repositories of content

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repositories of content

daniwo59
Hello
 
As some of you may know, Brad and I were in DC for most of this week, where we werre joined by Mindspillage and NullC for some fascinating meetings with people from the Smithsonian, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, and the National Geographic Society. One of the primary purposes of these meetings was to identify content that we can use for our projects, including Wikisource. The meetings were very informative and productive.
 
Given that there are certain legal issues involved, I will wait for Brad to describe in greater depth the outcome of these meetings. I will, however, describe two meetings that may have more immediate results for the Wikisource and Commons communities. 
 
Mindspillage and I had a great meeting with Lawrence (Larry) Swiader, the Deputy CIO of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has given us permission to use any and all of the material created and licensed by that Museum according to the terms of our license. This includes images, video, video transcripts, audio, and text, including the new Holocaust encyclopedia that they are building on line (in seven languages), and which they plan to be the most comprehensive encyclopedia of its kind in the world. All they are asking for in return in attribution. Essentially, although this was not said in so many words, they are releasing all of their in-hourse material according to the terms of the GNU-FDL. Larry was especially excited by the prospect of our people participating in the translation effort. I would like to point out that this is an outstanding repository of material, not just about World War II and the Holocaust, but about other modern instances of genocide, including Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur. They have no problem whatsover with our translating their proprietary formats into free software formats such as .ogg files.
 
At the end of our meeting, we discussed the need for a contract to formalize this agreement. Brad will be drafting one to send to their counsel, and things should be underway quickly. In the meantime, I encourage you to look through their materials and see what is there.
 
The Library of Congress meeting was also quite spectacular. They also have enormous archives which they are willing to share, but I am noting here that some of their materials still fall under copyright so greater caution must be exercised. Over the next few weeks, we will better identify what is there for the taking.
 
During our talks, they made mention of the fact that many important historical documents may have been scanned, but they have not yet been transcribed. One of the repositories mentioned was the Thomas Jefferson archives at Monticello. Speaking of this particular archive, they told us that the work was so daunting that the Jefferson people (and other groups as well) have taken to outsourcing the transcription work to India. I would like to suggest to the current Wikisource team and additional volunteers that we jump at this opportunity to help in the realtime preservation of these documents, which are of enormous historical importance. My other suggestion is that we contact these organizations in an organized manner, rather than as individuals, so that we appear organized and do not duplicate efforts.
 
Finally, we have now contacted some of the most important repositories of content in the United States and we were welcomed by them. I encourage Wikimedians in other countries, representing other languages, to make the same coordinated effort with their local repositories in their respective languages.
 
More to come,
 
Danny

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Re: repositories of content

jkelly-2
  Danny,

> Deputy CIO of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. He has given us permission to
> use any and all of the material created and licensed by that Museum
> according
> to the terms of our license. This includes images, video, video  transcripts,
snip
> All they  are asking for in
> return in attribution. Essentially, although this was not said  in so many
> words,
> they are releasing all of their in-hourse material according  to the terms of
> the GNU-FDL. Larry was especially excited by the prospect of our  people

  Is this some kind of Wikipedia-only licensing?  If it is, are we making an
exception to our rules on reusability?  If not, do they really understand what
they're agreeing to?  How are they going to react when some Neo-Nazi website
makes unpleasant derivative works of their material?  I'm sure that you and
Brad know what's involved here, and this seems to be a fantastic opportunity
for us; I suppose that I'm just asking for reassurance about what seems to be a
remarkable change in either our policy or theirs.

                                       Jkelly

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Re: repositories of content

daniwo59
In reply to this post by daniwo59
As Mindspillage can verify, my mouth dropped when they made the offer. I asked all of the questions you asked (at least a half dozen times each) and they were quite firm in their belief that the idea is to get information to the world.  
 
That said, I still think we should wait until this is formalized. Nevertheless, the door is wide open, and this can be an important incentive, as Sabine pointed out, to begin looking at other repositories as well.
 
Danny

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Re: repositories of content

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by daniwo59
I just have to say that if this pans out it'll be the best
accomplishment to date for the foundation.  Great job, and thanks for
keeping us up to date.

Anthony
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Re: repositories of content

Brianna Laugher
On 14/07/06, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I just have to say that if this pans out it'll be the best
> accomplishment to date for the foundation.  Great job, and thanks for
> keeping us up to date.

I agree. This sounds like a really fantastic development so thanks a
lot to the WMF team who have pulled it together.

I wonder if it would be a good idea for the Commons to develop a
policy regarding an historical archive, ie. being one, or not, or a
bit of both. At the moment there are no official policies but we kind
of say 'don't rely on us to be a historical archive' because:
- if you upload a blurry picture of your dog that you took on your
mobile phone, there may not a lot of value in that to Wikimedia (also
replace 'dog' with 'genitals' :))
- images may be re-uploaded under a more descriptive name and the
originals deleted (because of bugzilla:709, can't rename/move images -
note I think this is relatively rare, but the flag people in
particular seem to be very anal about name conventions)
- admins are only human, thus make mistakes and sometimes even go
rouge (well, potentially) - although a deleting rampage isn't the same
threat it used to be, thanks to image undeletion

ANYWAY... these are just the reasons why we would never promise to be
a historical archive. But obviously we aim to preserve informative and
unique data and these collections would pass on both points.

regards
Brianna
user:pfctdayelise
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