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#1 Morabeza

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 05:19 PM

This is why an IPS image gallery is needed. The best photos on PalmTalk should be catalogued, watermarked and made available commercially for a licence fee.


John brought up an issue that I think should be discussed. I have spoken with Dean previously about the issue of just what policy does PalmTalk have in relation to licensing photos that we users upload to the site. He really surprised me when told me I was the first person to ever ask! :blink: I realise that hammering out a policy regarding what rights PalmTalk users retain or give up when uploading their images to PalmTalk may not be easy but eventually I believe it will be necessary. Many other sites that are driven by user-based content (as we are) have policies in place not just to protect the rights of their users, but also protect the company or organisation from copyright lawsuits ( :( ). My interest is not to spark debate about the merits of copyright law or intellectual property rights, but it would be good to explore options that Palm Talk and the IPS leadership can agree on.

I think an IPS gallery of the best photos that appear on PalmTalk would be wonderful resource and I am grateful John brought it up! That alone would attract even more visits and visibility via internet image searches etc. Our mission of education could be greatly aided by this.

I am a member of many plant societies and I can say that over the years as a member of the Pacific Bulb Society our wiki administrators have been able to track a clear correlation to the exponential rise in visits via internet searches to the number of named and tagged photographs we have in our "Photographs and Information" 'page' (really a wiki); bumping up our visibility on the web and in turn helping to achieve our goal: to make valuable information on growing geophytes visible, accessible and efficient to as many people as possible.

As plant societies shrink (at least in the US they have been on the wane!) their viability for the future is based on the strength and strategy of their internet presence. PalmTalk is evidence of this, however a catalogued gallery could make the IPS even more viable and valuable. (It's true that we are not using a wiki format but a gallery could be assembled by other methods.)

To speak personally from my experience with my own images; I am just am amateur photographer and I am not putting on airs. Most of the time I really don't mind sharing my images for educational/non-profit purposes when an interested party or person actually asks for permission. In contrast from time to time I have sold licensing for some of my images for profit-driven projects and entities and so I choose to retain a full copyright on my work as a default. This is a highly personal decision. I must say it is frustrating and time consuming to contact and contest unauthorized use with site after site the world over in dozens of languages when I find that my work has been used without even asking for permission beforehand.

Not that I am holding a grudge, I'm flattered even, that some of my images have been copied pasted and uploaded onto PalmTalk by fellow users and I've stumbled upon them later. It would be more flattering however if a fellow user would either link to my original or simply pop a PM, flickrmail, or even an old fashioned email inquiry my way before using my image(s) instead!

Perhaps PalmTalk & IPS could offer users options to license photos they share under a spectrum of licences, i.e. from the varied and quite flexible of the Creative Commons licences across to retaining full original copyright whilst allowing IPS/PalmTalk to feature and/or host images of users. Whether we like it or not, as I understand matters under the status quo, both the IPS and PalmTalk users need protections just in case anyone decides to get litigious (not to worry, I am allergic to lawsuits LOL). :D
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#2 freakypalmguy

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 05:39 PM

I agree 100%, a photo gallery would be a great enhancement and have discussed it before with Dean, but there is definitely a lot more involved in it than one would think at first glance, but I believe it would be worth it. Here is a link to the thread with some discussion on the topic.

Photo Gallery Discussion
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#3 Morabeza

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:00 PM

Thanks for the link Matt! I haven't been as active on PalmTalk and totally missed that thread. I spoke to Dean a long while ago about the issue and from what we discussed, I agree, it would not be an easy undertaking by any stretch. I also cringe at the thought of adding on to Dean's overflowing plate. It would take money and countless hours of volunteer work to keep it running, orderly and 'sparkling' ;). I know the PBS wiki admins are all unpaid and some spend ungodly amounts of time fixing all the mistakes made by other less experienced wiki users that upload things in a way that needs fixing. The hours of fixing seem to breed exponentially!

However I think I began this thread with two issues, one about John's mention of a IPS gallery, which would need to have total backing by the IPS board members and possibly one or two new serious volunteers..?

The other issue is regarding the terms and conditions of uploading or attaching photos to PalmTalk that (from what I understand) don't exist yet. Lawyers might be necessary and that might cost lots of money too.

I'm not sure actually which would be the more complicated issue to tackle!
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#4 freakypalmguy

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:39 PM

I understand Jacob.

As far as volunteers go in regards to a photo gallery, if it ever becomes a reality, I would like to say now, I would be happy to volunteer.
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#5 Dypsisdean

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:33 PM

This idea is not new. In fact, the gallery already exists, and has been in the works for many years already. Check their website, it's there. It has been started several times and has slowed to a halt each time due to the difficulties envolved with implementing it in a practical fashion. In fact there are two processes that are stalled in the water right now, from two different directions. The logistics are daunting.

That is why I started Palmpedia, after extensive reasearch, with software exclusively designed for handling Hi-Res photos, and that anyone can participate in if desired. The fact of the matter is the job is too big for one person. And getting more people involved in any other format than a wiki involves giving people access to a server, which is a recipe for disaster.

Without going into detail, there are many enormous technical and practical considerations that become apparent once started. That is why they have gone nowhere. Not to mention that I figured one time how much time uploading and cataloguing 4 high quality photos of each species would take. Each photo from PT would need to be downloaded, watermarked, and re-uploaded to the site. With a 600-800KB file, that process, including the resizing, placing, and cataloguing would be almost 10 mins per photo. So figure a half hour per species if all the photos where already located, approved as accurate, and of a quality and size worth using. So if a volunteer webmaster was willing to work one hour every day, and another willing to screen and keep track of the photos - for 2 thousand species that would be about three years of work. And that doesn't begin to cover descriptions, and who would write them. I've invested 1000 hours over three years already, and only have about 600 species up with about 300 descriptions, but over 3000 photos, and that's with volunteers helping.

A photo gallery is one thing, there are a ton of formats available. But a searchable, catalogued, integrated database with written descriptions and accurate information is another.

I have offered the IPS use of Palmpedia. It is an excellent platform, and many people are already participating. They are uploading photos, writing descriptions, creating a glossary, etc. But apparently, the IPS needs total control for accuracy (which eliminates an open wiki concept). The photos would need to be authenticated as accurately IDed before posting. Thus taking the time of one or more of the "experts" to review them, etc. - and making the process even more cumbersome. It's a huge project, and if that's what the IPS needs, it needs to be well thought out from square one, and designed using a platform that will stand the test of time. And it should not be so intricate and complicated that it is dependent on one person who could leave at anytime. In addition, if it is not intended to be the "cream of the crop," with something exceptional to offer, there are many nice palm galleries already in existence.
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#6 PiousPalms

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:48 PM

Jacob, save yourself the headache and heartache... Dean already has the best online photo book around over at Palmpedia.net

http://www.palmpedia...ory:PALM_GENERA

(I suppose my comment should have some legal disclaimer that my comments are in no way the viewpoints of the IPS proper and etc. etc. :rolleyes: )
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#7 Dypsisdean

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:58 PM

I think I need to be really clear, so as not to be misunderstood. I love the IPS. And I work hard to do what I can to improve it and add to it's membership, every chance I get. But that also includes criticizing things when I see things that I think could be done better.

This idea of a gallery is near and dear to my heart. When I came to the conclusion over three years ago that PalmTalk was a great resource for harvesting photos and creating a great gallery, I wanted the IPS to do it. I was told they already were. A new website with a gallery was being designed. And it was, check it out. They have a new website, but with a gallery that is worthless. They have put people in charge, but nothing ever happens. That is my criticism. And I think every Director would have to agree with that.

And that is why I started a wiki for the Palm Community to use in order to create a state of the art Gallery and reference. I had doubts the IPS was structured appropriately or had the wherewithal to accomplish such a technically challenging task. While creating Palmpedia, I realized why the IPS Gallery hadn't ever really gotten off the ground. I worked a year on PP, until I realized the platform I had chosen had limitations that would always hamper the project - that would make it less than a real state of the art resource. It was a year of wasted time.

So after expending several thousand hours of web and software development, and then struggling with the massive amounts of data entry, I realized (and sympathized) why the IPS gallery was a no show. You have just seen how difficult the selection and implementation of a logo has become. Believe me, setting up a workable and doable online encyclopedia is on another level.

So I don't want to come across as someone who is negative on the IPS. It's quite the contrary. I owe a lot to them, and can't imagine where my palm garden would be today without them. They are a fabulous and unique organization that has endured the test of time. I criticize it as I would criticize my son. With love and with an intent to be honest and be constructive. But like many things in life, they are set up to do some things really well, while others things they seem to struggle with.
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#8 Morabeza

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:38 PM

Of course I don't expect Dean to solve all problems and answer all questions :)! But thank you Dean for educating us more on the details of what is stalled and what is being worked on and why. All of what you said makes a lot of sense about access to an open wiki vs. one that needs to be run by the IPS. Of course I wasn't expecting anything about the issue to be simple or untethered to many other issues.

Jacob, save yourself the headache and heartache... Dean already has the best online photo book around over at Palmpedia.net

http://www.palmpedia...ory:PALM_GENERA

(I suppose my comment should have some legal disclaimer that my comments are in no way the viewpoints of the IPS proper and etc. etc. :rolleyes: )


Perhaps you got the wrong idea Bill, I actually am a fan of Palmpedia and think it's great. Dean and the others who have helped build it deserve tons of credit for a fantastic site! Ironically (and Dean has already helped me resolve this after it happened) a Palmpedia user uploaded one of my photos without ever contacting me and I happened to run into it only by chance. My 'headache' (only very slight :lol: ) is the issue of people using copyrighted photos as if they were their own without permission. I promise you I am no selfish curmudgeon, it's just a question of simple manners and copyright law. I'm not delusional enough to think that photo theft isn't rampant already across the internet, but I am one of those guys who expects basic common courtesy of others. Like most people who live life with their eyes open, I'm a student of human nature and when I see abuse it doesn't surprise me, it's just unpleasant. My heart isn't breaking! :D I don't mind people downloading my photos for viewing on their own computer but a legal and ethical line is crossed when that downloaded photo is then uploaded elsewhere on the net, or worse used for profit or purposes that I don't approve of or haven't given permission for. I'm not cross, however I think I am being completely fair and reasonable - and I don't think I am the only user of this forum who feels this way. If I wanted to license my photos under a more liberal Creative Commons licence I would, however that is not something I have chosen to do yet.

With hindsight I believe I should have placed the issue of the legal terms and conditions of uploading or attaching photos to PalmTalk in a separate topic heading. It's bound to get caught up and lost in the discussion over gallery logistics.

Since I joined Palmtalk in 2006(?) I have been impressed at how friendly and generous 'palmfolk' are here on this board in comparison to other plant forums I have experienced. This marvellous spirit of generosity and sharing is wonderful and I don't mean to be a wet blanket. However, isn't the reason that sharing and being generous is such a joy is due to the fact that we choose to share? When people (however innocently) 'misappropriate' others' work, (i.e. photos) that choice is taken away, and with it the fun. Even kids playing with toys know that willingly sharing a toy makes them feel better than taking a toy from another child when the other didn't see.
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#9 Dypsisdean

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:17 PM

Jacob,

Let me add a few bits of info. But first let me tell you the gardenias you sent are doing great, thanks again.

First, the issue of photo usage on the web is only going to get worse. It's the nature of the beast. It's too easy to steal and use. And unfortunately PalmTalk is probably just as guilty as anybody with having copyrighted material posted here. There is no way we can make sure that copyrighted photos are not posted on PalmTalk. Anyone can do it. So the only real assurance is to watermark your photos with copyright info so the site master will know. But even that is no guarantee.

And as far as Palmpedia or PalmTalk removing them, of course that will always occur if notified. But in the case of Palmpedia, there was no need for you to even let me know. As a wiki, you or anyone else could have easily removed them. In that sense, a wiki is self policing, and probably reacts and corrects information and infringements much quicker than "closed" websites.

And you are right, Palm Peeps are good peeps. In fact, most plant people are woven of a different cloth - a finer friendlier one. :)
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#10 Kris

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:07 PM

Nice discussion But i would say that one who sells stills for profit should watermark his or her stills.So when its copied & pasted or uploaded in other posts & thread.the watermark will be highlighted.
Iam open about people using my stills but recently i had experience of sending my corypha stills in full resolution for consideration in a renound site.And those stills have all been uploaded into their site under its mod's album and not under the corypha catagory for which i had sent.And those stills are not watermarked as done in 'daves garden'.But the stills are open source for anyone to copy.And in page bottom they have put my name.But those stills can be easily copied by anyone without asking my permission..
I was then really not that happy about it.But later realised that my intention was those stills reach the lenght & breath of the globe.I think the purpose was reached.So did not take up that issue with that site's modulator.
And i must say that even i have the habit of cut & paste stills of our members to create a birthday cards or for the CIDP thread.Till now most have not object to my behaviour.
And only recently i have learnt to watermark the stills with the rightful owners user i.d.So that if those stills are copied by & used by annonimus users/guests in other forums & publication the water marks will still be visible.
And last but not the least we are living in a fast growing digital world with so many images & data being dumped into our computers & minds...daily.So
copyrights could be very difficult to implement in any site which has visuals in its posts & pages.
Only solution that i see here is that proffesional & ametuear photographers who make their livelyhood out of their high quality & unique stills should either post their stills with water mark and with image resolution less than 640x...And another option would be is to stop uploading your stills in general forums in the net !

kris.
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#11 tropicalb

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 10:41 PM

i wholeheartedly agree with Kris.

i wouldn't upload any images on any public forum that are not intended for public consumption in all it's forms, nefarious or otherwise. Once you choose to upload an image and make it available to the public, the horse is out of the barn.

IPS policy should consist of a disclaimer, stating that individuals uploading images on this website do so at their own risk, and that the IPS is not legally responsible for the use or misuse of any images that appear on or are uploaded to this site.

Edited by tropicalb, 13 December 2009 - 10:42 PM.

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