[volunteers] [svlug] svlug license on Google video of session

Paul Reiber reiber at gmail.com
Mon Dec 3 20:13:31 PST 2007

On Dec 3, 2007 6:32 PM, John Mark Walker <johnmark at johnmark.org> wrote:
> Hi Paul,

Hi, JM! Long time no see.  Hope you can make it to an event again sometime soon.

> Given that a large proportion of Linux and FLOSS users care very much
> about information rights and such, shouldn't you have at least seen this
> coming?

YES!  I could have seen this coming, and didn't.  It's a shame I took off my
reverse-20-20-hindsight-goggles just before negotiating things with Google.

OK I'm being sarcastic... but really - even saying "YES", I could have seen
that coming - what's it get us?   It's not like I'll ever let the word
"video" slip
by me again, without blurting out my brand-new knee-jerk "We want the rights!"

> While I am baffled about why you disagree here, that's not so much what
> has me concerned.

I don't disagree with free and open information as a general goal.

I disagree with our TAKING something which was never intended to be OURS
in the first place.  SVLUG never asked for video rights - even if you
say I "should" have,
we DIDNT.  That ship has sailed.  Google made the videos - not SVLUG -
so they're
simply NOT OUR PROPERTY to be demanding things of.

> What concerns me is your incredulity that people would
> actually voice their opinion on this matter... that it somehow
> surprises you that a fair number of people here are actually pretty
> opinionated about matters concerning IP law and don't completely trust
> Google. I mean, where have you been? It's only been the subject of
> contentious debate in communities I inhabit for the last some-odd years.

Let 'em create the "Silicon Valley Legal Uproar Group" then, where
they can discuss that stuff till the cows come home.  We've been asked
DOZENS of times to get/stay focused on Linux in the mailinglists.
(thus the redirection to our volunteers list instead of the main list)

> The fact that you don't see this as an issue and don't plan to take
> action in response to the concerns expressed here puts you at odds with
> a significant portion of the SVLUG community.

Again, we don't OWN the videos in the first place.  It's really that simple.
If Google decides to give us rights, they're being even MORE gracious
than I would expect... given how much they've bent over backwards to
accommodate us already.

> I really don't mean to pile on here, but your response seems rather
> tone-deaf. Would it be too difficult to empathize with the concerns of
> SVLUG denizens and actually, you know, make plans to obviate them?

Yet another "Gee, Paul, we'd prefer you work THIS way"... I'll add it to my
list and do my best, buddy... that's the best I can do for now.

> As you can probably tell, this is an issue near and dear to my heart.


> By the way, this is not a beef with Google. It doesn't matter what
> company is involved - this is about policy. The larger issue here is that
> we, as citizens, have allowed well-funded and well-organized companies
> to out-maneuver us on IP law. The situation now is such that our current
> legal system does not recognize our information rights, and that is a
> huge problem. As such, I would think that it behooves a FLOSS community
> organization, like SVLUG, to lead the way and set the standard for
> others to follow.

Um... we're helping show the whole world the inside of the Linux Kernel, with
guides from within SVLUG and from elsewhere, at a Google venue, and the
videos are being produced w/ Google equipment by Google employees.

That *IS* leading the way and setting the standard - maybe just not
how you'd prefer it?

By the way... in this particular situation what "information rights"
do you perceive
SVLUG as having lost?  What information rights have attendees lost? presenters?
...I'm guessing you'll be scraping for answers... if there's anything
REAL there, though,
by all means, let me know and I'll be the strongest crusader you could
ever imagine
in support of our not losing any of those rights.

...However... if we never OWNED the videos in the first place, how can
we have lost
any rights regarding them???

> In response, I propose that one of us volunteer to do the job of taping
> the next kernel walk-through.

Google's already handling the taping.  Although it wasn't an explicit "only if
you let us tape", their generous venue offer came as pretty much a package
deal - I've got to consider that the tapes are part of their ROI for
sponsoring this,
and I'm not willing to just screw them out of that because people are saying
"bits should be free".

>  I further propose that regardless of who owns the copyright, that the material
> be posted under a creative commons license. Can we get consensus on that?

You'd have to ask Google.  SVLUG's not in a position to change the license, but
if we ask really really nicely, they just might do that for us anyway.
 I'd welcome
your getting in the loop with the Google sponsors - I'll forward their
email addresses
in a separate message if you'd like.

> I am open to volunteering for this, if someone has a video camera that I
> can use. I do not currently own one.

If we do end up videoing there, please do whatever it takes to ensure we don't
screw up Google's crew that'll be doing the same thing at the same time.

And by all means, ensure you've gotten our sponsor's permission before

> -JM

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