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Jim sets an good example

“For an good example check out the guide for Birmingham.” (sic!) Jim is still happily keeping up with the volunteer coordination (for 2000 US$/month). Unfortunately, doing this, he is encouraging volunteers to break copyright law. The text at the article on the CouchSurfing wiki about Birmingham looks a bit too similar to the article at Wikitravel.

My original intentions for the CS Guide were to make it into an alternative of Wikitravel, not a lower-quality spin-off. But if this is the direction chosen for the CS Guide I suggest using a Creative Commons ShareAlike Attribution license for the entire wiki (or at least for the Guide) instead waiting for legal action.

13 Responses to “Jim sets an good example”

  • As far as I can see, most of the Wikitravel-like content is put up by anonymous UK user.

    I’m willing to give Jim a benefit of a doubt here – he probably just wasn’t aware about the origins of the content, or the licensing issues from the side of Wikitravel, and didn’t think it was necessary to check where the content came from. Blunders like this are quite natural I think and probably not done on purpose.

    But I also think it might be good to show a bit less arrogance and admit the CS leaders are not the source of all wisdom, after all.

  • Due to his previous actions on the wiki, Jim seems to be “leading” the CS wiki. Consequently, the fact that he cannot distinguish between a copy/paste action from Wikitravel, a site he should be familiar with, and a genuine contribution is quite worrying.

    Of course, from his actions it’s clear Jim was not aware of this issue. It’s “an good example” though, of how Casey, given a choice, prefers to work with people who are less knowledgeable and less aware of legal issues.

  • I guess I was being a bit soft up there – just so you know, I did mean it to be along the same lines.

    Not knowing doesn’t make Jim evil, but as you said only (sadly) points out how whenever given the choice, mediocrity, not excellence is officially recognized, as other factors are more important in choosing the nearest and dearest.

  • another missed good example?

    What did this guy say when you emailed him and told him about his apparent error? Or do you feel that its more in your own interest to point out where these people slip up than to actually do something constructive?

    Here’s another, possibly more positive scenario that I believe would have worked in your interest, too: You write scathing a post that says something like “Jim did something stupid again so I, in all of my infinite knowledge of how to do everything better, emailed him and corrected him”. And then if he did nothing about it you could make ANOTHER post telling how thick-headed he is and about his unwillingness to accept help from others. And then if he changed it you can point out how change within CS actually *is* possible, even through a revolutionary like yourself.

    By the way: i emailed Jim about this and despite the evil lackey that you paint him as he has just recently changed it. If you find something wrong with “Montreal”, what will you do about it this time?

  • Well, I’ve stopped thinking the CS leadership team are evil on most things – uninformed might be a better expression. And that despite the aid in the past often generously literally *pushed* towards them, the tendency has more often than not been to ignore it. Things such as personal relationships being as they are now, it’s even less likely Jim would have listened and acted accordingly if emailed directly (esp. if coming from Kasper or me).

    Thanks for letting him know nevertheless, whoever you are. Hope there will be enough people around to let them know of things that should/could be mended in the future.

  • “another missed good example”, until I am able to edit the CS wiki directly, I will blog about missteps and huge mistakes on the CS wiki.
    I would have simply edited Jim’s talk page if I were able to. It’s not in my interest to blog about it, but I do find it rather funny to see how “uninformed” the CS wiki bully is about wikis. And I guess I’m not the only who thinks it’s funny to see “an good example” of the uninformedness of the CS Leadership Team now and then.

  • “another missed good example”, maybe you can also inform Jim of the legal issues related to the use of the Wikipedia logo. I contacted the WMF lawyer in the past about this issue, but he never got back to me.

    At the time I thought CS was a decent charity, but since that is not the case (yet? still?) it might be better to remove the Wikipedia logo since it’s trademarked and copyrighted, and specifically NOT available under a free license.

  • Oh, and in fact, I doubt that CouchSurfing has licenses for using all the photowork on that page about Montreal. So basically, Jim is repeating himself by pointing people to examples that are in fact violation of copyright law.

    Besides, I wouldn’t use it an example in the first place, since it’s quite superficial and it’s hard to find any specific information about hospitality exchange.

    I certainly do know some nice examples of what the CS guide was supposed to be in my view, but I leave it up to Jim to give directions to this project.

  • continually disgusted

    Kasper: “I certainly do know some nice examples…”

    Do you realized that you precisely proved ‘another missed good example?”s point here? Thanks for showing us your true colors, Kasper. Why you just come out and admit that you would rather be right than help? You not only refuse to help when it’s not exactly on your terms but you’ll make sure to make a mess of things for others along the way. Stop playing the part of a revolutionary dissident and just own up to being a spoiled brat that doesn’t even want to let others play if they aren’t playing the way that YOU want them to.

    Or maybe I’m totally wrong and you really *are* trying to help. In that case, what did he say when you informed him of the appropriate choice for “an good example”?

    The hypocrisies in this blog would be much funnier if it wasn’t trying to bring down such a good thing.

  • @continually disgusted: Kasper has the courage to publish his words in his own name. You lack that courage. Personally, I will choose to ignore your comments as cowardly.

  • continually disgusted

    @Callum: so, just so i can get this straight, OCS chooses to gloss over any of the points that are presented by anyone who chooses to post anonymous (for the valid fear of being scapegoated and harassed by you guys) and instead rely solely on the opinions of those who sign their name, no matter how many holes are poked into them? So if I posted my name and started a discussion about how I think Casey is really a robot manufactured by the Bush administration with the evil intentions of taking over the world, one couch at a time – would that by more valid?

    Perfect! That was just what I expected and I thank you for proving my point. Silence the voice of reason and opposition because he doesn’t want to leave his name and just simply ignore the discussion that YOU GUYS started arguing in the first place. Way to go OCS! Keep that FUD machine going! Woohoo!

  • continually disgusted “Or maybe I’m totally wrong and you really *are* trying to help. In that case, what did he say when you informed him of the appropriate choice for “an good example”?”

    Are you daft?

    You want kasper to go and inform Jim stone? Please go check the groups on couchsurfing like the brainstorm and see how many times concerned members pointed out issues which were ignored by Jim stone and the rest of the LT.
    Either you are a newbie or totally ignorant about how Jim stone killed the couchsurfing wiki. Please go check the changes and see how many people contribute to the wiki now .
    Donna killed brain storm and ULF started his own brainstorm sub groups. group where he never contributes.

    When a guy cannot even thank someone for all their work they did. And then refuses to keep in contact with them and you expect the guy who has been thrown out of the wiki without even a thank you or notice to contact Jim stone?

    If you are LT or their cronies then this detailed explanation is a waste of time by me. If you are a newbie I hope you really go do your homework. woo woo :)

  • I agree that its important to understand the history of the wiki. The thing has pretty well died. And Kasper did some pretty awesome contribution, like starting it for example.

    @continually disgusted: As far as scapegoating goes I’d suggest you are being a little overly cautious. I don’t see how the members of this group have the capacity to scapegoat you as you suggest. The contributors to this blog are not a nefarious and all-powerful organization with the ability to make you wish you hadn’t said what you have. I think most of us don’t like anonymous contributions like that because they are inherently unfair and end up being without context and therefore fairly meaningless. In other words, it might help us to see things your way, if we knew who you were and where you were standing.

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