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crowd-sourced database ethics #297

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cranhandler opened this Issue Feb 28, 2018 · 15 comments

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@cranhandler
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cranhandler commented Feb 28, 2018

In order to finish #249 , we need to lay out and agree upon some ethics. Chet's response to earlier questions, and our urging him to make his private dances public, left an impression on me. I'm inspired by https://www.cambridgefolk.org.uk/contra/dances/ethics.html . Here's a first crack at how I would define our ethics---and I hope we can talk with other active users so the community ideals can surface.

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cranhandler commented Feb 28, 2018

We believe that when contra dances can be easily searched and easily discovered,

  1. choreographers benefit by their dances reaching the widest possible audience
  2. callers benefit by tailoring their program to their crowd
  3. individual dancers benefit by dancing delightful dances
  4. dancing at large benefits by having maximally engaging evenings and by having an open-source participatory resource,

and that there are many moving parts within the contra community. The rights of choreographers and of users to their content need to be respected. Our current understandings of choreographer consent, public vs private dances, and user contact are outlined below. If our current understandings don't match yours, let us know.

=========
choreographer consent

We respect the rights of choreographers to their intellectual property. Before entering a dance, check the choreographers catalog to see whether they've given unlimited publishing consent. If nothing is marked, and if you're able, reach out to ask permission. (If you receive unlimited consent, let adminisaur know so the catalog can be updated.)

If you're unable, my 'operating principle' thus far has been
-if the dance is published online, or has been shared via Shared Weight or facebook without a 'please don't copy' note, the dance may be published to ContraDB.
-if the dance is published in a collection available for purchase, an individual user may enter the dance for personal use, but must mark it "private" so that it is not publicly available and sales of published works are not impacted. To find out whether a dance has been published, I check Michael Dyck's Contradance Index. If it has, I've always been able to find the book at the CDSS Store.

We hope to enable, at choreographers' option, links from a choreographer's page to a donation or microdonation link, see 292.

We acknowledge that the creation of a crowdsourced database containing creative content from many people has the potential for inaccurate or undesired information.
if your name appears on contradb.com and you don't want it to,
if a representation of your dance does not do it justice,
if a representation of any dance is incorrect,
if a name is misspelled,
if your content was published without your consent,
please reach out so that your concern can be solved.

====================

private dances, public dances

public
creating a dance and publishing it renders it searchable to anyone visiting contradb.com . Public dances give contradb strength, but they are not the right choice for every situation. If one of the use cases below doesn't describe your situation, please consider making the dance you're entering public.

public 'variation' using copy button
the dance is already in the database, but you want to swap a do-si-do for a see-saw, or you need more info in the preamble or notes than the current version offers

private
-the choreographer's publish permissions are listed as 'never'
-the dance is in a published volume available for sale
-you started transcribing a dance but you need to check a source before it's ready (you can update to 'published' later)
-you started transcribing a dance, but a figure's implementation isn't ready yet. Email adminisaur or open a github issue, and then mark your dance as private until it is resolved
-you do not feel like reaching out to a choreographer for publication permission
-you feel more at-ease creating private content

============
user contact

We respect each user's generously given time, and we will not meddle with the content they have generated lightly. Still, there may arise situations where the privacy of others would warrant 'admin interference'. These would include a choreographer revoking permission, a misspelling of a name, or use of a name requested redacted. We reserve the right to alter content to protect the privacy of others.

If a dance has been published in an unready state, or if a choreographer requests a tweak in how it is represented,

  1. we will contact the user about the specific nature of the issue
  2. (ideally) the user logs in to make the suggested edit
  3. if the user does not make the edit within 2 weeks, admins will switch the dance to private

We respect the time of all users, and will not email without [ ] the user opting in upon account creation and [ ] a specific purpose.

@cranhandler

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cranhandler commented Feb 28, 2018

I would love to gather feedback from users and others aware of the project. @djpohly , @lynnjosse , @jmdyck , @ibanner56 , @chetgray , @cooperra

Feel free to suggest edits, major or minor---both to my writeup, AND to the overall philosophy. Thank you!

@cranhandler cranhandler changed the title from crowd-sourced box ethics to crowd-sourced database ethics Feb 28, 2018

@jmdyck

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jmdyck commented Feb 28, 2018

-if the dance is published online, or has been shared via Shared Weight or facebook without a 'please don't copy' note, the dance may be published to ContraDB.

To me, this suggests the scenario: I want to put a dance in the database, but its author hasn't given permission. So I share it on SharedWeight, and now it's okay for inclusion in ContraDB.

So you may want to distinguish between cases when the author has done the online sharing, vs when someone else has.

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jmdyck commented Feb 28, 2018

Under "private", you list situations in which one might choose that setting, but you should probably start by defining it. That is, who can see a 'private' dance? Just the person who entered it, he/she plus admins, anyone who's logged in, or what?

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jmdyck commented Feb 28, 2018

we will not meddle with the content they have generated lightly

Presumably "lightly" is meant to modify "meddle", but it appears to modify "generated". You could move "lightly" to before or after "meddle", but it still sounds odd to me. Maybe drop "lightly" and say "we will rarely meddle with" (or "we will rarely modify").

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cranhandler commented Feb 28, 2018

When a dance has been commissioned, the commissioner holds the rights that we assign to the choreographer in the wall of text above.

@ibanner56

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ibanner56 commented Feb 28, 2018

I'm personally for every dance out there being free and open to all, but I understand we're still a ways off from that world. I'll think about this a bit more and chime in later.

@dcmorse

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dcmorse commented Mar 1, 2018

you started transcribing a dance, but a figure's implementation isn't ready yet. Email adminisaur or open a github issue, and then mark your dance as private until it is resolved

Let's keep an eye on this. I'd probably lean towards simply emailing adminisaur. I feel like I get issues submitted that are a little off, and non-actionable, but I don't wanna close them because that seems dismissive. At the same time, having a discussion on why they're not a good use of resources isn't a good use of resources. Then they take up space in the issue index and I have to mentally filter them out. They just sit around forever, as a tax. It's not the best.

If they pass a filter, then they could be submitted as issues, either by the submitter (preferable) or adminisaur.

Or maybe I need to become more ruthless in cleaning out old issues. I'd accept that feedback.

@ibanner56

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ibanner56 commented Mar 1, 2018

Big wall of text, sorry.

In terms of the actual text, and what's relevant to this particular thread -

I agree with most of what's been said here, both in terms of the policy and the suggested corrections. The idea of choreographers asking for donations for their dances seems a little silly for my tastes, but if that's something other choreographers would like, then I'm willing to go with the crowd on that.

In terms of things that just make more work for you and should probably be their own tickets instead of a single comment -

It would probably be a worthwhile feature to block on submission based on choreographer consent - if they specify and they're marked as something other than "Always" then deactivate the submit button and gate on a checkbox saying they've reached out to the choreographer or have permission to publish this dance. Obviously that doesn't stop someone from lying, but then you can just remove people that violate the requirement.

It would be nice to have an "Original Choreographer" credit or something similar for dance variations. I have a number of dances that I don't consider entirely my own, but that I've made a big enough change to feel deserved in giving myself some credit. I know this is a much deeper request, but being able to specifically search out variations of a dance that aren't just named "[Dance Name] var." would be very helpful. I know I'm bad about renaming variations on a whim.

Allowing choreographers to edit dances that they didn't upload would be excellent. Someone copied down your dance wrong or you want to add teaching notes or a preamble? Being able to fix that yourself would reduce friction. Just being able to flag a dance for admin review would be a nice feature. You'd probably need to have a choreographer verification system for this, though, which adds admin work.

To a similar end, allowing a choreographer or an uploader at the very least to mark a dance as a work in progress, at least to let people know that the final choreography is subject to change would be good.

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dcmorse commented Mar 2, 2018

Those are good points and will make their way into the issue pile. Many already are in there, in some form.

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dcmorse commented Mar 2, 2018

What bothers me is that database is in the hands of a benevolent dictator. We're dependent on him being a nice guy in order to safeguard the work of dozens of people. What if he gets hit by a bus, and his heirs shut down the site? All the labor of dozens of people gets wiped away. That's breach of the values of contradb.

That data is a lot of work, and it needs to remain in the hands of the people who contributed it. It' s not fair that it's in my hands. Such are the moral perils of cloud computing.

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dcmorse commented Mar 3, 2018

Data Freedom Proposal

Choreographers and Users each can check a "Creative Commons" box on a dance. If both check it, then the dance is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Through UI, we zestily encourage users to check their side, and we gently ask choreographers to assess and sign off on their dances.

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lynnjosse commented Mar 3, 2018

How does the user's decision enter into it. .. wouldn't the dance the 'property' of the choreographer?

@dcmorse

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dcmorse commented Mar 3, 2018

Oh, great question!

[colorful rant inserted for entertainment value, facts not verified]:
We're so used to having sticky copyright questions the founding fathers could never have anticipated. Can't you imagine George Washington's head exploding at the thought of who held the copyright to inputs to a player piano? Well rest easy, because George Washington danced contra! The founding fathers were on it.

Zack Brown, dance choreography/FOSS expert writes:

Well, it's true that you can't copyright choreography in the abstract, but you can copyright a written (or video) description of a choreography. The difference is that choreography is just an idea, whereas the written description is a tangible object.

So, the data can be copyrighted as data and released under any license you please.

So technically I don't think we'd have to get the choreographer's consent to publish, but I think this falls under the "don't squander goodwill, don't be jerks just because you can" clause of ethics.

@cranhandler cranhandler added this to In progress in Core Mar 24, 2018

@dcmorse dcmorse removed the in progress label Mar 24, 2018

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cranhandler commented May 17, 2018

One portion of this, 'how do we handle a user's data if it has an error, has now been fixed with #364 (ask users how they would like us to handle errors in their data upon account creation).

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