I am currently trying to find somewhere to deposit the Inkscape SVG files from the EMP–E poster. These are licensed as CC BY 4.0 and the information is embedded in each SVG file. My best option, in this case, is probably the openmod wiki.
But our information management system is frankly a shambles. As best as I can tell, the following applies:
The openmod wiki should only accept Creative Commons CC-BY permissive license and CC0 public domain waiver files uploaded by the author (in contrast, Wikipedia has a complicated registration system in which the author can confirm their license by email and third party can undertake the upload). The upload menu currently offers a CC BY-SA (copyleft) option, but this is wrong in our case (probably a hangover from the Wikipedia origins of the underlying wiki software).
Most open formats are valid, including but not limited to (I would guess): JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG (including Inkscape), XCF (GIMP), WebM (video), ODP, ODS, ODT (the last three being LibreOffice). But proprietary formats are barred, including: DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLXS, PPT, PPTX (all Microsoft).
Revised versions of files can be uploaded to overwrite historical versions, with rollback also possible. A commit log is automatically maintained.
Our internet forum currently accepts only JPG, PNG, GIF (all raster graphics). That excludes PDF and SVG, which probably cannot be satisfactory rendered.
As best I can tell, the forum does not currently carry a Creative Commons BY license, therefore normal copyright applies to all text and content (unless graphics files themselves carry metadata to the contrary). That should be rectified, particularly given that all contributors can still be contacted. Indeed, text from the forum cannot be transferred to our wiki or to Wikipedia without rewriting (which must extend beyond “close paraphrasing”). (The same issue applies to traffic on the mailing list as it happens.)
Regarding files, I am not sure if file overwriting is possible on the forum, and, if so, whether a commit log is maintained. Does anyone know?
While convenient, the use of so-called editable wikiposts on the forum should, in most cases, supersede the use of google docs. Especially with the new polling functionality being established by Tom Brown.
If I am not mistaken, google docs are only viewable by those registered on the openmod wiki, while forum postings are publicly viewable. (The forum does not accept anonymous edits to my knowledge, but the Discourse server can be configured to allow unregistered editing.)
The licensing status of a google doc is rarely, if ever, specified and so defaults to standard copyright.
Other file servers and websites are used for openmod files. For example, the neon site carries files (one is a zipped collection of PDFs) from the first Berlin workshop and the FIAS file server carries files from the Frankfurt workshop. These are subject to linkrot (as was recently seen in the case of neon, but quickly fixed, thanks Lion). Moreover presentations residing in zip files cannot be hyperlinked. Other examples of files on foreign severs may also exist. Files on foreign servers are difficult to archive and backup.
Is this a useful place to work on shared documents, say Inkscape SVG (which is also natively text)? Would GitHub also be useful as a repository for graphics files, for example?
Does GitHub make sense as a PDF archive (I rather think not)?
GitHub allows an open license file to be added and automatically records it presence.
Metadata should, in my opinion, be written into uploaded files wherever possible.
The cross-platform metadata utility of choice is exiftool. exiftool writes to PNG and PDF, but you need to know the relevant field names first. Alternatively, video metadata can be added, edited, and viewed with ffmpeg, but again a knowledge of the supported field names is required.
Solutions are not so easy to come by. Possibilities include:
- the openmod forum could be configured, if possible, to support more file types
- the openmod could add a file server to its suite of internet services, to circumvent the restrictions imposed by the wiki and the forum
- the openmod website could become a de facto file repository
- the openmod wiki should be modified to remove the CC BY-SA upload option
- the openmod forum should embed a CC BY license and a notice that all contributions are thus licensed
But ultimately, openmod needs a coordinated policy on the storage of openmod-related files, be they graphics, presentations, videos, and also work-in-progress documents, SVG, TeX, and similar files.
The forum licensing issue is particular topical. The lack of a suitable CC BY license means material cannot be transferred to our wiki or to Wikipedia, for example.