Hi all good to see the old faces here!
I have a few questions, they may be uncomfortable, but it would be good to get something down on paper about them..
1. Who owns the code for the web site? If the original programmer leaves, do we have the right to give the back-end/code of the web site to someone else to maintain?
2. Who is responsible for domain and hosting renewals? Obviously there is a cost involved, if one person pays this out of their own pocket every year, does this mean they can make a claim of ownership on the site?
3. Google ads at the bottom of the page, can we have someone from the admin community elected to see all financial details re. adverts on this web site. If there is a surplus of money, the community should decide whether to give that back to the developer but more importantly, should all financial business be transparent and public to commitee/senior admins/volunteers (for want of a better word)
4. If there will be member of senior admin voted in as 'treasurers', they can work with the volunteer developer to have access to numbers for monies received, a paypal donate button could be put on the site under this system, but only if it is open and transparent..
Basically, having experienced sxc and sxp, I don't think you want an individual to claim ownership on this web site, if they do, they have the right to sell it.. essentially what Peter did was he sold the code running his web sites, he can't sell the images because they belong to the users, so you guys need to make sure you put systems in place now, while things are in the early stages, so that you can totally run things yourself, including revenue and hosting costs..
We don't have an about-page yet, as the site is still very new. But we do have message number 17 in the forum by crisderaud in this thread: http://www.rgbstock.com/forum/msg/20 which explains a lot I hope.
Hi Lennie, congrats on the launch.. nice post but no, it doesn't really answer the questions above at all..
For example, is the paypal account set up with google ads to a default 'rgbstock' email address that the administrators/volunteers can all have access to, so that they can keep track of ad revenue and decide how it should be spent?
I feel the decision would be to put it in the developers pockets and deservedly so, but I think it's extremely important that some kind of treasurer is elected urgently, as the money is being earned everyday.. i think it needs to be transparent, open to the community, and the community should decide what to do with any surplus..
I also would be very curious to know, if you guys cannot develop the site anymore in the future, that you will hand over the code you have written to another developer to maintain.. or is it the case that the code belongs to you, and if you do not develop the site you would not want to hand over that code to someone else?
First of all, sorry for the short reply earlier, we are a bit busy fixing issues in the site. It's almost out of beta-stage.
Let me just say, we want to put everything in some kind of organisational form, like a non-profit or something. But we are not yet sure what form/format it should be. Also because the people working on the site life in different countries it might complicate things. That's the reason why the funding and so on hasn't been properly dealt with yet. Without a formal organisation their isn't much we can do. The idea about giving access to a Paypal account might be usefull, I don't know (yet).
Also Cris and hopefully some others are working on a formal about-page and FAQ.
We definitely need someone who has experience with these matters to advise us. You atleast ask the right questions, do you have any experience with these kinds of things ?
Or just the bad experiences with sxc/sxp ? :-(
We've been thinking of asking a lawyer, but this obviously costs money. Which we prefer not to spend unless it's needed.
Maybe THE issue would be better discussed back in the google group, at the core of rgb? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. hqimages has a point.
I agree that the discussion should take place on the google group. The people who have done all the work on site development clearly have the current ownership, for practical purposes. But I do think it shouldn't get much bigger before the above things are discussed.
I mean, it would be nice for the developers to just answer the questions here really, the questions are very straightforward yes/no answers.. for example, do 'we' own the code running the website?
Surely that can be answered straight away??
The reason I took a back seat on the project is because I initially recommended using Drupal, which is open source software, to run the web site.
Especially since there are already google ads placed on the web site that are earning money daily, really they should be removed until someone is elected from the administration panel and given access to a communal google login to view monies earned from adverts and get statements..
I have sent you an e-mail with as much info I have related to the questions you posted. I hope you find what I sent to be satisfactory for the time being.
best regards, Cris
The code goes where the data goes. They go together, they are not useful without each other. The bigger the site, they more everything fits together. You need the hardware, software-configuration, code, database and the domainname. The problem with saying who owns what is, we are looking at how we want to be organised, who owns what now isn't as interresting.
Hils, the ball has started rolling on the ownership of the coding. It is an important aspect, probably THE most important aspect, and will be receiving our full attention ASAP. I have also put out feelers about the site income. Whatever revenue is generated needs to be ploughed into maintaining and upgrading the hardware. This will be an absolute if the site continues to grow exponentially. To be honest, the site isn't even out of beta yet and is taking off quickly. We need to stay ahead of the game and you tapping us on the shoulder is a timely reminder that some big decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later.
Can we continue to discuss progress abd swap ideas over at the Google Group? We don't want a certain faction knowing our business.
I won't continue on google groups.. for now I'll leave you guys to it you seem to have everything under control...
If you need my help you know where I am.. laters!
I agree that the discussion should take place on the Open Source Images google group. It's the project core!.
I would like to ask crisderaud to start this topic in the google group.
Yesterday we received a message about the use of that GG and it would be better if he picks it up, so to speak.
After the discussion is started I'll post my 2 cents on this so important subject.
The Google Group isn't as private as we think it is anymore and the use of it is limited.
[quote]The Google Group isn't as private as we think it is anymore and the use of it is limited. [/quote]
It is still more private than any open forum.
Can anyone suggest a better option, as, I believe, we need to discuss the topic in question.
As a believer in this colaborative project from the begining http://www.sxc.hu/forums/topic/16761 there's no doubt in my mind about the oppeness, integrity and dedication of the ones who contributed to this project, whether in the earlier stages or along the way, to make it such a promising project as it is today.
We all knew a lot of work would be needed. Plenty has been done and much more still needs to be done.
We are on the right path and should keep at it, knowing that whatever happens along the way will be dealt with cordially, legally and wholeheartedly.
Thank you all!
Hilary asked some very important questions which need to be answered. RGB needs to be put on a legal footing and we understand that this is of the utmost importance.
If anyone has any insights and ideas to share please email Cris or myself until something can be set up. Cris suggests a Facebook account for veteran SXCers to join so those who want to can take part in the rolling evolution of RGB. It's still early days and we have a long way to go. Resources are very limited which is something else we need to address. It heartening to know that people want to join in rather than merely join. :0)
A legal footing will take a while and some planning to achieve, for now, even an open dialogue, in public and on the record from developers, with assurances or verbal expressions to the community such as: we commit to release the code running this site to the admin panel or, we commit to the removal of google ads until a communal gmail/google rgb account is set up that both parties have access to (developers and administrators) - that can and should be done here and now, for the good of the ideal and the community.
Legal stuff can be planned now, but assurances and action can still be taken instantly, and should be..
I find the google ads, set up under the developers account, that no-one else has access to, a bad omen for the future of this web site and the idea behind it.. someone wants to make a profit, and not disclose the amount to the administrators.. so what's next, an istock advert suddenly appears? It's no different to the other sites if you guys dont put pressure on the developers today, as in, right now, to remove the ads and create a communal google login.
If they are not interested in taking ownership of the site, or making a profit from it, they should have no problem with this.
And if they are interested in making a profit, there is always the risk they will sell that ad space to the highest bidder, and maybe even the code too.. that's why I feel you guys need to be militant now before things go further..
I don't know if you can sort this out, but I will do anything I can to facilitate the community of contributors to share their images, while keeping control over their own distribution and money. Including keeping this web site as their own, with no upcoming partnerships/sell outs.. I hope you guys can make that happen.
For now I will be waiting in the wings, if I see positive things/assurances, no legal stuff, just a few lines drawn and changes/assurances made, I'm fully on board to keep doing what I have always done, which is to facilitate the experts (you guys) to run your own ship in anyway you need..
Hilary, I hear what you are saying and we are working on this. However, Rome wasn't built in a day. We're working full tilt to push this project forwards and to give people somewhere to go if SXC folds. SXP is about to meet its demise and therefore the fate of SXC has to be questioned.
When we catch our collective breath we'll get down to the nitty gritty of site details. Whatever comes out of that will be fully reported and amendments will be made as the site evolves.
A new server has recently been purchased to accomodate the rapid pace of growth. No one is making a profit out of this. The team guiding this site are all volunteers. The only profit is to the people this site serves. For the time being you will have to trust us on this. As for partnerships and sell outs - we've been down that road before and we know where it leads. We understand that people need assurances, that the site needs a charter to protect it. We're getting there. But there are so many different priorities we need to deal with. Please give us time to work these things out.
But why can't you have access to a login straight away to view the monies coming in from the google ads lynne?
It's not a question of trust, getting that login, means you - the administrators, have control over the ad revenue on this site, and that is the only thing you need to make this site different, and to make sure that ad space never gets sold to the likes of Getty.. it's really a very very simple thing to set up, and would benefit you hugely.