[Foundation-l] content ownership in different projects

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Sat Jun 18 09:53:14 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 16:15, Amir E. Aharoni
<amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> 2011/6/17 Peter Gervai <grinapo at gmail.com>:
>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 15:24, Amir E. Aharoni
>> <amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:

>> I am not sure it is a valuable contributor who do not accept the base
>> of the community work, who do not spend time to understand the legal
>> license what is being used publishing and don't even take the time to
>> listen to others.
> Well, yes, but this solution is too easy.

By no means is this a solution, I just clearing the meaning of the terms. :-)

> This can be a valuable contributor, because he has extensive knowledge
> about a certain topic and has the time and the skill to write about
> it. We have a community tradition of doing things wiki way, but people
> who don't like the wiki idea can still be excellent physicist,
> historians or engineers, and we should want them to write for our
> projects.

This _could_ be a valuable contributor in the future. He is not at the
moment, since not understanding the basic principles means continuous
conflicts with _everyone_.

Experts are great possible valuable contributors, right after they
understand and accept the wiki way. See below.

> Experts with writing skills can find other venues to publish their
> writings. It is us who want to publish these writings more widely and
> with a free license - "freely share in the sum of all knowledge". So
> we need them more than they need us.

In my experience there are two kinds of experts, and both sets are
nice persons, to note it as the first thing, and they have low amount
of free time both, which they intend to spend productively.

One kind loves to share knowledge, to correct others' mistakes and
don't worry about copyrights. These people are usually already
valuable contributors, only mildly annoyed by being corrected by
amateurs (or worse, the lunatics).

The other kind have vast experience, is very important person globally
or in his/her fields (collected prizes, scientific degrees, etc.) and
publishes extensively, possibly earning money on the way. This kind
wants to share his knowledge but expects humble respect from the
others, and understanding silence from the unskilled masses. They are
usually very picky about publishing rights, and find it unacceptable
that someone modifies their work, not to mention correcting it.

This second kind is a very hard problem. Some of them will never be a
wikipedia contributor, because they understand and reject free
license. We have to respect their opinion and accept the decision,
maybe try convincing them to change their view from time to time. But
some of them are willing to publish but have to be educated about the
way the free world works, about its pros and cons, whys and hows. I do
not think educating a scientific genius about a community is
outrageous; they usually willing to familiarize with new concepts. And
we really have to spend time and energy to explain to them, to answer
their questions and respond to their doubts. We - locally - have some
editors who are willing to communicate with the scientific and
literary people to help them get the point, and often it works out
well, and sometimes it isn't be because they find it unacceptable to
debate with an idiot or two, which occasionally happens. But if other
editors willing to help to fend off idiots and let them concentrate on
real talk between working editors then it could work.

And be bold. :-) You're knowledgeable enough to teach anyone how free
licensed content works. Most experts are oblivious about this topic.

>> S/he may be a future valuable contributor after serious education.
>> Time. Energy.
> Again, it's true, but in practice i feel too awkward to "educate" a
> person who is often older and much more educated than i am.

Don't. The real smart people want to know new ways. Give them respect
but be confident that you know the community better.


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