The Rules of the Commons


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Presentation to the European Cultural Commons workshop in Limassol, Cyprus looking at the Principles and operation of a series of Commons communities.

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The Rules of the Commons

  1. 1. The Rules of the CommonsNick PooleChair, Europeana NetworkCEO, Collections Trust
  2. 2. Introduction• A Commons is defined by a set of principles which have been developed and are owned collectively by the Commons• These principles usually define values and behaviours which the community are expected to support• It is useful to look at some examples:
  3. 3. The Conservation Commons• Open Access: The Conservation Commons promotes free and open access to data, information and knowledge for conservation purposes.• Mutual Benefit: The Conservation Commons welcomes and encourages participants both to use resources and to contribute data, information and knowledge.• Rights and Responsibilities: Contributors to the Conservation Commons have full right to attribution for any uses of their data, information, or knowledge, and the right to ensure that the original integrity of their contribution to the Commons is preserved. Users of the Conservation Commons are expected to comply, in good faith, with terms of uses specified by contributors and in accordance with these Principles.
  4. 4. Wikimedia Commons• Disclaimer: – Wikimedia Commons is an online open-content media repository, that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups who are developing a common resource to house different media. Its structure allows anyone with an Internet connection and World Wide Web browser to alter the content found here. – Therefore, please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise necessary to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.
  5. 5. Wikimedia Commons• Good Faith: – Unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it. – If criticism is needed, discuss editors actions, but avoid accusing others of harmful motives without clear evidence. – Be bold contributing here and assume good faith for the intentions of others.
  6. 6. Wikimedia Commons• Neutral Point of View: – Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. – All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. This policy is non-negotiable and all editors and articles must follow it.
  7. 7. Flickr Community Guidelines – ‘Do’• Play nice - were a global community of many types of people, who all have the right to feel comfortable and who may not think what you think, believe what you believe or see what you see. So, be polite and respectful in your interactions with other members.• Upload content that youve created - respect the copyright of others. This means dont steal photos or videos that other people have shared and pass them off as your own. (That’s what favorites are for.)• Moderate your content - All content on Flickr, public and private, has to be appropriately moderated as “safe,” “moderate,” or “restricted” using our safety and content filters.• Do link back to Flickr when you post your Flickr content elsewhere - Flickr makes it possible to post content hosted on Flickr to other web sites. However, pages on other web sites that display content hosted on must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr.• Do enjoy Flickr! - See the world through others’ eyes, participate, find your muse, and expand your horizons!
  8. 8. Flickr Community Guidelines – ‘Don’t’• Don’t upload anything that isnt yours.• Don’t forget the children.• Don’t show nudity in your buddy icon.• Don’t upload content that is illegal or prohibited.• Don’t vent your frustrations, rant, or bore the brains out of other members.• Don’t be creepy.• Don’t use your account to host web graphics
  9. 9. SAGE Bionetworks Commons• The purpose of the Commons is to expedite the pathway to knowledge, treatment, and prevention of disease.• We will promote collaborative discovery through the creation and support of a broadly accessible digital Commons consisting of curated data and methodological tools in which analytical results are shared in a transparent, open fashion.• The Commons will respect the rights and interests of all contributors including individuals from whom data are derived, researchers who collect and analyze data, and scientists and physicians who develop and implement healthcare advances. Those not respecting these rights will be excluded from the Commons.• Contributions to the Commons shall be appropriately acknowledged and attributed.• The Commons will promote data and tool sharing and distribution using standards that enable efficient reuse, compilation and comparison.• The Commons will hold no intellectual property rights in, and will not permit encumbrances on, data and other elements within the Commons. This will not, however, preclude individuals from protecting new goods and services developed using data and other elements from the Commons.
  10. 10. The Water (Cultural?) Commons• Affirm water (culture) as a commons. It belongs to everyone and to no one exclusively, and must be passed on to future generations in sufficient volume and quality.• Ensure that the earth and all of its ecosystems enjoy rights to water for their survival. Indeed, those ecosystems make human life possible.• Conserve water as a social priority (enforced by law), including advocacy of drastic changes to industrial and agricultural practices.
  11. 11. The Water (Cultural?) Commons• Treat watersheds, the source of our water, as a commons, as well as the water itself.• Encourage local, community management of water while legally requiring users to respect upstream and downstream neighbours’ rights.• Create or reaffirm trans-boundary agreements that respect water sovereignty for all communities and nations.
  12. 12. The Water (Cultural?) Commons• Provide everyone with water as a basic principle of justice, not as an act of charity.• Ensure public delivery and fair pricing of water.• Promote the right to water as a principle in national constitutions, laws, and a UN covenant.• Employ innovative legal tools to protect water and manage water as a commons, including public and community trusts.
  13. 13. Some Common principles…
  14. 14. Value-based Principles• Act in Good Faith (and presume it on the part of others)• Be nice, polite and respectful of others• Promote the right of access as a principle• Support the principle of Mutuality (mutual benefit)• Accept the principle of shared rights & shared responsibilities• Don’t abuse the Commons
  15. 15. Activity-based Principles• Acknowledge and attribute• Respect other people’s copyright• Employ appropriate legal tools to protect culture as a Commons• Participate actively in the Commons• Promote the right of access as an activity
  16. 16. A Commons is…• A community…• …united by common principles…• …that has accepted responsibility for a body of material…• …in good faith…• …that promotes the right of access to and use of that material…• …within a legal framework which balances commercial & non- commercial use…
  17. 17. Some questions…• Can we identify a ‘pilot’ community with an established framework of principles & common understanding (tacit or explicit)?• What principles do we share with other Commons?• What principles are unique to culture (like water)?• Can we test our behaviours and values against these principles?
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