise it to make it freely available, without reinventing
tools such as revision control, RC, &c.

The idea of all of this would be to move towards 100% free projects
and contents, but without the strain imposed by the current sharp

> allows for more gradual migration of material as it is determined to
> meet Commons' standards, and takes away the pressure on Commons admins
> to make snap decisions on tricky copyright issues.

Right.  Except there's no need to tie the advantages of gradual
migration tot eh dsiadvantages and duplicated effort of local


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