Commons:Collaboration with Ourmedia

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Ourmedia is an open source media project launched by Marc Canter and J.D. Lasica in March 2005. It is affiliated with the Internet Archive and aims to provide a repository of personal media under a variety of licenses. See Ourmedia's mission statement for further details.

Since Ourmedia share one of the goals of the Wikimedia Commons, it would be good if we could collaborate with them in some way. Please use this page to brainstorm ways in which we could do this. Ideas left here will be fed back to the ourmedia group on their wiki.

The simplest method of cooperation would be cross-uploading: check each other's uploads, and if they are interesting, upload them too.

A closer cooperation might be virtual cross-uploading: Link from WikiCommons to the material at ourmedia in a way similar to local material.

Perhaps another interesting idea would be to create a combined search engine which search in both databases.

We could even think of a 'separation of concerns': The projects have different principal aims, and we could make a decision to 'transwiki' things that are more fit for the other site. This would mean that any pictures and picture galleries on ourmedia would be moved to WikiCommons, while any sound and video fragments, or at least those that are longer than a minimal length, would be moved to ourmedia. Of course this should only be done if there remains the possibility to keep finding them at the 'wrong' website. - Andre Engels 10:31, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Another possibility could be to just cooperate with them, given that Wikimedia Commons is not going to start in the foreseeable future anyway. - Andre Engels 14:08, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

What is the point, and what is the waiting good for[edit]

They are not ready to roll, we are not "ready" to roll ?

It is just like wiktionary, if we knew ahead of time what was wrong with the software and waited for it to be programmed first, we would still not have the current content. This page needs not be another stalling action; lets get rolling. Let's upload zillion pictures. Let's get our hands dirty. GerardM 18:00, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I agree - if we set up standard Wikipedia software at we could be running by the end of the afternoon. Once the software is programmed it would simply require conversion of the files to the new software. --[[User:OldakQuill|Oldak Quill]] 14:08, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Linking the Wikimedia Commons and Ourmedia[edit]

It would be useful if people could find the content of our Commons whilst searching ourmedia (and maybe vice versa).

It's generally best to avoid duplication, so if we can use content directly from there, it may be better than uploading it to Wikimedia. Are there exceptions to this where we do need the content locally? If we did duplicate it, could there be some way of automatically updating it if it changes on Ourmedia?

Would it be useful for users to be able to upload content to either the Commons or to ourmedia but to use the interface of whichever one they were most used to? Could the two be linked in such a way that it the content could go to the right site regardless which site the user was originally at?

Since ourmedia are aiming to focus largely on video, should we aim not to host many videos on the Commons, but to direct users there instead? We currently have a 5MB limit on uploads, so perhaps only files larger than that would need to go elsewhere?

Angela 13:32, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Now a 20MB limit? The question remains, if we have a large popular file, does it make sense to have ourmedia host, and to link to it from our site? Sj 22:45, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I guess a 20MB limit makes it far less likely we would need ourmedia to host videos instead of hosting them directly here, but the question of whether we want to direct those files there anyway still remains. It would be great for the Wikimedia Commons to host everything itself, but I'm not convinced this is either practical or sensible. I should probably add a disclaimer that I'm now on the ourmedia advisory board, so I'm not exactly a neutral party. :) Angela 00:14, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
thought I'd point out that some files will be well in excess of 20MB, if ourmedia is affiliated with the internet archive at see this post on's forums
at this point the's servers are being just about hammered flat serving this one 49MB file !
This: feature film, at 4.9 GIGABYTES is one of their most downloaded films, historically. My connection is 150 KB/sec when I download from the archive, and I never seem to get much less than that... I may not notice it at my end, but it seems apparent that bandwidth will become an issue sooner rather than later, as all of these archival projects are relatively new, and becoming popular at a a rapidly increasing rate. Can someone point me to an info page or fill me in on what bandwidth resources are available through ourmedia, or where is all of this bandwidth going to come from?Pedant 00:03, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Ourmedia's bandwidth will all come from who have agreed to provide the project with free storage space and bandwidth forever. Angela 20:08, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Bit Torrent, for god's sake! Rodolfo Borges 00:49, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

internet relay chat (IRC)[edit]

There was a meeting on IRC on September 5. Open Media is renaming itself to ourmedia. They are working on getting the initial copy up on their website and aiming to go live in October. Currently they are still at the stage of planning the system architecture.

They want people to have the option to store files in more than one location and think that having rules about what should be uploaded where (ie - to which project) would somehow spoil the "vibe". Therefore, people would upload something simultaneously to both the Wikimedia Commons and to their project. They felt that duplication would not be an issue until the project got so large that duplicating would be "crazy", and that they would deal with that then, but suggested that since the Internet Archive has more storage and bandwidth than other projects, the files would end up at their project.

They will let us know if there's anything we can do to MediaWiki to make it fit more with what they are planning.

Angela 02:40, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Duplication is not a bad thing : it create a back-up, which is a precious thing.
Xillimiandus 20:34, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Message to Ourmedia[edit]

Via Angela, I sent the following message to the Our-Media people and asked them to comment here.--Eloquence

I'm the instigator of the Wikimedia Commons project under:
It is an open repository of images, sound files and video files that are of use or potentially of use to the Wikimedia projects: Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, and Wikisource. A Wikinews project is currently in planning and may be launched soon.
The project was launched last month, and I just finished writing the basic support code for transparently using the files in the Wikimedia wikis. More than 1000 images have already been uploaded. The current upload limit is at 20 MB.
Angela Beesley asked me to briefly comment on how the Wikimedia Commons and the Our-Media project can work together.
Certainly, projects that work towards the public good should work together as much as possible. I understand that you have chosen to use Drupal. That eliminates some interesting cooperation possibilities, at least for the near future: MediaWiki, our wiki engine, is likely to support cross-wiki transclusion of arbitrary content soon. Interfacing this with Drupal would take considerable additional effort.
I am, however, a big fan of Drupal. It has a nice moderation queue feature which is probably better for what you are doing than an open wiki. Our-Media can provide things which the Wikimedia Commons will not in the forseeable future: artistic works and other pieces of purely personal expression. There is no Wikimedia project for this type of material. While a Wikiart or Wikiopinion project might be interesting, this is not something likely to happen soon.
Our-Media, according to the website, also wants to provide things which would definitely be of interest to us, such as general pictures, or documentary videos.
The most important thing for us would be that we can clearly separate fiction, artistic expression and opinion from hard documentary evidence of any kind. This sounds easier than it is in practice. In order to make this work you will have to plan for it from the beginning and ask your users to tag their files accordingly. This would be extremely helpful to us. Being able to download these files as a bundle, or updates in these categories, would also be useful.
We will try to offer tarballs of all the files in the Commons as soon as possible, as well as a mechanism by which to retrieve only new ones (rsync or something similar). Category filtering is more tricky, but not sure if this is necessary for you since all the files in the Commons seem to be compatible with your goals.
It may make sense to create an openmedia mailing list or something similar for people of the different projects to work together, develop standards etc. Perhaps such a list already exists? Does the Internet Archive have one?
I have cross-posted this message to
If you want to respond in public, this would be the right place. I'm also looking forward to seeing a public Ourmedia wiki.
Best regards,
Erik Möller
Posted to ourmedia:partners Angela 01:47, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

JD Lasica responds on 2004/12/04:

Greetings from!

We're just a few weeks away from launching our public site.

We'll be posting a Partners page listing the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Bryght (Drupal) and the Wikipedia Commons as our chief partners and collaborators.

Ourmedia is more than a destination website, or even a global repository of media. We're also a registry of freely shareable media stored in various databases ground the world, allowing anyone to call down media files to his or her desktop at the click of a mouse.

That's a powerful vision that the Wikimedia Commons and Ourmedia are implementing together.

Our wiki is open to the public here:

We will make available to the Wikimedia Commons *all* photos, text works, audio files and movies uploaded to Ourmedia under a Creative Commons share-alike license. From there, the files may spread freely to the four corners of the globe.

Our technical staff will be in contact to work out ways to implement a search engine capability so that users can search out media in both locations, if that's feasible.

One advantage of Ourmedia's relationship with the Internet Archives is that any video file under 2 gigabytes in size can be stored there and served -- for free, with no bandwidth costs. That is proving to be a compelling proposition for video bloggers and indepdendent film producers.

We also hope to advance the cause of remix culture by having pages devoted to fair use and to media works whose authors allow others to remix, build upon, and recirculate them.

We hope our collaboration with the WikiCommons helps both our organizations advance the cause of citizens media and grassroots participation in our creative culture.

Ourmedia update[edit]

The once private ourmedia wiki is now open to the public, so anyone interested in discussing and developing the community aspects of the project or anything else can do so at

At the most recent meeting, it was announced that ourmedia are planning on having "repository API" which will mean that files from here can be part of Ourmedia without needing to be re-uploaded there which does at least address any forking concerns.

Angela 21:52, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)