Commons:Some reflections on the governance of Commons

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At the Village pump Ting Cheng started a discussion about the governance of Commons. His initital posting has been cross-posted or linked from the mailing lists commons-l, foundation-l and internal-l. Andy Kaplan-Myrth asked with this post about an overview of issues at stakes. A link to this article has been posted to commons-l.

Commons is harsh and unfriendly[edit]

Some participants complained about what they perceive as a harsh and unfriendly environment at commons. Some other participants contested that view, the commoners just want to stick with free use and prevent copy vios.

Is Commons a service wiki?[edit]

Some participants in the discussions called commons a service wiki. Some other participants contested that view. Commons is a project in its own right, for example organizing featured picture contests.

Intermediate upload websites[edit]

To circumvent the complexities of uploading images to wikis several projects have set up intermediate websites. Examples are wiki loves art, wikiportrait, glam and pikiwiki. Those projects encourage the public to take pictures and upload them to their site. The projects intend to use a bot to automatically and upload a lot of pictures later to commons. The filtering of content is supposed to happen at the off-commons website.

Some participants call it a shame some projects use commercial site like flickr to gather images, in stead of encouraging the public to upload their images directly to commons. Some participants note the lack of cooperation, collaboration and or communication betweeen those projects and the community at commons. Some contest that view, see it as point of view, and disclaim the existence of a community at commons.

The (mis)trust of the Commons community about local copyright law[edit]

Some participants mistrust the Commons community about copyright law in a particular locality.

Handling of copyright by third party projects[edit]

Some participants mistrust the handling of copyright by third party projects

Copyrighted logos[edit]

Some participants complain about (dis)allowances of copyrighted logos of (third) party projects.

Bots and technical failures[edit]

Bots can upload many more files than all Commons community members can patrol. Some participants can not accept technical failures in bots.