[Foundation-l] WMF is planning to install a video player that harms creator attribution and ties between Wikipedia and Commons

Teofilo teofilowiki at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 10:25:35 UTC 2011

I have learnt this morning that the "Timedmedia" extension "is not yet
installed on wikimedia sites, but its meant to replace the existing
player" (1).

As I was uploading videos, and needed some specific tools, I happened
the other day to use the mwEmbed gadget on Wikimedia Commons which
seems to be a prefiguration of what the WMF plans to install
everywhere on its sites. My experience as guinea pig of that
experiment is negative:

Clicking on the "i" option of the polar bear video inserted on commons
village pump (2) produces the following screenshot:
(3). What the video viewer can read is "Credits: Title :
File:PolarBearsPlayingSDZooFeb09.ogv Kaltura". This is not a proper
way of providing author name (which should be Nehrams2020 ) and
license (which should be Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Unported license with a link). The "share" menu provides "< i frame
src = " // commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PolarBearsPlayingSDZooFeb09.ogv?withJS=MediaWiki:MwEmbed.js&embedplayer=yes"
width="220" height="165" frameborder="0" >< /iframe > ". There is no
"Attribution" code similar to the one you can find when clicking on
"Use this file" on the photostock toolbar on the Commons description
page (4). The small polar bear icon displayed in the "i" option of the
"menu" is too small (it is only about 50x30px, while the standard
"thumb" size is 220px!). Using the full 220px rectangle as a link is
the way by which we tell readers/viewers that the Commons description
page is an important page. Most users will not be aware that they may
click on that 50x30px icon to find valuable information about the
file. The File:PolarBearsPlayingSDZooFeb09.ogv text is in grey color.
This is not the standard way to make the viewer aware that it is a
clickable link. Usually, clickable links are blue. This video player
is putting the Wikimedia commons description page 3 clicks away from
Wikipedia instead of just one (you must click on "menu", then on "i"
then on "File:PolarBearsPlayingSDZooFeb09.ogv"). If installed on
Wikipedia, this gadget will not be an improvement, but a huge drawback
for the quality of the relation between Wikipedia and Wikimedia
Commons. Wikimedia Commons will be unknown from Wikipedia readers or
seen as something far away. I guess a lot of people are going to
believe that the person who deserves credit is the company named
"Kaltura" instead of the real video creator. The "i" symbol is
meaningless for people whose languages do not have the word
"information" in their vocabularies. Even in English or in French
"information" is vague and does not mean "credit" or "license" or
"attribution". The efforts Wikimedia Commons has been doing on
description pages (indicating the source of the file, provide a
description, provide a date, provide categories to find related files,
etc.) are put aside for the purpose of the promotion of the "Kaltura"
brand name. And again a download link seems to be provided straight
away from the "menu" even if the user has not made the effort to learn
about the licensing conditions.

(1) Michael Dale 2011-10-11 02:54:09 UTC
(2) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#mwEmbed_gadget:_Videos_no_longer_properly_linked_to_description_pages_by_clicking_on_the_thumbnail
(3) http://prototype.wikimedia.org/timedmedia/File:Screenshot_of_commons_village_pump.jpg
(4) screenshot of "use this file" toolbar tool:
( the "stockphoto.js" toolbar)

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