Discussions (205)

Future of Camerapedia: alert to the community

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rebollo_fr says:

As you may know, the website's founder Lbstone has generously paid for the server for a number of years, out of his own pocket, and has taken care of the technical maintenance. This is a situation that is not sustainable, and the community needs to find alternative ways to guarantee its future.

I would like more specifically to discuss how to incorporate the informal community into some sort of structure, in order to raise fundings to pay for the hosting service.

A few weeks ago, I have offered Lbstone to enter a private discussion with him on that matter (see this message of mine). Through this discussion, I have learned developments that I wish had been made known to the general community earlier.

I would now like Lbstone to explain what are the options he is currently exploring, and into what sorts of negotiations he has already entered with third parties.

I have created a discussion page on Camerapedia to host this debate: Community Discussions/Future of Camerapedia.

I have previously asked Lbstone to launch the debate himself, but this has not been done and I now feel like this cannot wait any longer. I will give more specific details of the situation myself tomorrow if he does not want to jump into the public discussion.
4:29AM, 15 January 2011 PDT (permalink)

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

Just wanted to make sure that any discussion isn't fragmented. This seems like a good place to keep the focus.

camerapedia.org/wiki/Camerapedia.org:Community_Discussion...
51 months ago (permalink)

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Nesster says:

I'd be glad to contribute, just let us know when things are set up - the camerapedia is a fantastic resource
51 months ago (permalink)

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Dustin McAmera says:

Yes - it's a wonderful body of work. I'm not very rich these days, but spread over enough of us, the contribution from each needn't be huge. I understand Wikipedia's 'Urgent message from Jimmy Wales' got them 16 million dollars!
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

Many thanks to Nesster and Dustin!
I have updated the discussion page by posting my own views for the future of the website. You're all welcome to post your opinions now, either here or there.
Any thought and support, however modest it is, will be needed to keep this non-commercial resource alive.
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

BTW
I am more happy to chip is real $$ as well to keep the site alive!
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

I just had a good read of points in the discussion page ( camerapedia.org/wiki/Camerapedia.org:Community_Discussion... ) and I consider the proposal both very reasonable and very desirable. I am more than happy to collaborate /take a role in the foundation, and also to contribute soem $$ to its running.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
heritagefutures (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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Kong Zi says:

I'd be happy to make a donation, I can't afford much but every little helps :)

If more of an effort can be made to make the wiki something which has movement in its content it would be great (Featured articles - how often do they change?), the talk of a blog sounds good as it would bring people back more often to not only use it as a resource of information but as place to talk about something they enjoy.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Dustin McAmera says:

I've read the stuff (currently) on the link above. What rebollo_fr proposes seems reasonable, but I'll wait to see what lbstone has to say before forming a firm opinion.

However, I instinctively hesitate at the sentence starting 'The only reasonable option is...' . What follows is certainly one reasonable option, and I'm not decrying it. However, I wouldn't rule out there being others. I read, and occasionally post, on the Nelsonfoto fora. It's a smaller body of information, admittedly. The fora are administered by one guy, who pays the hosting costs himself, but has on occasion let it be known that some donations wouldn't hurt. He also asks for people's thoughts from time to time on how the site should run, but the final decision is his; 'my house, my rules'. This arrangement has many advantages too.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

@ Dustin : You are absolutely right; I've modified the wording in my proposal to make clear that this seems the best option to me, without stating that this is the only one.

Thank you for your useful insights into the functioning of the Nelsonfoto forum; I had asked myself the same question about this website but was not sure of the answer.

However I would no longer trust a structure where someone has the power to decide for a whole community. If I had to take that route, I would rather create my personal website.

I also think that a wiki is very different from a forum community. In a wiki, much more work is actually done by the authors, who have to make research, write structured text, decide the page formatting, arrange the contents into categories, collect pictures, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but I imagine that posting to a forum is a more light-hearted activity, and proportionally more of the hard work is done by the website's owner.

In the Photo.net precedent, the founder waited for the community to grow to 600,000 people before selling the site for $6 million (see Wikipedia entry). I don't remember if there were too many complaints, but I guess that nobody felt so much implicated into actually building the website the way some of thus currently do.

@ Kong Zi : It would certainly be interesting to have some more movement to the main page and other areas. This has been tried in the past with featured articles but has somehow vanished. I like the idea of making some sort of news page, showing the high points of last month's contributions, in a way that would be more friendly than the basic "Recent changes" page.

It would also be nice to make authors slightly more visible, and to give more opportunity to add personal experience in the articles. I think the collapsible box function that was newly introduced after the upgrade might give more flexibility in that matter. But I'm reserving these thoughts for better times, when the situation has settled.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
rebollo_fr edited this topic 51 months ago.

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@rebollo_fr

You're absolutely right. I already tried to activate people of minolta-forum.de to write for us. It was a useless attempt. I saw another German Minolta-Forum which even had an integrated own wiki, but no contents in it. Forums are another world. minolta-forum.de is now www.mi-fo.de, there's a forum team and an admin team, and sometimes they make funding campaigns.

I still think about your proposal. I hope I'll find an answer before it's too late ;-)
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

Been giving this thought. I added some thoughts:

camerapedia.org/wiki/Camerapedia.org:Community_Discussion...
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

@ rick Great to see you here. Unfortunately it looks like it is more a problem of trust than money.

@ all - You will see the recent developments in the linked page. I know some will criticize me for having published those verbatim extracts. I just saw no other way to explain what's happening. (Other than writing a detailed summary of the same exchange, which would have amounted to the same thing.)
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
rebollo_fr edited this topic 51 months ago.

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@lbstone
Very cool. Too cool, man.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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Kong Zi says:

The plot thickens.
51 months ago (permalink)

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andreaapr says:

I'll be glad to contribute to keep the site alive or if this cannot be possible to support an alternative site with the same structure of a non-commercial site to guarantee its future and contents.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Now I've I added my comment to the on-site discussion.

www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Camerapedia.org:Community_Discus...
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

I can no longer can access Camerapedia (00:45 PST)....
51 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

That's the problem solved, no web site, no arguments!
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

Things are turning really ugly. I think we should now live with the idea that Camerapedia has disappeared.

I downloaded a complete archive of the website to my own computer on Jan. 8, at least of what is accessible through the XML export function.

I have screen copies of the recent exchange. I would like to have a place to post these. I'm not too keen at posting it here, because Lbstone has admin rights on the Flickr pool. I would prefer a neutral place, preferably a forum whose gatekeeper has sympathy for our problems.

If Lbstone has something to say in answer to my questions, or wants to refute what I said, I think it is still time for him to do it. I wish he had the courage to say that he wants to sell the website to a commercial company.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
rebollo_fr edited this topic 51 months ago.

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

I'm not sure why the site is down. It certainly wasn't due to any actions on my end. I'm checking into the situation right now.

It's 8:30 am here. I just dropped my kid off at school and came back to the office to find this.

Rest assured there are plenty of backups and I'm working on figuring everything out.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

@ Lbstone : Thank you for the clarification. I'm happy to see at least one semi-positive point in all this mess.

I think that my help page explaining how to download extracts of the website may have something to see with the website being down.

I made no explicit appeal to download backups (except for one sent through private mails). But it may be that enough people had no more trust in backups stored elsewhere to put the server on its knees.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

And I see that the website is up again, with all its contents. Thank you for your quick action.
51 months ago (permalink)

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

I gave everything a restart and now it looks like we're back in action. Not sure what caused the problem.

As for the rest of the discussion, I'm processing a lot of things right now. Hopefully, you'll all give me some time to think everything through.

As far as I can tell, I have a pretty good track record of being pensive, but also on top of the situation.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

I will leave Lbstone all responsibility for his views of him being "on top of the situation".

I certainly respect the right of anyone to think through. But I also keep in mind that any dilatory move is fittingly buying time for Lbstone to report to his contacts at the company.

I've publicly asked two simple questions (name and price). I take note that much reflection is apparently needed before giving an answer to the community.
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

Woke up to find the site working again.. but slow. Good news!
51 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

No mattter how much we talk about the community aspect of the wiki the bottom line is that the domain name, at the very least, is owned by a private individual. If that private individual wishes to sell their property to raise funds for whatever reason then as much as it would pain me to see it happen there is nothing I or anyone else can do about it.
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

Domain names are actually not private property. You don't OWN the name...you lease it for a duration, and as long as you pay /renew your annual lease fee, you have the exclusive rights to use the name. When you transfer the name rights from one to the other, you transfer, in effect, the goodwill of the virtual entity...

Yes, legally, Lbstone as lessee of the domain, can sell the goodwill of the virtual entity. Realistically, he does not own the intellectual property that is contained in the site and that was provided by the contributors under the implicit understanding that it is free information for the common good. Else the serious contributors would have charged going rates to the 'publisher'.

Selling a domain name has to do with the perceived value of the domain to the customer in terms of revenue returns through advertising etc. And clearly, the quality of the ONGOING contributions defines the value of a site for a purchaser/investor. If the data on a site are not maintained/improved on a QUALITY and ONGOING basis, then the value of a site declines and becomes neglible.

If you have a look at the contributions to CAMERAPEDIA, you'll see that many are adding tidbits here and there, but that well written, in-depth analyses of cameras, those that are of lasting value to identify variations, history etc are few. It is both the comprehensiveness and the depth of the entries that makes CAMERAPEDIA. It is easy to populate a camera site with chaff/superficial data. it is hard and takes knowledge and research effort to populate it with in-depth material. Once the key contributors pull out because the work they were doing pro bono is now used by a single company for commercial gain, then CAMERAPEDIA will have very little value to a buyer. The workhorses have left, quality and reputation will diminish and eventually collapse.

And, BTW, buying CAMERAPEDIA as a whole by a single commercial entity is different from a company using some of the CAMERAPEDIA work commercially, as the Camerapedia WIKI as a non-commercial and independent then still operates with full integrity.

I am very concerned about where CAMERAPEDIA seems to be going and most disturbed about the lack of response that is forthcoming from the lessee of the domain and the current maintainer of the system. At this point I am most certainly not publishing with CAMERAPEDIA any of the detailed research I have done on the Mamiya Six, Foth and Koni-Omega series of cameras.

And there is a final issue that needs to be considered too by Lbstone and any potential purchaser. CAMERAPEDIA relies on good images for the cameras. People contribute images to CAMERAPEDIA via this group. I dare say that most do so because they see CAMERAPEDIA as a valued community resource. Once CAMERAPEDIA becomes a commercial resource, then the underlying assumptions for the fair use of the contributed images are no longer fulfilled. We all retain the rights to the images we produce and we have varied approaches as to how we respond to requests for commercial use of our images. Most of us would charge fees for single use rights etc to commercial companies.
If people decide to pull their images out of this pool, then CAMERAPEDIA no longer has the right to use these images. And after a reasonable transition period, say one, may be two weeks, CAMERAPEDIA would be in breach of copyright if it were to continue using them. All these images will then need to be replaced, hopefully with images of a similar quality.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
heritagefutures (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@heritagefutures

I agree.

I hope lbstone regains his intellectual understanding to agree too.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Voxphoto is a group administrator Voxphoto says:

I'd urgently like to hear clarification whether the offer to purchase is simply for the domain name (to use for some unrelated business)— or for the site as a whole?

Even the first case is quite problematic (e.g. because of the many incoming links from other sites and discussions around the web). But as heritagefutures correctly points out, having a commercial entity buy the site as a whole would immediately violate the noncommercial CC license under which most of our camera photos have been added to the Flickr pool.
51 months ago (permalink)

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

Server is down again. I'm working on fixing the problem.
51 months ago (permalink)

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

Alright, we're back. Looks like everything is humming along.

Thanks for your patience. I'm doing my best to keep everything up and running the way it should.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

Great, now we know the name.
I'd still be happy to know the price.
Just for record.
51 months ago (permalink)

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lbstone is a group administrator lbstone says:

As I mentioned before, my goal here is to make sure that Camerapedia continues to be stable, available and open for all of us. The problems I've talked about in my emails to rebollo_fr are real and immediate, and I see it as my responsibility as founder and host to make sure that this wiki has an infrastructure in place that will keep it going long-term. That's what I'm currently working on getting set up. I'm sorry if the delay in writing about this has worried people, but I wanted to be sure we had everything in place and organized fully before I jumped ahead with an announcement. I think everything is together now, so please see A New Home for Camerapedia for more.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

As authors of the content we add, are we able to remove said content? Also, the images in this pool, if they are moved by some one to Wikia servers I assume we can request this content removed?
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

I noted that in the past 24 hours an unknown source suddenly accessed 4,576 of my FLICKR images. On 'normal days that fluctuates around 300) and I also that the Camerapedia group has 4,305 of my images uploaded. That sounds quite disconcerting, so say the least.

I suspect that the entity to which LBSTONE has sold Camerapedia to has done so. I did not link all images to CAMERAPEDIA pages, therefore these accesses cannot be apart of a 'normal' link check' to verify the links are working. If the images were downloaded, they were downloaded illegally as I retain copyright of all my images.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
heritagefutures (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

Things have become quite clear now. I am sorry to say, am not happy.

This is a formal notification to Lbstone and the new owners of CAMERAPEDIA at WIKIA.COM that I have pulled out of the CAMERAPEDIA group on FLICKR. I no longer give CAMERAPEDIA permission to use any my images wthout paying Royalties/Copyright fees. This takes effect of seven (7) days from this posting, or a move of the site to camerapedia.wikia.com, which ever comes earlier. Thank You.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

There was a significant walkthru through my images, too.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@lbstone

It was a massive fault not to inform Rebollo_fr about the takeover.

Instead of winning new good authors as you promised in your recent on-site announcement we already lost one of our best: heritagefutures.

please contact your wikia partner ASAP to ensure that they take no further measures to spread fears in the camerapedia community. Otherwise it's lost.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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Voxphoto is a group administrator Voxphoto says:

Sigh... It would be healthy for everyone in the Camerapedia community to read this:

Wikia: Controversy (from Wikipedia).

On the internet today, it's quite common for us to accept "free" services in exchange for being exposed to advertising. When this is a choice I enter into freely, this is not a problem.

However, a decision that is made unilaterally without any public transparency is not in this category. Wikia appears to be a for-profit entity supported by advertising. This clearly violates the "non-commercial" clause under which I have contributed photos to the Flickr Camerapedia pool.

With regret, I am withdrawing all of my photos from the Flickr Camerapedia pool.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
Voxphoto (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@Voxphoto

Yes, the decision also violates the "non-commercial" clause under which I have written articles :-((

For not going to jail myself because of violating good people's rights here, therefore I had to withdraw the public viewing rights for 111 images which were donated by friendly ebayers exclusively for camerapedia. I had promised to all donators that their images will be used in "the non-commercial web-encyclopedia about cameras www.camerapedia.org"

It was a good lot of work to search and to acquire these images for us and our readers. I'm sorry, but many of the donators really checked wether or not our website is a non-commercial one, before they agreed to give the images for our pool.
51 months ago (permalink)

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McFortner says:

I have just pulled all my images from this group and the Camerapedia.org site as well. We did this work with the understanding that the site was non-commercial and free to all. When he sold it, lbstone did not just sell the site name, but the CONTENTS of that site as well. Without the contents, the site is worthless. Wikia could have created their own version, but they wanted the hard work WE as contributors have provided in order to sell their advertising space on it.

lbstone refuses to state how much he has made off of OUR work. That is dealing with us in bad faith. Therefore, I have pulled my images and refuse to grant the site of Camerapedia.org or it's owners the right an privileges of displaying my images. If the site returns to it's non-profit foundations, this may be subject to change.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
McFortner edited this topic 51 months ago.

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

The content on Camerpedia is licensed under the GNU GFDL, so it should be possible to simply fork the project and preserve it under a new name. This happens all the time with open source software projects when they're threatened by commercial take overs. Open Office is currently being rebooted as Libre Office because of the Oracle takeover. So why not camerpedia? Just need a new name - photopedia? cameratopia?

Does anyone have a full backup of the site? If so, it would not be difficult to set something up and then create a true non-profit org to support it going forward.

This shouldn't bother the wikia folks. They get to keep the domain name they paid for and the license allows them to copy the content and plaster ads all over just like lots of sites do with Wikipedia's content.
51 months ago (permalink)

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hoariless says:

I don't have a full backup of the site, steevithak, but I believe that at least one person who's unhappy with Wikia does have one.

Whatever one thinks of Wikia (or Wikipedia), Wikipedia can be informative and helpful. It quickly took me to the article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_farms . This in turn led me to OurProject ourproject.org/ , which may for all I know have severe drawbacks (and certainly requires donations) but which looks a lot better than Wikia.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

I shall be removing my pictures from the pool as I do not wish them to be used to create revenue for a company. However, if no alternative camera wiki is created from the existing DB I would suggest the community embrace Wikipedia and transfer their own content there. It's not Camera centric, but it is the larget no profit wiki on the web and world therefore has a large community and audience.
51 months ago (permalink)

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hoariless says:

No, Kong Zi, Wikipedia would not be suitable. Or anyway even the best of Camerapedia's articles would have to be drastically revised before meeting Wikipedia's requirements for "no original research", etc. And even if that were done, Wikipedia editors could claim that such-and-such a brand of ancient camera is not notable and does not merit an article, however scrupulously written.

Moreover, Camerapedia articles can be opinionated. Here is, um, my own view on a certain Japanese magazine: Although Leica cameras were predictably covered with a degree of attention that seems obsessive (even ludicrous or pathological), the magazine was otherwise fairly democratic, willing to devote entire articles to much less prestigious brands, such as Mycro. (This GFDL 1.2 contribution has lain undisturbed at camerapedia.org/wiki/Kurashikku_Kamera_Senka for just a few days shy of four years.) Conscientious Wikipedia editors would and should delete that in a twinkling, and if you asked why they'd cite a pile of reasons for doing so.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
hoariless edited this topic 51 months ago.

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Kong Zi says:

Much of the factual side of the camera descriptions and specifications can be attributed to orginal manufacturers documentation and/or existing history pages they provide, even google host old magazines which can be used to cite facts, figures and comments on cameras. Although Wikipedia is not an idea place to keep this information, it is better than nothing.

Wikipedia, for example, currently claims Ricoh only ever made 14 film cameras, that made me chuckle :D
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
Kong Zi edited this topic 51 months ago.

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hoariless says:

Meanwhile, there's also a matter of the choice of specific copyleft license for the text. See my comments at
camerapedia.org/wiki/Camerapedia.org:Community_Discussion...

(I was about to add "and please reply there", but perhaps discussion there might evaporate in just one week, so here may be better. Or perhaps here and there.)
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

This is an interesting development.

A quick search led me to these three pages:
- the GFDL 1.2 as posted at Camerapedia
- Wikipedia's page on the GFDL describing how it was once possible to relicense contents from GFDL 1.3 to Creative Commons without actually asking the authors
- Wikia's official licensing policy stating that all of Wikia contents is under CC-BY-SA 3.0

My ability to reason might be impaired, but I cannot see how these can be made to fit together. I invite all the ex-authors of the former Camerapedia website to read these pages in detail and share their views.

I will ask the same question to the Wikia staff on the grandiose announcement page.

P.S.: If some of you question the utility of one of my recent edits to a user page, I invite them to use a search engine. They may find the name of Camerapedia's next administrator.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
rebollo_fr edited this topic 51 months ago.

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rebollo_fr says:

Hint to my last cryptic sentence: the person has no interest in the Aires 35, and may have no interest in cameras at all.

Before leaving unreasonable comments, please keep him/her the benefit of doubt and remind he/she may have been abused by Lbstone too, only in a different way.
51 months ago (permalink)

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

hoariless, that's good to know that backups of the site exist. If someone with a backup is interested in help getting an alternate site setup using Mediawiki, please let me know. I'd be happy to lend some help to preserving camerpedia as a non-profit site, even if under a new name.
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

If this develops as a formal not-for-profit foundation, I am more than delighted to make all my work and images available pro bono. And provide an annual donation that would be in the magnitude of 2x what lbstone claims his monthly hosting fees were.

I pulled my images and research purely because I do not like being taken for a ride... so that someone can enrich himself using my intellectual property without even having the courtesy of consulting with me.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

I'm more than willing to invest time and money into an alternative.
51 months ago (permalink)

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

Hard to know what the monthly bandwidth cost would be unless someone has historical data for the existing site. We could set up a mediawiki on a scalable service like Joyent or Amazon EC2 where we could scale it as needed. Initial cost would probably be in the $75-$150 per month range. Or we could take the ultra-cheap route, get mediawiki hosting at a place like dreamhost without spending much at all, then move to scalable hosting later when required as bandwidth usage increases.

Organizationally, it should be set up so no one person can control or destroy the site. Instead maybe a controlling council made up of the site administrators with technical and financial info openly available to all users. It takes time to set up a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so it would have to operate as an informal group initially but could still have a written charter of principles to govern it.

Looks like we could do this as far money and technical issues are concerned. I think the question now is: what do the current Camerpedia admins want to do? Since they do a huge amount of work in keeping the current site going, I think they're needed to make a forked non-profit site succeed. But if they want to keep the site free, the community can make it happen.
51 months ago (permalink)

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rebollo_fr says:

As an admin of the former website, I can promise moral support and advice. I also have a full backup archive that I can offer for any non-commercial project, and a few screen copies that might help too.

But the events of the past two days have disturbed some of my fundamental beliefs, and I cannot formally compromise myself to anything else for the moment.
51 months ago (permalink)

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hoariless says:

Steevithak, thank you for your hard thinking and generosity.

You talk of Camerapedia admins as doing a huge amount of work, and camerapedia.org/wiki/Special:ActiveUsers makes it clear that I ("Hoary") am one of a minuscule number of admins who've done something (anything) in the last three months. So I first want to dispel any wrong impression. I became an admin during the rather short and now distant period of my fairly intense editing activity at Camerapedia. But even then, very little of my "janitorial" activity needed my administrator superpowers. (I blocked spammers and the very occasional blatant timewaster. And that was about it.) Yes there is a lot of "administrative" work to be done in a place such as Camerapedia but not much of it requires one to be an administrator. And as for me, I'm a mostly retired contributor who continues to wish Camerapedia well -- but I have no more significance than that.

Now let's think hard about forking. One major problem, I think, would again be of graphics. Camerapedia (CP) has used the camerapedia pool. People who linked there have agreed that all pictures of this pool can be linked into the pages of the non-commercial camera encyclopedia website camerapedia.org. Let's put aside for a moment the question of whether a commercial site that's a redirect from the domain name of a non-commercial site is that non-commercial site, fascinating question though this is. What's clear is that this agreement does not say ... or any website claiming to be its successor.

Let's imagine, then, that there were a noncommercial fork of CP. This would be a "non-commercial camera encyclopedia website" all right, but it would definitely not be CP: that name would be used elsewhere (and the exclusivity of its use might well be backed up by threats of litigation). Let's instead call the new non-commercial site "Camera Wiki" (CW) for now. I suppose that Flickr would need a new "camerawiki" pool, and that contributors to the "camerapedia" pool would be asked to add their photos there. But in the meantime, CW would have no graphics, and their addition would, I fear, be immensely time-consuming.

I hope to be told that I've overlooked something, and that the process would be easier than I imagine. But no wishful thinking, please, and definitely no nonsense about how contributors to the "camerapedia" pool definitely would have wanted their photographs to be included in the "spiritual successor" (?!) to CP -- they may have wanted no such thing, they may be ardent lovers of Wikia or sworn opponents of forking, or for any (or no) reason they may be opposed to the idea, and anyway use of their photographs within something other than the non-commercial site "camerapedia.org" was not something that they explicitly agreed to.
51 months ago (permalink)

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

hoariless: Yes, the image licensing issue would be a problem. But the new site would still have some images because many people, such as myself, already license their photos under a CC license that allows them to be used on sites such as camerapedia or wikipedia without the need for a specific grant of permission.

I just did a quick search and there at least 17000 CC licensed photos in the camerapedia pool. Those images could be used immediately. So more than 50% of the images would still be usable the day the site went live. Here's a link:

www.flickr.com/search/groups/?q=camera&w=46195334%40N...

It should be possible to write a script to grind through all the existing photos and temporarily remove any that are not CC licensed. Those could be queued up and the authors emailed requesting either explicit permission or a license change to allow their use on camerapedia's successor. They could be alerted to the hostile takeover of the original domain at the same time so they could remove their photos from Wikia's site if they chose.

There would be a transitional period with a reduced number of images but it's a solvable problem. And given Wikia's history, there's a reasonable chance that the good will of the community is likely to go with a community run, non-profit site rather than with an advertiser who bought the domain name.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Will we get this change in the bottom line now?

# Privacy # About Wikia # Terms of use # Contact Wikia # Advertise #
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

with any forking, I'd suggest that we also create a new group, akin to this one, with the same image stipulations. that way people who want to contribute to 'Camera Wiki" (whatever name) can do so without running the risk that their images, in this group here, can be grabbed by WIKIA on the pretense that the images are 'grand fathered' in..Should a fork be created, I'd make all my images (and many more to be shot) available.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Wikia about Wikia.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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mflenses says:

I had similar trouble few months ago, members did support well our forum at mflenses.com . Hosting company is hetzner.de they rent fast reliable dedicated servers on affordable price. If you need any help I am glad to support this great project.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
mflenses edited this topic 51 months ago.

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

camerapedia.wikia.com/
has gone live...it recognises my user name but blocks my log on...

all my copyrighted images are still being displayed...despite very specific requests to the contrary.... as of 22:30, January 25, 2011 WIKIA is infringing my copyright.
51 months ago (permalink)

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sannse says:

Heritagefutures: I've replied to your PM

(quick summary for everyone else, I'd assumed Heritagefutures would be editing out links to his images on the wiki, but happy to help)
51 months ago (permalink)

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awcam is a group moderator awcam says:

I have to agree with heritagefutures, and am stating here that any images of mine displayed on the wikia are now breaking my copyright, and they are not licensed CC. This includes one on the front page, which I have removed from the pool. I am considering what to do with the rest of the images, whether removing them from the pool is enough, or deleting them from Flickr entirely is necessary.

Like some others, some of the pictures in my stream were from ebayers, who allowed their work to be used by the non-profit Camerapedia - so I think I must delete those images.

Text I have added was added under GNU GFDL, and so can be reused on a new site, although attributions will still be required on both a new site and the wikia takeover.

It's interesting that whilst logins work on the wikia site, you are then dumped onto a readonly copy of the old site. This suggests we are being denied access to our own work.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
awcam edited this topic 51 months ago.

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:


I do not see why _ I_ should be responsible for editing out all images myself. It is your responsibility as the new owner of CAMERAPEDIA to ensure that you have the copyright to display the images. This is something that you should have done as part of your due diligence when you bought the domain and site. You do not have the permission to display mine.
51 months ago (permalink)

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ricksoloway says:

Here's an interesting link to an article on dealing with image thievery called, "Steal my photos please" by Thomas Hawk:

thomashawk.com/2010/10/steal-my-photos-please.html

Anyone considering a "class action" suit here?

This is not a techno-problem, with techno solutions. It's about image rights and intellectual property being "appropriated" by a "for profit" entity in a "bait and switch" scenario with the original content providers and camerapedia.org.

I'm starting to feel we might need a lawyer, unless image and content providers are offered some sort of compensation for the use of our copyrighted material by the new "for profit" entity.
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
ricksoloway edited this topic 51 months ago.

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LANCEPHOTO says:

Wow - I didn't see anyone this upset when Flickr decided to sell every single one of its millions of user's photos to Yahoo (both for-profit companies) for more than $40 Million Dollars!!! (likely a bit more than the owner of camerapedia.org made on his sale.)
That sale was based solely on the user's input...
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

The difference here is that WIKIA sites can be plastered with inappropriate advertising, while FLICKR does not..and WIKIA makes money from displaying copyrighted images in a commercial context. It's a question of consent. WIKIA does not have the consent or many to use the images
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Anybody here who got a vital sign of Rebollo_fr in the last 5 days?
51 months ago (permalink)

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ricksoloway says:

received email from rebollo January 21st
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Found a hint of his activity on 23rd January!
Originally posted 51 months ago. (permalink)
uwekulick (a group admin) edited this topic 51 months ago.

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sannse says:

heritagefutures : As I've said, we did not (and cannot) buy the content of Camerapedia. It remains a community project, with hosting and support paid for via ads rather than personally by lbstone. As part of that agreement to host, we did buy the URL -- the content remains copyright of the authors, licensed under the GFDL (or various conditions for the images)

For images not under a free license, permission was given to the site and the site still exists (albeit on a new host). I understand if you wish to withdraw that permission, and the easiest way to do that is for you to remove the links you added. Of course, I'd rather you give the new hosting a chance :) but understand your concerns with the changes.
51 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

I just wasted much of my limited time deleting my image links just to get the issue out of the way. This was the responsibility of WIKIA, not mine. Your actions (actually the lack thereof) have done nothing at all, I am afraid, to endear WIKIA to me.
51 months ago (permalink)

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sannse says:

heritagefutures: I've replied further to your post on the wiki
51 months ago (permalink)

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rick_oleson says:

I don't know much about this whole situation, whether Wikia is good or evil or indifferent, or the perils of having photos juxtaposed with unrelated and possibly inappropriate advertising. Clearly there are people here who are much better versed in all that than I will ever be.

From my point of view, I'd think that the purpose of a contributor in contributing text or images or both to Camerapedia would be neither to create property for the site owner, nor to create a forum for the contributor's own benefit, but to create a helpful and informative resource for users of the site.

In that context, I do not think that this purpose is furthered nor this resource improved by contributors withdrawing their contributions from it. Having said that, I certainly support the right of any contributor to withdraw his contribution at any time for any reason, or for that matter, for no reason. But I do think that Camerapedia is a resource whose continuing existence would be better than its termination, and which is better and more useful for its intended purpose with content in it than it would be with the content stripped out.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

@Rick Oleson
Words like your's were missing since discussions couldn't start earlier before the change was made. Perhaps Wikia has learned from this affair that a good communication to a good wiki community should be started some days earlier next time. Sannse made it well, but joined late when the hut was already burning.

I'm still feelin uncomfortable having had no vital sign from Rebollo_fr for now really more than 5 days. There was also no sign of excuse from lbstone. I guess that would have cleared the air a little bit, and Rebollo would have rejoined already yesterday. Now we have to wait or fear what happened to him.
51 months ago (permalink)

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past_reflections says:

Rick Oleson:
You have stated in much better terms what I was trying to say earlier. Ditto from here, and kudos for some very good words.
51 months ago (permalink)

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Hans Kerensky says:

What i really don't like about the "new" Wikia Camerapedia is the way they rapidly changed the lay-out of the webpages. No more pleasure to browse all that splendid information so i'm fairly sure that the interest in that site will diminish in the future (at least for me). Hope there will be an alternative soon as i whole-hearted liked the original idea of Camerapedia but see no point in contributing to this "new" Wikia set-up.
51 months ago (permalink)

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martinpaling says:

The new layout is a mess, the global navigation at the top is confusing and distracting.

"what? Camerapedia now has games?" I thought when i first saw it. The image links to other wikias at the bottom is distracting.

If someone does fork the project under a non-for profit model i'd move to that and probably donate too
51 months ago (permalink)

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sannse says:

Hans Kerensky and martinpaling: if you prefer the old layout, you can log in and change your choice of skin in your preferences.
51 months ago (permalink)

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past_reflections says:

I will concede one point as I read over the old discussion. I'm not a major player in this, so perhaps it impacts me less than others, but I do think there may be a case for a bit of underhandedness in the way the change was addressed and implemented, and judging from the expressed interest by the participants in supporting this in its old form, it probably was not necessary to pull the rug out from under the membership. At the very least, given the nature of the function, it should have been addressed as something planned before it was done, not after the fact. That understood, Sannse, it's unlikely you will ever win over those who most resent IBstone's handling of the change (which was obviously not decided on the spur of the moment). The thing that I see underlying these discussions is a sense of betrayal, probably justified, and that never goes down easily. I still believe that there is nothing wrong with the for-profit operation, so long as the profit is indirect, through advertising, and ownership of the posted material remains with the author. The changeover bugs are to be expected, and I have no sense from your statements that you intend to act in other than good faith to make it work. So I would say to everyone else, sit back, communicate, and relax. If it doesn't get smoothed out to your satisfaction, there's plenty of time to take your stuff home and try something else.
51 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

Our old Camerapedia admin Hoary reported an actual vital sign of Rebollo_fr

see:
camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:U._kulick#Rebollo_fr
and
camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Rebollo_fr#Hope_You_...
50 months ago (permalink)

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Gary Hubbs | The Scale Gallery says:

I have to say, that I am thoroughly confused. I've tried to follow this discussion, but its taking place in more than one place, and I don't have the time to flip back-and-forth chasing links around.

What I have been able to pick up on, is that I don't know if I want to contribute to the new Camerapedia whatever-its-called-now in its current form.

As a result, I've pulled all my photos (don't worry too much; this only results in a change to one obscure camera) and will wait until the dust settles to decide if I want to contribute in the future.

Until then, I just don't have the time to follow the issue in real time.
50 months ago (permalink)

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

I watched there's already a loss of much more than 6000 images from this pool. One reason is that this discussion here leaves many readers puzzled. I tried my best to bring together lbstone and rebollo_fr back into discussion, but when lbstone returned to discussion, rebollo_fr was away, and lbstone missed his chance to give his excuse for lousy communication at least towards rebollo_fr before the takeover, and missed that chance despite of my hint in this discussion, and later both were silent.

I guess rebollo_fr was disappointed that Wikia made a real job of it before some more negociations, clarifications and discussions were thru. Probably Wikia should have encouraged lbstone to communicate the change better, to keep some more community aboard. On the other hand rebollo_fr could have discussed his ideas more openly in the community.

I'm sure that we already would have a new discussion thread to clarify the core of the questions here which are all about image rights. The breakdown of discussions here, mainly caused by a missing excuse which would have been the core measure to take for damage containment, leads us to the situation of many unclarified questions. It's like the German army sailboat Gorch Fock: After mutinity the crew was flown home and the ship is at anchor near Ushuaia. At the attorney at home the crew's officers refuse to give evidence. That's what Wikia does when they promise to take care of th rights issue, but if a wiki user wants his rights respected he's advised to remove the image links himself from the wiki. That's the professional wiki service of Wikia.
50 months ago (permalink)

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Voxphoto is a group administrator Voxphoto says:

The content on Camerpedia is licensed under the GNU GFDL, so it should be possible to simply fork the project

To any former contributors to Camerapedia who have not been contacted already: A reborn, free camera wiki is now live.
Originally posted 50 months ago. (permalink)
Voxphoto (a group admin) edited this topic 50 months ago.

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diser55 says:

Somehow I missed all the buzz. Sad to see all the authors to be split between two *pedias by this event.
50 months ago (permalink)

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Voxphoto is a group administrator Voxphoto says:

You may want to take a look at the WIkia link Recent Activity and compare it to Recent Changes at Camera-wiki.org.

In just its first month, Camera-wiki.org grew to 5,456 pages (vs. Wikia's 5,288). Also in that time the Camera-wiki photo pool started at zero, but as of today includes 18,930 items and counting (nearly 60% of the size of Camerapedia's).

As far as authors are concerned, I don't think the "split" is quite the appropriate word.

Of course the dificulty is that thousands of google searches and web links still point to "camerapedia.org" URLs, all of which now redirect to Wikia.
50 months ago (permalink)

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(deaf mute) says:

I contributed thousands of words to camerapedia and hundreds of pictures. Now where's my money?
50 months ago (permalink)

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(deaf mute) says:

If the old camerapedia is now a "for profit" website, I'm going to send an invoice to the owners as soon as I can be bothered to count up how many of my images it is using without my permission. I could do with about £10,000.
49 months ago (permalink)

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

Arty, Wikia has been uncooperative so far with image removal requests and their position seems to be that leaving your photos in this flickr group amounts to permission for Wikia to use them on the for-profit site.

The ex-camerapedia-admins are trying to help contributors with the move from Wikia to Camerpedia's non-profit successor, Camera-wiki.org, but it's a bit of work. The first step will be to get your photos added to the flickr camera-wiki.org group. Once that's done we can help you pull them out of Wikia's site and remove them from this group.

You've got many photos here, and we've got a backlog of other photos we're working on, so let's take it a few at time. I've sent add requests for the first page of your photos from this group.
49 months ago (permalink)

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heritagefutures is a group administrator heritagefutures says:

Arty, I have been in the same boat. And even though I pulled my images from this pool, WIKIA remained uncooperative in removing them of the pages. In the end I spent an hour deleting them from the pages myself as pursuing a copyright infringement matter would have taken up more of my most precious commodity...time.
I suggest you join camera-wiki and help us build these pages on the true non-profit basis you initially signed on for here at Camerapedia.
49 months ago (permalink)

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(deaf mute) says:

I have a few other things on my plate at the moment, but I intend to pursue the matter when I get the time. I tend to charge £100 per image when other websites use my photos and I'm not averse to calling in my laywer over this.
49 months ago (permalink)

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Kong Zi says:

Here here.
49 months ago (permalink)

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steevithak is a group administrator steevithak says:

If you'd like to have the lawyer handle the removal of the images on the Wikia's side, that's cool - less work I have to do! :) I'll keep working on moving them from this flickr group to the camera-wiki.org flickr group and leave the Wikia side to you (and your lawyer).
Originally posted 49 months ago. (permalink)
steevithak (a group admin) edited this topic 49 months ago.

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uwekulick is a group administrator uwekulick says:

It's time to put that alert to top of discussions:

Wikia started unauthorized uploads of Flickr images from this pool to camerapedia.wikia.com . There's new staff roaming around in the wiki, disregarding copyright. Probably they don't know the Camerapedia group policy:

"Policy: Group for photos of cameras, camera lenses and camera accessories that can be used in the website camerapedia.wikia.com, the former non-commercial Camerapedia website, a renowned wiki encyclopedia about cameras, now hosted by commercial wiki service Wikia. If you add an image to this group it is with the understanding that it may be used or referenced from Camerapedia. No copies will be made since the site just presents your original Flickr-images on its camera information pages."

The preceeding text explains that for contributors who put their images into the pool BEFORE Wikia's Camerapedia deal:

"Your image contribution license given to the Camerapedia was based on your good belief that your images might be used in a non-commercial web-encyclopedia wiki project. If Wikia will switch on advertising mode for the site, a renewal of your license is necessary."


That all says clearly that copies of the images must not be made. A policy change must be negociated with the Flickr community "Camerapedia" in an open discussion, including the admins, and a way must be found to inform EVERY CONTRIBUTOR about the policy change. This discussion and contributor information is also mandatory when switching on the advertising mode of the wiki. Otherwise the use of the Flickr images in the whole wiki will become illegal.
49 months ago (permalink)

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