[Taxacom] pro-iBioshphere project Web Site launched

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 05:09:06 CST 2012

Dave wrote: > the problem with content is that its hard to demonstrate
that any given quantum of content will make any difference.  I would
content that most content projects are "local interest" meaning they
are of value to small communities.  That is not a bad thing, provided
they can be linked up into a "data lake" and not remain as "data

I agree, with the addition that they also need to be preserved for the
future. This is a delicate balance between providing incentives for a
consortium taking publishing curators responsibility and creating a
monopoly that prevents copying or re-use (like some projects which put
their content under "non-commercial-use-only" (CC NC) or
"non-derivative" (CC ND) licenses).

Traditionally, putting printed paper in lots a libraries is a good way
of preserving it for the future. Putting a single handwritten book
into a single library is not a good way. Even where a few copies
existed, much has been lost forever. The same is happening with the
digital content.

We need platforms that welcomes external initiatives and provides
stability, essentially a community-run digital publishing house is
what is needed. GBIF, EOL or ViBRANT scratchpads/biowikifarm are such
a platforms.

Dave wrote: > Infrastructure projects, by and large, focus on reducing
the cost of building content.  How many pilots have we seen that
produce terrific content, but don't roll out any further?

I agree, but under open source/open content licenses it would be
possible to roll it on. I believe a major problem is that producers
try to make content non-reusable as to protect themselves (either
hoped-for commercial exploitation, or simply the next funding round).
I have experienced several painful cases in my experience, where great
fragments of work, in one case a 3 years publicly funded Million EUR
project, cannot be re-used and brought forward because it is not
openly licensed.

(And no, CC NC is not an open license and is not comparable to open
source. NC content is very hard to re-use without additional
permission. For example, EOL has these additional permissions for
their NC-content, but should EOL fail, no other organisation could
pick up the NC content and carry the work on.... Any organised entity,
for-profit as well as non-profit, needs to prove that no commercial
advantage is obtained, which is rather hard with any interesting
content that can be considered an advertising advantage.)


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