[Foundation-l] content ownership in different projects

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat Jun 18 19:59:24 UTC 2011

On 06/17/11 7:15 AM, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:
> 2011/6/17 Peter Gervai<grinapo at gmail.com>:
>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 15:24, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:
>>> In such cases, as an Israeli saying goes, i am right, but i am not
>>> clever. It hurts that person and it hurts the project, because that
>>> person may otherwise be a very valuable contributor and such things
>>> often make people resign. And every time it happens i spend months
>>> thinking how i could avoid it.
>> 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.
> 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.
> 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

Non-ownership is an absolutely essential part of wiki work. While it may 
be tempting to link this to the notion of "ND" licences, those licences 
are really only about how the work is used downstream by other websites 
or publishers.

The site is about the contents, not its writers. The writing is about 
the science and the history, not about the scientist or the historian.  
If we were to accept that the writings of some contributors were sacred, 
whose point of view prevails in determining which shall be so privileged?

If their egos feel bruised because we do not accept their gospel, that's 
their problem not ours. If they have other venues for exercising their 
expertise, they're welcome to go there. We don't need them that badly.

Of course we don't want random idiots messing things up. Others should 
be prepared to confront the idiots, and not leave the lone expert 
flailing in the wind. Nevertheless, we should not be prepared to jump to 
the conclusion that every amateur is an idiot.
>> 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.
What's "more educated?" It seems more quantitative than qualitative.  
The intimidation that you cite does happen, but that does not make it 
right.  Respect for expertise should not be blind.


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