Community Council/Meetings/Third/Guidelines for embedding links to third party media

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The background for the motion is posted in this section with relevant links to any background papers, wiki pages or notifications on the main WikiEducator lists.
  1. Since June 2007 members of the WikiEducator community have requested and debated the educational need to embed links to third party media for example video, slideshows etc.
  2. While WikiEducator was operating under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), as an international agency, it was not possible for COL to appoint full-time technical support staff for the WikiEducator project nor was it possible to invest in any significant open source software development from programme budget as this was not core business of the agency. Performance and growth of the WikiEducator project had exceeded exceptions and the ability of an international agency to respond to this growth.
  3. Now operating under the auspices of an independent non-profit we have completed the backlog of urgent technical upgrades and improvements to the WikiEducator site not possible or permitted under the stewardship of the Commonwealth of Learning. This now enables the OER Foundation to respond more meaningfully to the community requests for embedding third party media.
  4. The embedding of third party media does potentially impact on policy related issues, hence the requirement for the WCC to advise and consider guidelines for the embedding of links to third party media. The technology is easy to implement, but this requires clear guidelines from the community and stewardship of the WikiEducator Community Council.
  5. In preparation for this meeting, in February 2010 WE asked the community for their thoughts and inputs. In summary:
    • Respondents have underscored the pedagogical importance and potential of video for OER
    • A number of tentative guidelines have emerged from this community discussion.

Pre meeting discussion on background issues prior to drafting motions

Pre-meeting discussions are posted in this area. Once the page for preparing a motion is uploaded to the wiki, this signifies that pre meeting discussions can commence. The page will be added to the "Under development" section of the homepage for the meeting. All discussions points should be duly signed. Once the meeting commences, the chair will call for a draft concept of the motion to be be presented below.
Practical examples
Eben Moglen on the Birth of printing to industrial culuture. Video to demo how an ogv video on the commons can be linked and displayed in WikiEducator. Note that the source file can be downloaded and all metadata is populated without the user needing to upload this. Not too mention that its a good video to think about :-)

In order to test the technology and trial how this may work if approved by Council, I've set up a practical real world, remix example:

  • The Khan Academy has recently released its video resources under a CC-BY-SA license -- so these can now be reused on WikiEducator.
  • Kahn Academy videos are hosted on YouTube. Problem: YouTube does not support Creative Commons Licenses -- so we can't easily identify the intellectual property rights of the video.
  • There are utilities which can be used to download Youtube videos, for instance the Firefox add on for Downloading Youtube videos
  • This now enables the user to upload the Video to BlipTV which does support Creative Commons licenses. BlipTV also enables users to download the source file. In this example, note the clear license statement and link to download the video which will enable users to edit the source file and easily convert to open file formats.
  • I've created a demo example where a Kahn video can be integrated into a WikiEducator lesson. Note the template which links to the location of the source file and clear license attribution. As the video is hosted externally -- we do not carry metadata of the video.
  • Users can also upload their own videos on BlipTV. In our example a New Zealand teacher has created a worked example explaining the solution to a question in the demo lesson. Note that the source file on BlipTV is available in an open file format (ogv).
  • A downloadable version of the video can be mirrored on other open repositories, for example the WikiMedia Commons. Increasingly this is becoming more important when cooperate "no-cost" services are discontinued or converted into user pay services. A recent example being Nings announcement to phase out free services. The issue here is to preserve free access to editable versions of third party media files which are linked to WikiEducator. We have no guarantee that BlipTV will continue providing free hosting.
  • It is also possible for WE to reference videos on the WMF Commons. There is neat Mediawiki feature that if you use the same file name of a resource on the commons --[[file:Eben Moglen - From the birth of printing to industrial culture; the root of copyright.ogv]] which resides on the commons here:;_the_root_of_copyright.ogv -- it will automatically populate the metadata and licensing information and provide the ability for users to download the source file in open formats.
  • BlipTV advertises a service for users who have an account on the Internet Archive to cross post a copy of the file to the Archive if they're openly licensed. However -- from my test example, the service is slow and can be longer than 36 hours :-(.

Drawing on this example -- We seek the advice from Council members on the following questions before considering any motions:

From a pedagogical perspective -- should WE support embedding third party media?
  • Add your thoughts here
  • I think so - as long as the media supports the teaching and learning process. Randy Fisher
  • Ioana Chan Mow - I agree with Randy in so long as the media supports the teaching and learning process. I would also support a trial period for this so we could iron out any unforeseen issues which may arise.
Thanks Iona --- I agree, the media will need to be OER in the sense that the videos must be educational material in support of the learning process. Yip -- I think a trial process is the right way to go so we can get this right --Wayne Mackintosh 03:21, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Use of third party media is important to further and enhance learning. But, the problems related to deletion of the original from the source and ascertaning the availability in OER is not always easy. Sanjaya Mishra
Hi Sanjaya -- You're absolutely right --- ensuring that the source file will be available for reuse is a big issue. I think there are two ways to address this. (1) Upload the resources to multiple sites (Creative commons licenses cannot be revoked :-)) (2) Favour repositories with a commitment to the free culture. Not perfect, but mitigates the risks. The other alternative is to host ourselves -- but this has significant cost implications. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:21, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I do not want to appear contrary, but it is my feeling that the WE community might not want to embrace a role in which it monitors, assesses, or judges pedagogical intent. Do we already have guidelines that articulate what does not qualify as acceptable rich media, absent any judgment of quality or aesthetics that may be based on a designer’s/teacher's or learner's skill or cultural values? Ken Udas 09:40, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ken -- this is a tough one. Currently WE does not have a written definition of "acceptable" rich media and to date has relied on a community assessment of what's acceptable by virtue of the open editing model. As you know, its hard to define. The obvious example is a corporate video advertisement. Corporate advertising is not acceptable content in WE -- however, I can see that a course on Advertising or Media studies could justifiably use an advertisement as part of the teaching materials. That said -- I do think we should think about a few guidelines to help editors decide on the question of acceptable content -- Perhaps under the code of conduct Kim has suggested. --Wayne Mackintosh 20:04, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it is good to let this one go and let the community self manage itself. If a community member finds something offensive or a link broken I am certain it would be quickly fixed by the community and a healthy discussion would follow. -- Peter Rawsthorne 16:38, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Peter -- Yip, self organisation is the wiki way and peer assessment is the foundation of our quality model :-). That said, I do think that its important for the WE community to think about generic guidelines for "acceptable' educational materials. WE need to provide sysadmins with guidelines for speedy deletions on unacceptable content. For example -- Would the Wikieducator community host tutorials on how to make a bomb where the author argues they are teaching bomb disposal units? - -There will always be borderline examples - and given the folk who must take action on deleting materials -- I think having a set of guidelines on what the community agrees as acceptable educational content is a worthwhile project for a Community Workgroup. Thoughts? --Wayne Mackintosh 22:32, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Absolutely we should be supporting the embedding of third party media. I believe this is particularly important from a third party perspective. Or we don't know where the material will be coming from, yet it is important to be included as a part of the learning. In more than one project I have been working on the idea of peer assessment around video materials has become a part of our design. I've written a blog post about this; video based peer assessment. -- Peter Rawsthorne 16:35, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Peter, I agree -- clearly there are sound educational reasons for access and viewing of all rights reserved materials. Fortunately -- we will always be able to link externally to a site where these closed resources are hosted (assuming their is open access.) The WE baseline minimum requirement is that all core materials forming an integral part of the learning resource hosted on WE should meet the requirements of the free cultural works definition. Sometimes its hard to live a value-based life but better for the sustainability of the planet in the long run ;-)
In the example above, have we adequately covered the provisions of free cultural works licensing most notably regarding open file formats and access to editable versions of the source files?
  • If a "youtube video" has in its credits, a reusable copyright statement, then Youtube does 'support' Creative Commons.
Leigh you're right from a legal perspective. If the user in the credits specifies an acceptable CC license statement -- then the resource meets the requirements for free cultural works. My concern is that this model does not permit automated validation where the rights are embedded in the XHTML of the page -- so much harder to validate the property rights of the Youtube video using automated methods where a bot can check the property rights, whereas sites which do support CC metadata helps small projects like ours. Hopefully this will encourage sites like Youtube to speed up the decision to support CC licensing with proper searchable metadata. In the interim -- we would always be able to make a copy and convert this into an open format and upload, for example to the WMF Commons or the Archive. Not ideal -- because I would prefer automated processes -- but at least we are getting one step closer to our ideal world. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Additionally, Youtube is testing download and CC options.
  • WE should consider the FF add on PixelPipe, or similar device that might aid the quick copy of a video from Youtube, into a account AND fowarding from Blip to
  • I don't know why Wikimedia Commons and Wikieducator are not in a close relationship with the Archive, but its server side transcoding to the OGG format should be a big draw card
Nor do I -- collectively we should explore these options -- good suggestion. --Wayne Mackintosh 10:58, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Ultimately, I think you want to be able to embed videos directly from Youtube, with features that enable a copy to be made and sent across the servers that better support download and transcoding to OGG.
That's a smart suggestion -- now to find a way to fund the solution .. --Wayne Mackintosh 11:09, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I won't be engaging in a debate about these recommendations due to some pretty pressing issues at work. If someone would go back through my contributions to Wikieducator on this issue, and find the several demo pages and articulations I wrote in 2007 on the hows and whys - I'm sure that would serve the purposes of any debate had again here. Regards, and good luck Leighblackall 10:00, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the pointer Leigh. Wow that's pretty cool YouTube eventually supporting Creative Commons licenses. Have just seen this FAQ posted on 12 April 2010 supporting CC licenses for downloadable video. So this would add YouTube into the mix. Sweet! --Wayne Mackintosh 10:55, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Sadly this is not a reality yet :-( -- lets hope Youtube get this right ASAP. --Wayne Mackintosh 21:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone know how to search or locate downloadable YouTube videos that use CC licenses? I'm keen to set up a demo to experiment with the YouTube alternative as well. --Wayne Mackintosh 11:23, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Have been doing a little research on Youtube's CC licensing -- from what I have found so far, this hasn't been implemented yet :-(. I'm very concerned about linking to third party media sites which do not support CC or appropriate licenses which are easily validated. There are two reasons for my concern: 1) It increases the legal risks for our project 2) If projects like WE and others do not support embedding linking to these sites -- it potentially creates an incentive for these sites to implement CC licensing. Granted Google is big and unlikely to listen to WikiEducator -- However, on the positive WE managed to get the United Nations to make an exception for WE produced content on one of their all rights reserved sites :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 21:28, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

In general I agree with the gist of the discussions which tend to favour free software and open standards for libre knowledge. Regarding the examples, I cannot watch the Khan Video Lesson on my free software system without installing non-free software and patent-encumbered codecs.

Kim that's a very valid point and why we should do all we can to ensure that there is an open standards version available for users who choose to run free software (like myself :-) ). BlipTV advertise a service where you can distribute videos to the Internet Archive. With reference to the Kahn Video -- I don't see any way in which the User can action the distribution request to the archive after the upload. I uploaded a second example in ogg format on 27 April and during the upload checked distribution for the Archive -- I'm still getting this message "It looks like we're still in the process of distributing your file to Internet Archive". It will be interesting to see how long this takes. The other side of the coin is also problematic -- I believe the Eblin Moglin example on this page hosted my the Wikimedia Commons apparently doesn't play on (all?) versions of MS or IE. I have no means of testing whether the Javascript video controls will work on other OSs and/or browsers. So I'd appreciate tests and feedback from users who choose to use other other systems regarding how we get open standard videos playing across browsers. Can't wait for HTML5 with native support for open standard videos ;-) --Wayne Mackintosh 01:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Kim can you elaborate on "without installing non-free software and patent-encumbered codecs" in the your text above. I can run the video on FF on Ubuntu ( it is possible I downloaded a plugin or codecs for FF but don't recall what). Rob Kruhlak 04:04, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
If I install a free software-only GNU/Linux distribution on a computer, I can immediately watch the Eben Moglen video above which is in a free file format (theora), but the Khan Academy demonstration (which is in a non-free file format) does not show. To view the latter I would have to install a browser plugin with restrictive licensing that either cannot be distributed with the operating system legally or is otherwise problematical. You can check what plugins are installed in Firefox by typing 'about:plugins' in the location bar. The issues associated with patent-encumbered codecs are explained quite well on the this page on Fedora web site. If anyone has the time and inclination, do help us improve the free file formats page intended to clarify these issues. Thanks - Kim Tucker 11:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

There are technical solutions available to enable WE to proceed without compromising our values. I agree with those suggesting we make the effort: implement the technical solutions (e.g. on-the-fly file conversion, CC-search, meta-data capture, ...) and work hard to educate our users. --Kim Tucker 00:45, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Hi Kim, good point as always. A good example of this suggestion in action is the conversion service the OER Foundation has implemented on WikiEducator to convert MSWord and OpenOffice documents into wiki format. Try the OOoConverter link on the left-hand side of the screen. We're running OO in server mode as an open source engine to convert closed file formats into open file formats. I suspect in time the closed software applications will build filters to export to open wiki text formats in the near future in response to the Open Office functionality to save files in MW wiki text format. I'm also keen for the OER Foundation and WikiEducator to provide a file format conversion service -- but we don't have the funding at this time to commit to a long term solution just yet and we need to look for partners - -WMF, OER Foundation, Internet Archive etc to come up with a solution -- ideas? --Wayne Mackintosh 01:54, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

It may be useful to consider the implications of not doing this (even for a short trial time). Please add and structure the following if that will help:

  • Proliferation of non-free content, high overhead of cleanup.
  • WE becomes yet another pressure on people to use proprietary software and patent-encumbered codecs - disempowering for the developing world aspiring towards freedom and self-determination
  • Greater risk of undesirable content finding its way onto WE
    • WE have a responsibility towards our learners
    • Legal risk - see for example this case (Google bosses in Italy)
      • if this happens to WE then we should celebrate our success. This means that WE has become hugely successful. And believe me the global community would support us. -- Peter Rawsthorne 17:02, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Distributing off-line editions (e.g. DVD) of WE content to unconnected communities becomes awkward if the users will be using free software obtained on CD for example.
  • ...
  • I'm really struggling with this one, why are we concerned about this. What we do falls within Fair Use. IMHO, always has and always will. As a communications prof. friend once said to me, "If we don't use it we will lose it". I think this is more a symptom of WE bigness. Why are we concerning ourselves with legal action? or copyright infringements? Has it been a problem so far? Does anyone know of an institution of higher ed that has been taken to court because of such infringement? If yes, what is the worse that could happen? We remove the content. -- Peter Rawsthorne 16:59, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather take a position of asking forgiveness rather than permission. And this should become the WE policy. Let people learn and get out of the way! -- Peter Rawsthorne 16:59, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

What is the WE stance on Fair Use / Fair Dealings? Would we want to discuss, adapt, and adopt something like the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare? Or does the idea of fair use violate the WE philosophy? -- David Wiley 19:43, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Hi David, Good suggestion -- I think we should develop a code of practice for fair use/ fair dealing and figure out how to internationalise this beyond the confines of a single country. Fair use or fair dealing (depending on your country) does not violate WE philosophy. Fair use is a fundamental right IMHO, particularly if we go back the origins and original intent of Copyright under the Statute of Anne. -- The original title of the Act was "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned. Look where we are now compared to the original intent of the act -- i.e. your Right to copy (Copyright) :-(. We use fair dealing in obvious cases -- eg screenshots or screen movies of proprietary software used in tutorials for teaching the software package. Hewlett recently announced the possibility of free legal services for Grantees -- this would be a great use of the service because we could release the generic / international code of practice as free content for the benefit of all OER initiatives in the world. Good one David! --Wayne Mackintosh 22:19, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Should we decide to approve the embedding of third party media would a trial period be required?
  • If there is a trial period, then we will also have to think about what constitutes success, and on what basis the trial period would continue; progress reported etc., and who will be deciding this - in a way that it's not an administrative hassle. Randy Fisher 22:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Randy, that's a good point. Examples of success might inlcude:
  • Videos are hosted without commercial advertising creeping in;
  • the "majority" of users adhere to the provisions / guidelines we specify;
  • automated processes to "remove" links where guidelines are not adhered to are working well;
The advantage of a trial period is that we can turn the feature off if things turn to custard and don't work according to plan. It will be important to provide a clear message to users that this would be an experimental feature if we go down this path. Thoughts? --Wayne Mackintosh 23:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Trial period is a good idea. but it doe not ensure that all uses follow the guidelines. In a sense, the trial period is not necessarily required, if we are convinced about the use of third party media and it's consequences. Sanjaya Mishra --08:40, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Sanjaya -- that's a good point. One advantage of the trial period is that we will be able to gauge / measure the extent that users do not adhere to the guidelines to more accurately assess the administrative demands associated with users not adhering to the requirements. I do agree with your sentiments that if its something we should do for educational reasons - then it is something that WikiEducator should be doing given our community values associated with innovation and having a forward looking disposition :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 08:49, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Interesting... I'd think WE has a hard enough time already just monitoring existing content. Do we really have the volunteer resources to monitor a trial period? Sorry to be a stick in the mud. -- Peter Rawsthorne 17:05, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, another way of looking at a trial period relates to the ethics of being up front and honest with our community. A trial period says that -- we're going to try this and see if it works. If it doesn't work we will switch the feature off. This way we are upfront and honest with users should we find out that embedding third party media is more effort than its worth. We have a big job ahead of us to clean up the image database where users have not attributed images properly -- hope you will help us :-) --Wayne Mackintosh 22:44, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
What should WE do if the user does not adhere to the guidelines when linking a video (eg linking to all rights reserved materials)?
  • Do we delete the link without notice, give a warning period etc.?
Give a short warning period (i.e., 5 days) with an explanation. Make sure that the pages are tagged or categorised appropriately for easier admin purposes. Delete the page after the warning period. Keep a log of the deleted pages. Randy Fisher 22:53, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Cheers -- thanks Randy. That sounds like a reasonable model and implementable model. Ideally it would be great if we could email the user directly in cases like this (rather than a wiki-based notice). However, we would need to adapt and modify our Privacy Policy to inlcude instances where it would be permissible for WE to email members. We have a discussion / agenda item relating to Privacy Policy for later in the meeting. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Does this require a WE monitoring function / process to be set up? Who will administer this and how? Is there a way to let other users "rat" on the offender - click this button if you find media that doesn't comply? Checks and balances? --Valerie Taylor 00:44, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Good points. I haven't thought through all the operational issues yet -- best to get our technical wizards and "Geeks" from the WE family to come up with practicable techie solutions. I think the techie stuff is more of an operational issue (as opposed to governance / policy issue). Once WCC have agreed the policy / guidelines -- lets leave our technical gurus to find the best solution. Whatever technical approach, I suspect that this would need user education (as in the case of image metadata). Also we should be able to automate the location of new embed links (for example running a bot every day to identify the new embed links) and we'll need to think about a few templates for proper attribution, including your suggestion for "click this button if you find media that doesn't comply." --Wayne Mackintosh 01:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Ioana Chan Mow 3:49 29 April 2010(UTC) I like the idea of giving notice to the user before deletion and also keeping a log of deleted links. Contacting the user directly by email sounds plausible but then the need to modify the Privacy policy needs to be taken into account. Cheers Ioana
Thanks for your feedback Iona -- All your suggestions are possible from a technical point of view -- we'll need to work them into the guidelines. --Wayne Mackintosh 03:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • This is a bigger issue. As the platform grows in size and number of users, it is necessary that we have an automated system rather than a manual user based system. So, when a third party media is embedded using a particular template, maybe the system should automatically ask the user to click on some parameters to ascertain that the guidelines are followed. --Sanjaya Mishra 08:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed -- it is certainly possible for us to develop code for automated procedures that ensure that users adhere to the guidelines. The issue is one of funding -- that is to find the resources to pay for the code development. So I guess the question is ---do we hold back on the implementation until we have the funding to develop these features, or do we make the best of available open source technologies as a bridging phase? --Wayne Mackintosh 08:52, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I am wondering if transgressions can be used as an educational opportunity as well. For example, would it make sense to include in the “warning” links to resources that provide a tutorial outlining why the content seems unacceptable and its larger impact on the openness movement. (Maybe this is already done) I am wondering too if there should be a public forum for debate / engagement for specific instances that might merit community attention or at least discussion? To Sanjaya’s point above, perhaps there are scalability issues here as well. Ken Udas 09:53, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ken, agreed. Judging from our experience in WE regarding "breach" of copyright with images --- I would estimate that the vast majority of these copyright "transgressions" are unintentional. So there is definitely an educational issue here. I think this is where the WE community is unique in that we provide free training for any warm-blooded educator (as in mammal) through the Learning4Content initiative. So YES to providing links to resources why the user guidelines are there. In addition I think we should provide invitations for free L4C like training opportunities for these candidates. Yip -- there are scalability issues and we need to think carefully about how to address these -- All help and support gladly received :-). --Wayne Mackintosh 10:21, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I like this. There is a HUGE difference from a legal perspective if violations happen and you did nothing, vs. violations and you have a good educational infrastructure to remedy. I would think L4C like activities combined with Fair Use would cover us off for every country. Again I'd rather ask forgiveness than permission. -- Peter Rawsthorne 17:09, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Sounds like we are agreeing to balance the values of WE, the freedoms of users in our context, and the current practical constraints of use and reuse with video in particular. This thread is a great example of the complexity of the issues. I support the concept of educating WE users, providing guidance, to help the WE community to make long-term informed choices - which ultimately may lead to positive changes in the "external" systems on which WE users depend. I also support the notion of a trial period in which to work out this support system. Christine Geith 18:14, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi Chris -- That's a good summary of the discussion -- i,e. balancing the values of WE in the context of respecting the freedom of individual users. I agree, a complex and difficult balance to achieve. The essential freedoms (as a core value) of the WE community is a great litmus test for determining what we do and how we do it. I think the litmus test in the context of rich media is: 1) clear and searchable identification of the IP rights of the respective video 2) access to the source files in editable versions without the need to purchase a license or use of closed software (non-free software.) This way we respect freedom of choice of software for the user without compromising the essential freedoms. Its true -- groups like WikiEducator, the Wikimedia Foundation, Connexions etc -- who all subscribe to free cultural works licensing will encourage other repositories to start, for example, to support open file formats and searchable license tags. We're making progress without compromising our values and helping change the world for a better place --Wayne Mackintosh 21:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC):-)
What support materials, training etc. might be needed?
  • HowTos
  • Licensing
  • Add your thoughts here

Other questions?

What wil the motion be? (Link to straw dog motion)
  • What will the motion be? To go ahead in principle on pedagogical grounds and design an inclusive process for embedding rich multimedia experiences in WE? --Kim Tucker 01:21, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Very good question -- not sure If I know the the answer. I think we need to split this process up into two sub-steps because we first need to establish rough consensus on whether the motion will be formulated in the positive or negative.
  • Does council support the educational value / need for educational video resources. To help us gauge opinion, I propose that we use a lazy consensus model. A quick opinion poll determining YES (Vote = +1), NO (Vote = -1), Abstention (Vote = 0) based on the Apache model of lazy consensus. This should give us an indication of rough consensus on the question of whether or not embedding links to 3rd party media should be proposed as a motion. Moreover it is a good way for us to reflect and "consider the implications of not doing this (even for a short trial time)".
  • If there is a positive outcome to the question above, we can then collaboratively work on formatting a concept motion that encapsulates the values, guidelines and procedures we are tabling. Given the complexity of any motion to be tabled -- I'd recommend a "straw dog" approach where someone gets the ball rolling and we collaboratively edit the concept motion before it is formerly tabled. What do you think? --Wayne Mackintosh 02:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Are we even on the right question?
  • I am not sure, if we are in the right track on this issue. We are probably trying to ask the wrong questions to get the wrong answer. My apologies, if I have not been able to understand the issues in its entire complexity. But, I think we are thinking about use of third party media from another server to use in WE through embedding. There should not be any question about educational value of this, as this is one of our core values to provide rich and appropriate media. As pointed by Ken, we are not judging the quality and intentions of the contributor. Thus, if a user feel use of other Open Content Media is appropriate to his/her work, he/she would do it. The issue is beyoond this. How does WE permit and facilitate correct use of OER and provide training to users to appropariately use third party content without violating laws? Also there is the issue of avaialbility of the source file to edit and re-mix. How to convert the existing resources in CC rights? How to keep the links live without keeping a copy in WE server? The correct approach boils down to cost and funding. So, it is no more an academic matter of discussion. It is a matter of how to get the funds, from where? So, I will abstain from the Lazy consensus poll. -- Sanjaya Mishra -- 04:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Hi Sanjaya --- Speaking personally, I think we're going down the right path exploring and interrogating the practicalities associated with the tensions between two important WE values -- i.e. good pedagogy and the essential freedoms. However, I think you're right that the the question is poorly formulated -- so sorry about that. (I was hoping there would be some discussion on the formulation of the "right" question before starting a Lazy consensus poll - because this is a complex issue).
Since the inception of WikiEducator I've had the vision and passion that no educator in the world should be restricted from sharing and reusing teaching materials. Admittedly, I have a strong bias for the developing world where access to affordable and reliable internet connectivity is far from become a reality in the near future. I hope that WikiEducator can become one of OER sites where all resources (including rich media) would be are available using open standards and free file formats. So if an educator comes to WikiEducator -- I hope that every content resource will be available for reuse, revision and redistribution without restriction. It's a tough ask -- but this is what makes us special. Any educator has the freedom to create a no-cost blogger account, embed links to closed source content hosted on YouTube and provide open access to using these resources on the net. This is not what WikiEducator is doing -- there are corporates like Google who are far better at doing this than we will ever be. Our commitment is to freedom and returning to the core values of education -- sharing knowledge freely. Sanjaya -- I know that you share these values -- so it's not a lecture from the podium. I believe in this stuff along with thousands of educators who have joined us on this journey. These are the values which differentiate WE --- As Nellie said -- WikiEducator is the pace where I became WE.
I don't necessarily agree that this is simply a funding issue -- there is a lot WE can do without money (through donations of time from the community) and on the other side of the coin, my experience has been that all good projects get funded. The real issue is one of how much time will the community need to donate in order to balance and maintain our values (which includes your points of training, managing IP rights, maintaining access to editable versions etc.) . Option 1 says -- we believe in the pedagogical value of embedding links to third party media and we recognise that the community will need to donate more time to work together in ensuring that we maintain our commitment to the essential freedoms ( file formats and monitoring the IP of the externally hosted resources. Option 2 says -- We think the additional effort associated with the donation in time from the community to ensure WE maintain our values associated with the essential freedoms (open file formats and open content licensing etc) is not worth the added benefits of educational video resources which are streamed and "play" in WikiEducator pages. (Remember you can simply link to a Youtube video using an external link even if the video is all rights reserved). I would guess that we all agree on the educational and pedagogical value of rich media. But we may have different opinions on how to implement this. So the real question is -- do we want the video to "play" as an embedded video within a Wikieducator page using the technology of an embedded link. Or No, were happy with using an external link to a third party website. If the answer is Yes to streamed video "playing" within a WE page -- then there are a bunch of extra guidelines and procedures we must implement to remain true to our values. If the answer is No, we continue with the status quo. Remember this discussion was initiated as a community request. Our job is to consider the pros and cons of this request within the value structures of the project and to take a decision accordingly. Apology if I'm confusing the issue further -- but am suggesting we need a clearer formulation of the question ;-) All suggestions are well received. There is a third option, namely that this question is too hard and complex to resolve within the time constraints of a WCC meeting and that it should be deferred to a Community Workgroup. -- WE need your advice.
I'm not sure why you are abstaining --- In your view -- What is the question we should ask? What would your proposed formulation for a motion be? We could start from this point and scrap the lazy consensus poll. Help!!! --Wayne Mackintosh 09:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC) --Wayne Mackintosh 07:51, 30 April 2010 (UTC).
Dear Wayne -- thanks for a much detailed explanation. We all share the same philosohpy and are passionate about WE. Some of us are know more because of WE than because of "I". Your contirbution to shaping it up in the right direction is something to emulate for any new project. Well, coming to the issue of embedding of rich media, we need to resolve the issue of media avaialble in open formats with CC and possible removal of the links from the source. As indicated by you, and we know that the same can still be done by an external link. But, embedding has a value, as the user does not leave the page and probably get lost in the cyberspace. So, embedding will help keep the user in the WE page ans learn. I am worried about the connected issues, and does not think a vote on this is required, if we agree on pedagogical value. It is only a matter of how to do -- provide training, seek funding for coding, etc, etc. I am with you all. We need to find solution rather than thinking/having a poll on whether we need it or not? But, probably such discussions are needed, and we are generating more ideas. --Sanjaya Mishra-- 08:23, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Sanjaya -- aaah I see where you are coming from. Thanks for the clarification. Surprisingly -- I do think there is strong support among members of counsel to address the concerns you have raised regarding open formats, validation of property rights, and ensuring that the resource will remain free and accessible in perpetuity etc. In fact -- WE have no choice other than to ensure that we remain true to these values --- its a core foundation and principle of the WE project. So we need to make sure that the guidelines and conditions we specify in the motion will address your concerns. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:54, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Refining the question
I agree with Sanjaya's point on the wording of the question - it is easy to confuse issues. Are we asking
  • "is there a place for rich multimedia learning experiences on WE?" (a resounding YES) - or are we asking
  • "should WE support the facility to embed links to third party media (i.e. resources hosted on other sites such as YouTube,, Flickr, etc.).
N.B. The former does not require embedding links to resources hosted on other sites.
What are the "pedagogical grounds" for being able to embed 3rd party links? I suggest it is merely learning that it is possible, easy and risky.
My take is that we should not include a facility to embed 3rd party links but rather streamline the process of "localising" appropriately licensed resources. This approach would force WE to take the first step towards localisation ("always required") - e.g. establish a facility to enable a user to indicate a required 3rd party CC0/CC-BY/CC-BY-SA/GNU FDL resource (e.g. on, ...) and have it automatically downloaded to a WE server and a populated template inserted on the required WE page.
Now WE have the resource in a free format with all its attributions etc. Adverts can be removed, no problem if the original source file on the 3rd party site changes, the licensing is filtered at capture, ..., and we may proceed with further (multiple) localisation(s).
The poll could now be +1 (Y) or -1 (N) or 0 (abstain/undecided) to the question "should WE permit embedded 3rd party links"? ... or, on further reflection, see straw dog 2 - Kim Tucker 21:13, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
PS No harm in having backups on Internet Archive, etc. - Kim Tucker 21:41, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
PPS More here and in straw dog 2 - Kim Tucker 02:00, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Are WE ready to move forward with a draft motion in favour of embedded 3rd party links on WE?

Copied from Straw Dog discussion page

All the non-trivial pedagogical reasons for permitting "embedded 3rd party links" apply to embedding locally hosted multi-media resources. These may include appropriately licensed resources copied from other sites and converted into free file formats. So, rather streamline this process via technical innovations and help for wikieducators.

Most of the processes mentioned for embedding 3rd party links apply to embedding locally hosted resources.

There is also an overlap in technical requirements.

Requiring Wikieducators to search/filter by license, download, reference and (optionally) adapt the WE-hosted resource, has pedagogical merit (the first step of localisation), and avoids or reduces many of the risks associated with "embedded 3rd party links".

The local resource is:

  • appropriately licensed (automatically where possible and via user supplied meta-data on download/upload)
  • in a free file format, ready for viewing and editing with free software
    • adverts may be removed
    • ready for further (multiple) localisation(s)
    • my browser (Firefox) will not say "Additional plugins are required to view this page" - and then lead me to proprietary software to process patent-encumbered codecs
  • not affected by changes to or removal of the original media file on the third party site
    • the local copy is easily monitored if it is changed (e.g. new version uploaded) via (watch lists or by people monitoring media files)
      • e.g. substituted with material at a different educational level or otherwise undesirable
        • the risk of undesirable content finding its way onto WE pages (potentially with legal implications) is reduced
  • free of privacy risks associated with some 3rd party sites (e.g. the user may need to be logged in to the 3rd party site to view a resource)
  • ... Please add ...

If we get the guidelines and processes for embedding 3rd party links "right", they will be equivalent to downloading and converting to free file formats on WE (and/or Wikimedia Commons). In which case, why not just start with that goal? - Kim Tucker 01:50, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Provide the information anyway
  • Whether media is embedded or not, seems like the appropriate WE thing to do is provide the information and tutorials anyway. Then, what is needed to actually facilitate the embedding? Is that what needs to be voted on - actually doing this work and spending money on it now? Do we have any idea about "cost" - money, resources, time? --Valerie Taylor 13:23, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
A suggested motion
  • The motion should be? To go ahead in principle on pedagogical grounds, fair use and to serve as a real world challenge to test global copyrights and design an inclusive process for embedding rich multimedia experiences in WE? -- Peter Rawsthorne 17:16, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Peter, I'm not as brave as you are ;-) -- Personally, I'd leave this challenge to groups and projects better positioned to take this one on. That said, I do think this is a significant issue that should be tested and resolved for the benefit of learning. I just don't think WE're the best project to achieve success -- its a BIG one. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:49, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” - Goethe
I love using that quote whenever I can ;) Peter Rawsthorne 02:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
A suggested process for embedding and reformatting
Kim, everyone. Its worth considering the embed of 3rd party media as the first step in a short process for localising that media. I can't find the old page on WE where I outlined what that process would be, but in short it was this:
  1. Find media on 3rd party site, check or obtain copyrights, or consider Fair Dealings
  2. Embed that media into a WikiEducator page (process like images, in that the embedded media has its own page with meta data). the embedded media displays, but with a graphic motivating the final step
  3. This initiates a process where the 3rd party media is copied, made into an open standard format, added to the Commons (and Archive) and re-embedded as local content with attributions
The ability to embed from 3rd party sites is, I think, quite critical to the realisation of the value of multi media in Wiki based educational development. Stunting that with the requirement for open format and localisation first up, seems to me to miss a considerable opportunity to improve teaching and learning now - for a majority. It gets content in quickly, and sets in motion a process of localisation, an extremely important process for reusability and sustainability concerns. Leighblackall 09:21, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Realisation of the value of multi media educational wiki pages will be streamlined further by making step 3 an automated part of step 2. --Kim Tucker 21:17, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Good suggestions and thoughts. I think we're saying that from the perspective of an educator, it shouldn't matter where the rich media resource resides. educators care about teaching and learning. I think we are saying that from the perspective of a WikiEducators -- we have a commitment to OER, that is we care about the permissions that enable David Wiley's four Rs (i.e. permission to reuse, redistribute, revise, and remix) plus our commitment to free cultural works licensing which requires us to ensure access to an editable version using open file formats. Supporting rich media and our commitment to OER values is a policy issue -- (whereas figuring out ways to automate the file conversions, hosting of the resource etc - is an operational issue.) It seems to me that out motion should separate the policy parameters from operational implementation. In this way we can operationalise practical solutions from a technical point of view striving for the "Eutopia" where the user doesn't have to worry about file conversions etc. In this way we remain true to our educational values of respecting your neighbour in the sense that we respect the tools and software choices you make -- but having a baseline commitment to ensuring that there will always be a free version of the resource available. Is this a fair summary of the points raised? --Wayne Mackintosh 22:54, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
A fair summary. But "ensuring that there will always be a free version of the resource available" is insufficient. If there is one, embed it and advise users of IE (and other browsers which don't support the relevant free file formats) of required plugins or conversion software. -- Kim Tucker 17:12, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Unfair summary. From the perspective of "Wikieducators" we care about OER, and want to use media in a way that does not restrict or exclude anyone. Many teachers and students in formal institutions have no choice over the operating system and desktop software they must use, nor do they have the option or ability to work around the issues of multi media in present-day open standard formats. On the other hand, a proportion of people do have a choice, and some choose to use non-proprietary free and open standard formats only. Others (like me) move across that entire spectrum. WE should aim to accommodate this reality, and the process I propose does that. It gets valuable multi media into Wikieducator now, and sets up a process where volunteers who know how can create free and open standard format versions of that media. Attempting to develop a technology that automates this process takes away from that volunteer contribution, and would result in WE not providing resources that accommodates the full spectrum of realities mentioned earlier. Leighblackall 23:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Leigh, I see your point. WE should do everything we can to respect user choice, including the freedom for users to use non-free software -- and in many work scenarios, users don't have the choice because their employers "force" them to use what is installed on their office machines :-(. As an educator -- I'd like to look at the challenge (opportunity?) from a more educational perspective, i.e. respecting your neighbour. Why would any teacher give another teacher/learner a resource when they know they can't access or open it? I choose to use free software, and when I send an attachment to a friend who uses a non-free system -- I take the trouble to convert the resource into a format which they can access. On the positive side -- I think WE can come up with a solution that is going to work for everyone on the basis of respecting our neighbours. Wow -- this would take OER to a new level. The point is -- if we don't do this, I doubt whether folk on the other side of the fence are going to help us. That said, I'm more than willing to approach the commercial software providers for philanthropic donations to really make a difference :-). (Wayne's original response --- moved to correct spot due to subsequent edits)

Kim responding point for point indented:

Leighblackall 23:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC):
Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Unfair summary. From the perspective of "Wikieducators" we care about OER, and want to use media in a way that does not restrict or exclude anyone.
Agreed (on what we care about). - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Many teachers and students in formal institutions have no choice over the operating system and desktop software they must use,
So it would not be WikiEducator restricting them. - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
nor do they have the option or ability to work around the issues of multi media in present-day open standard formats.
The real issues are with proprietary and patent-encumbered formats - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, a proportion of people do have a choice, and some choose to use non-proprietary free and open standard formats only.
this choice is available to everyone, most notably those who cannot afford to buy a license for a proprietary operating system which requires them to promise not to help their neighbours or community by sharing the software or enhancing it. - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Others (like me) move across that entire spectrum.
So, for convenience, you pay with money and/or your freedom to gain access to and be able to adapt OER in closed or patent-encumbered formats. WE should not require this of our users by linking directly to multi-media files in those formats. - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
WE should aim to accommodate this reality, and the process I propose does that.
It gets valuable multi media into Wikieducator now,
As does the process outlined in straw dog 2 - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
and sets up a process where volunteers who know how can create free and open standard format versions of that media.
The process outlined in straw dog 2 makes this unnecessary. The work is done automatically by the system whenever an appropriately licensed media file is embedded - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Attempting to develop a technology that automates this process takes away from that volunteer contribution,
Why make extra work for volunteers on every embedded non-free format file and incur a delay? (as opposed to a once-off one-click plugin install to enable viewing of free/open format media?) - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
and would result in WE not providing resources that accommodates the full spectrum of realities mentioned earlier. Leighblackall 23:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Both proposed processes attempt to accommodate the full spectrum of realities. The second draft (straw dog 2) is true to WE's values.
If WE also wanted to circumvent restrictions imposed by institutions and organisations on their staff (e.g. via browser detection and automatic file conversion when the page is accessed), WE would need to investigate how to do this legally for each non-free format file to be distributed, and check that there are no other legal/cost implications for our users (who use and produce learning resources). Wikimedia Commons for example does not accept patent-encumbered formats.- Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
In case anyone needs some background on the issues underlying this discussion, I have created a page on free file formats with some resources. Please add and expand. Thanks - Kim Tucker 05:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Kim, would you mind putting my post back to the format it was in, and posting your response below it. I appreciate why you did it, but you have made my argument difficult to read.
Point of order

Wayne, I think a point of order is required here, not so much in the way Kim has responded, but that Kim's issue draws Wikieducator current status into question. Wikieducator currently supports proprietary formats, namely MP3 and Flash. This was your decision at the time and I think it was the right one. The discussion regarding this motion should continue on that precedent. If Kim would like to forward a motion to remove that support for those proprietary formats, by all means, but that issue is separate to the attempts to continue developing Wikieducator's multimedia capacity Leighblackall 21:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Leigh, sure. Apologies, I thought the indentation would work but it does look a bit messy. I have placed your original comment above. - Kim Tucker 22:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Leigh for pointing out that WE already supports some non-free file formats (my concerns were founded on my understanding of WE values) - comment here - Kim Tucker 22:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Leigh. Back from my soccer game -- it was a good match. Apology for the delay in response. A couple of points:
You're 100% correct to point out that WikiEducator is operating in contravention of its approved policies with regards to encumbered file formats and the free cultural works definition. The free cultural works definition specifies that: "While non-free formats may sometimes be used for practical reasons, a free format copy must be available for the work to be considered free." I must take full responsibility for this error, in that I authorized the installation of the flv and MP3 player extensions on WikiEducator without implementing a reliable and scalable process to ensure that a free format copy of the files would be available. Therefore, it is my responsibility to fix this. I authorised the installation of these extensions back in December 2006, prior to the establishment of the WE Community Council (back in the days when WE had about 200 registered users - wow can you believe that). Given that I am the person responsible for contravening this policy (which was approved after the fact) -- It will be up to me to convert all the files on WikiEducator that use encumbered file formats so that there will be a free format copy for all these files. Over the next couple of weekends, I'll fix my mistake with apology to the WikiEducator community. I hope that a few friends will help me with this task. WikiEducator was always intended to be an open source project and these are the values on which the community are founded. I don't want to be the educator responsible for denying or restricting access to editable versions of our OER to teachers, who for whatever reason choose to use free software. That's like a teacher giving a textbook to a learner locked down with a chain and seal and telling the learner that they will be writing an exam on Chapter 5, knowing that the learner has no way to access the learning material. Thats not the kind of educator I want to be and I'll fix my mistake. Free cultural works licensing is a requirement and we have a responsibility to implement this. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:04, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear.. this is silly! You neglected to mention Kaltura (essentially an embedded 3rd party media) which was enabled relatively recently, when WE had thousands of members. But that and your response are besides the point! WE already supports proprietary formats and for very good reasons. So it should again now - because the reasons are also very good.
You have committed to a process of offering free format options on the Help pages you set up, and that's great! That is exactly what we propose in this motion for embedding 3rd party media. We install the extension that enables the embedding of content from 3rd party sites such as Youtube, Blip, Archive, Slideshare etc - based on the content containing appropriate copyrights. The creation of free format options then becomes a priority for the community (or a working group) while we find a tool that can automate it.
It seems to me that the dogged adherence to free a free cultural works definition, when (let's be honest) free multi media formats leave us VERY short, is just a ridiculous reason to avoid the use of a plethora of valuable media now. It should have been enabled years ago, right along with Kaltura, MP3 and FLV. The MP3 and FLV were enabled for a very good reason - to help make those WE Help pages as good as they are! And without those Help pages, Wikieducator wouldn't be where it is today, and thousands of people would be clueless about MediaWiki. The same can be said for almost every page on WE trying to teach people things. Now if you go back and create free format options for all the Help pages, that's great. The help pages are even better, and the <1% of the population who choose only to use completely free media, will now have an enriched learning experience. If you were to make free formats the only option on the Help pages, a hige number of people would not have the literacy, device or the permissions to access that media!
If only the rest of the Council was vocal on this obvious practical step forward! Keep MP3 and FLV in WE. Work to getting the free and open alternatives in there to. Enable the embedding of 3rd party media now, get a working party onto finding the tool that will assist people creating those free and open format derivatives asap.
Alternatively, delay the vote long enough to see Leigh's resignation through.. then avoid using 3rd Party Media further by setting up another working party who will discover how easy it could be to enable embedding 3rd party media, and how free media only makes it difficult for a huge number of people, and that we will have to support proprietary right along side free if we really care about inclusion and usability. Leighblackall 07:23, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Leigh,
This lively meeting has certainly raised, re-surfaced and reminded us of some core issues. Learning on many levels.
We are working towards an efficient way of reaching the goal of embedding media-rich learning experiences for all (the right thing) in accordance with our values (the right way).
WE values are articulated on the WE Main Page and as follows in the community governance policy:
diversity, freedom, innovation, transparency, equality, inclusivity, empowerment, human dignity, wellbeing and sustainability.

I think we agree on "the right thing" (media-rich learning for all) and share these values. We differ only on "the right way". Perhaps this is what the requested consensus check is really asking.
Briefly on some of your points:
WE users are free to use Kaltura (outside of WE) to co-produce learning videos. Their results may be embedded in the usual manner outlined in the relevant use case.
I cannot view the help videos on my "untainted" free operating system (Ubuntu [GNU/]Linux). Nor will most of the next x billion people to be connected in the developing world unless they pay with money (beyond their means) and/or their freedom and/or break the law. Users and their friends in the developed world locked into proprietary software are clever enough to install a browser plugin, and there are other possible solutions. WE is not denying anyone "the permissions", though some institutions might be.
Thanks for the lively debate and reminding us of so many loose ends.
Kim Tucker 01:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I have not much to say on the concerns of people from regions bearing the unfortunate title of "developing", but I see many people from such regions walking the corridors of my university, many of whome are here studying on refugee visas. I am yet to meet one who uses 100% free software like you, I'm even to meet one who uses a free operating system. Of course such users exist, I use a free operating system enabled to run non free format media. Valerie might also like to respond here, with her experience of seeing computers loaded with Windows CE being shipped to a country in Africa.. I might also remind the obvious point that a great many people all over the world use pirated software, for better or for worse. You line of argument is too weak Kim, I appreciate the principle, and value the ideal, but free software advocates like us must recognise the world we live in, especially those of us in education! Leighblackall 00:09, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
How do links to 3rd party free format file video work in WE?
The following syntax [[File:Solving_quadratic-equations.ogv|frame|400px|right]] Produces this embedded video insert in WikiEducator using free file formats. You can copy this syntax to any page in WikiEducator to replicate the result. The file I have used for this demo, is a CC-BY-SA video from the Khan Academy harvested from Youtube. The point of this demonstration is to show that WikiEducators can embedd links to third party video now, without compromising our policies concerning free cultural works licensing.

Note that:

  • This uses the standard wiki syntax for images / files
  • The media file resides on the WikiMedia Commons --see:
  • This is an example of a link to embedd 3rd party media using open file formats.
  • Using the same file name as the file on the WikiMedia Commons) (i.e File:Solving_quadratic-equations.ogv) in WikiEducator will stream the file from the Commons without the user needing to upload the file on WikiEducator.
  • The file will automatically pull the relevant metadata required without the user needing to enter this metadata in WikiEducator.

Clearly it is possible to embed links to 3rd party media that meet the requirements of the free cultural works definition.

This ignores the fact that there is a massive amount of educationally useful content on other sites besides Wikimedia Commons, which is the primary contention here! Leighblackall 00:03, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
On 27 April 2010, I uploaded this video to BlipTV ( to test Mediawiki's widget extension in conjunction with an automated conversion to free file formats. I was excited that the advertised arrangement that BlipTV has with the Internet Archive to convert videos that are openly licensed into free file formats. This would solve our challenges in providing a free file format of the video referenced in an embedded link. Sadly, as of 6pm on 8 May 2010, I still get the following message from BlipTV regarding my distribution request to the Internet Archive for converting into a free file format:
"It looks like we're still in the process of distributing your file to Internet Archive. Hang tight, this could take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes." :-(
Well there are more than a few minutes in the 11 days I've been waiting for the automated conversion service. Clearly we cannot rely on services like BlipTV to help us in converting to free file formats.
Depressed -- I started thinking about other ways we could, for example, get a Khan Academy videos (now openly licensed under CC-BY-SA) using a link to a third party site in a way that would meet WE policy requirements. Hence this demo.
The process
Can all users view the video
Our vision is to respect the freedom of all users to use the technologies of their choice, therefore I requested the help of 12 Council members to test an free file format video link on WikEducator (as I personally do not have access to a machine using non-free software.) Our informal test results reveal the following:
  • Firefox provides native support for viewing these videos on all operating systems (MS, Mac, and GNU/Linux)
  • The video plays on Mac in Safari
  • It is possible to download free software codecs for Internet Explorer. However on some instances the video does not play in the browser, but must be viewed as file download. Further investigation is needed for IE.
This demonstration proves that WikiEducator can remain true to its values using free file formats and it does provide a solution which can be implemented now. That said, their is room for improvement because the average teacher/educator should not have to worry about conversions to open file formats and as Director of the OER Foundation, I can give you a solid commitment that we will do everything possible to lower the barriers for educators in using free file formats while respecting freedom of choice in the technologies they use. --Wayne Mackintosh 11:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Lazy consensus poll
  • Ioana Chan Mow 4:13, 30 April 2010-- My vote for the first part is YES. Visualisation is very important pedagogically hence the value of video resources.
  • Sanjaya Mishra -- 04:40, 30 April 2010 (UTC) -- Abstain. Reasons as above.
  • Peter Rawsthorne 17:17, 30 April 2010 (UTC) YES! I'd rather ask forgiveness than permission!
  • Leighblackall 00:26, 1 May 2010 (UTC) YES YES taking a stand for fair use/dealings would make WE the most important OER project on the net. Working out a process of getting video into open standard formats, such as a close relationship with The internet archive, Mozilla, pixelpipe, and wikimedia commons, would be a good investment
  • Christine Geith 1:13, 1 May 2010 (UTC) YES
  • brent simpson 03:08, 1 May 2010 (UTC) Yes.
  • Savithri Singh 03:48, 1 May 2010 (UTC) Yes. We would need to educate a lot of people, maybe, but why not do that, rather than deny ourselves good video resources.
  • Randy Fisher 03:50, 1 May 2010 (UTC) YES
  • Rob Kruhlak 04:14, 1 May 2010 (UTC) Yes
  • Nellie Deutsch 04:31, 1 May 2010 (UTC) I have been using Kaltura (Youtube) and Bliptv on WikiEducator for quite a while. I wouldn't be able to teach without videos. I would vote yes, since I was given the right to vote.
  • Kim Tucker 21:41, 1 May 2010 (UTC) NO. Establish a workgroup consisting of technical people and educators to establish a facility to automatically download a 3rd party resource (to a WE partner/approved server) and insert populated template link to it in the required WE page (see my response to Sanjaya above).
    • ... Gravitating towards YES after Wayne's summary above. See draft motion: straw dog 2. --Kim Tucker 17:05, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Victor P. K. Mensah 18:58, 2 May 2010 (UTC) A very big YES indeed. WE may quickly get irrelevant without this facility. We can fine-tune on the way.
  • Valerie Taylor 14:13, 3 May 2010 (UTC) Yes
  • --GünOss 08:52, 7 May 2010 (UTC) Yes, although I'm a newcomer to this issue and still have millions of questions, my intuition tells me that WE will attract more educators with offering the option to embed 3-rd party media. We'll all have to learn a lot, but this is the way development takes. If we don`t open this door to users, we would get old-fashioned soon. WE should become the website for OER of all types.

Draft concepts for motion

The draft concept for a motion is entered here drawing on the pre-meeting discussions. Due to the asynchronous nature of our meeting, it is standard practice to allow a reasonable period of time (usually 24 to 36 hours) from the time when the draft concept is posted in the wiki to when the motion is formerly tabled. This drafting phase is needed for the wiki format of the meeting. In this way, we avoid unnecessary motions to amend the tabled motions resulting from ambiguity or lack of clarity in the wording of the original tabled motion.

Suggestion for a workgroup

As per straw dog 2 (Link added by Leigh)

I would like to entertain a motion for Council to consider appointing a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media. This motion could be considered by a special meeting of Council in the near future. Therefore I invite the meeting to draft a motion along these lines for consideration. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Suggested motion to embed, with processes

Based on Straw Dog 1: Wikieducator will enable the embedding of 3rd party media (example) with copyright policies governing the inclusion of such media. A work process will invite volunteers to create copies of the embedded media in free and open standard formats for use in Wikieducator along side the proprietary format options. Copyright and similar meta data will be managed the same way that media files are currently managed on Wikieducator - with templates and media pages.

Optional addition the motion above: Should this motion see a majority disapproving or abstaining, a working group will be set up to develop a proposal for implementation by next Council Meeting. Leighblackall 04:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Discussion on draft motions

The lazy consensus indicated to me that the majority of the Council supported embedding 3rd party media now. I see that Kim (1 person) with support from the Chair, takes issue with that, and that alone is enough to prevent Council voting on a motion to proceed embedding 3rd party media. Kim's concerns are unfounded, as Wikieducator already supports proprietary media, and has done from its very early stages - namely MP3 and Flash (see Help pages for examples). Therefore the motion to embed 3rd party media now, and put in place processes for volunteers to create free and open format versions is a good suggestion and in lone with Wikieducator's practices. I'm afraid however, that the Chair won't see fit to call this point of order, and that the argument between myself and Kim will cause the conflict averse Council to withdraw from this process, leaving us no choice but to accept the suggestion of a minority. Wayne, for what its worth, we should table the motion that the lazy consensus indicated support for. In that motion, if the Council abstain or disapprove, then Kim's suggestion of a Workgroup takes effect. How is that not a logical proposal to move this motion to the vote? Leighblackall 22:21, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Leigh for pointing out that WE already supports some non-free file formats (my concerns were founded on my understanding of WE values) - comment here - Kim Tucker 22:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Leigh, herewith my responses to your queries:
  • Clearly the Lazy consensus poll has indicated overwhelming support for the pedagogical value of integrating rich media in WikiEducator OERs.
  • Procedurally, a lazy consensus is not a formal vote, it was intended as an opinion poll to gauge whether Council felt we should spend time and effort on collaborating on a concept motion for embedding third party media.
  • The rich discussion from members of Council have covered a wide range of issues, including for example, education of users, fair use/dealing, copyright, free cultural works licenses, technology issues, codes of practice, queries to whether or not we're asking the right questions etc. This is great and this motion has recorded more than 1200 page views (wow page visits than the home page for our meeting!).
  • Free cultural works licensing is both a policy and value requirement of the project. WE were one of the first projects in the world (along with WMF) to subscribe to the first draft in April 2007 shortly after the first version was published. Thank you for identifying our transgressions regarding MP3s and FLVs. I apologise to the community for my error, and will take responsibility for correcting this by converting all encumbered formats on the site so that there is free file format version available.
  • Two straw dogs (Straw Dog 1) and (Straw Dog 2) have been developed - and thus far I have not seen much collaboration from members of Council to work on the "same page" in developing an concept motion for tabling.
  • To be fair to Council members and authors of the two straw dog motions, we need to recognize the limitations of the technology combined with the challenges of multiple time zones and two draft motion pages dealing with a complex set of issues.
  • Given the time constraints, the Chair made an assumption that there was not enough time to address all these issues within the constraints of the meeting and I entertained a motion for Council to consider establishing a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media as mechanism for the WikiEducator community to achieve consensus.
  • The motion was tabled, seconded but the seconder indicated that he queried the terms of reference.
  • Another draft concept motion was presented, after the original motion was formerly tabled and seconded. At this point I put the motion on hold as a procedural ruling -- but more importantly this alluded to the possibility that there was not a high level of consensus on all the implementation detail. The original motion was subsequently withdrawn (which technically could not be done) as the motion was already seconded and would require a full majority vote to propose an amendment. This would potentially result in a series of to-and-fro amendments with members of council, justifiably questioning and proposing adjustments and tweaks to improve the motion and getting this right. I suggested to Council that the best mechanism to achieve a consensus motion for tabling an amendment might be to work collaboratively on Straw Dog 3. To date there has been very little evidence of collaborative work to achieve a consensus motion for the tabling of the amendment to the current motion on hold. And I can only assume that we do not have consensus on the implementation detail yet.
  • There is no requirement, as far as I can see, for this meeting to resolve the issue during the current session. I think that it is quite OK for us to admit that we attempted to take on something which was not achievable during this session. There are two alternatives as I see it:
    1. Council achieves reasonable consensus for an proposing an amendment to the original motion working on Straw Dog 3. If we are unable to achieve this by the adjournment of the meeting, we accept that this is an unresolved matter for this meeting and I would then entertain a motion to postpone (for example to the next meeting) or a motion to lay on the table (i.e to temporarily suspend further consideration until future notice) alternatively,
    2. I will entertain a motion to refer the matter to a Committee (eg Community Workgroup -- which has rigorous procedural requirements.)--Wayne Mackintosh 03:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Wayne and all: a Consensus check on straw dog 3 is requested towards option 1. - Kim Tucker 06:45, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The discussion of the draft motion is intended to refine the text for a tabled motion to avoid ambiguity and to improve clarity of the motion before requesting the assembly to consider tabling the motion.


A motion is formally tabled by a member of the meeting once rough consensus is achieved through discussion of the draft concept for the motion above. The mover should table the text for the motion below, for example "I move that ....." Remember to sign the motion.

(Comment.gif: Withdrawn - see comments below --Valerie Taylor 13:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)) The motion was put on hold, and therefore cannot be withdrawn. Given that we are working asynchronously across multiple time zones combined with the complexity of the issues underpinning the motion, it would be better for the Council to achieve consensus on the guidelines pertaining to how the integration of media will be implemented or alternatively achieve consensus on the approach to get to that point. --Wayne Mackintosh 20:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC)Motion now active -- hold lifted --Wayne Mackintosh 23:58, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I move that this Council appoint a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media. In preparing the proposal, the Workgroup will consider the draft guidelines, concerns and functionality outlined in the discussions at this meeting associated with the inclusion of rich media in WikiEducator OERs. --Valerie Taylor 22:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

* Possible amendments being discussed @ Straw Dog 3 --Wayne Mackintosh 00:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Amended motion tabled, see below...
Motion now active --Wayne Mackintosh 23:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

This motion is put on hold so we can address correct procedure.

  • The chair requested the meeting to entertain a motion to consider appointing a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media. (22:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC))
  • A motion was tabled by Valerie Taylor (22:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC))
  • Sanjaya Mishra Seconded the motion (04:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC))
  • While seconding the motion, Sanjaya Mishra indicated that he was unclear about the terms of reference of the working group proposed in the tabled motion (04:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC))
  • Leighblackall Has suggested amendments to the draft concept, after the motion was formerly tabled and seconded. (04:48, 6 May 2010 (UTC))
  • Procedurally, an amendment to the current motion on the table should be proposed, seconded and then voted on.
  • Given the complexity of the decision on the table, and the fact that we do not have clear consensus on this item yet -- I would recommend that Council work collaboratively on agreeing the exact wording of the motion to be tabled. This can then serve as the basis for proposing an amendment to the current motion.
    • Do consider straw dog 2 (which includes ToR for the workgroup and evolved (in my mind) during the discussions) as a starting point for new wording of the motion. Thanks - Kim Tucker 06:13, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • This motion is currently placed on hold. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:33, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Discussion and formulation of prospective motions can be found on the Straw Dog 3 page -- once the meeting has achieved reasonable consensus on a prospective amendment to the current motion on hold, the Chair will lift the restriction to call the vote on the amendment. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As a practical suggestion --- Council may wish to consider Straw Dog 3 as the basis for bringing all the suggestions and conversations thus far to the table. We agree on the why, but let's figure out the "how" by all working on the "same page" (so to speak):-). Let's also assume a healthy measure of good faith by all who are contributing to the discussion. --Wayne Mackintosh 06:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

* OK - I withdraw the motion --Valerie Taylor 13:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

The motion is currently on hold and cannot be withdrawn at this time. --Wayne Mackintosh 20:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC) Hold on motion lifted. --Wayne Mackintosh 00:45, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


A second is required to indicate that the motion should come before the meeting. The second should sign below. Seconding a motion does not necessarily indicate support of the motion, it is an agreement that the motion should come before the assemble. Voting can commences once a motion is before the meeting. At this point the chair will place the motion under the "Active: Please discuss and vote" section of the home page for the meeting.
  • I second the motion. Sanjaya Mishra 04:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC) An amendment has been tabled to call a vote. The second to the original proposal does not hold for the amendment. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

(Comment.gif: Motion was withdrawn so second is ?? --Valerie Taylor 13:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC))

The motion is on hold, and cannot be withdrawn at this time. The correct procedure will be to table an amendment to the current motion once the Chair lifts the hold on the motion. Given that we are working across multiple time zones on a complex issue, I believe that its in the interests of WikiEducator for our Council to work on achieving acceptable consensus on the implementation of the proposal with particular reference to free cultural works licensing --Wayne Mackintosh 20:00, 6 May 2010 (UTC).Motion active -- hold lifted --Wayne Mackintosh 23:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


This is the area where points, clarifications and discussions on the motion take place once the motion is formerly tabled and seconded above. This discussion is not restricted to Council members --any WikiEducator may add their views.
  • Though I have seconded the motion, I still feel that the Term of Reference (ToR) should be clearly specified. Can we outline these?Sanjaya Mishra 04:27, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I see that the lazy consensus and the straw dogs were a waste of time. Not much has changed on this issue over the last 3 years. The chair (Wayne) perhaps inappropriately suggested a working group to which no one responded and that suggestion has now become the motion we are voting on, without any evidence of the work and discussion previous! If time is the issue, then we should at least put forward something like the drafted motion, with a caveat that says if disapproval or abstention is the majority, then a working group will be formed. From what I can tell of the lazy concensus, a majority would support implementing embedded 3rd part media now. Why are we avoiding/ignoring that concensus or majority? Leighblackall 04:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I can appreciate your frustration regarding the delays in resolving the integration of media in WikiEducator pages. However, judging by the rich and extensive contributions to this motion -- it is not a simple matter. I read that there is agreement on the importance of rich media for OER. However, there is a diverse range of opinion regarding how best to implement this from the perspective of free cultural works licensing. Clearly, it will be important for Council and WE to agree the terms of reference for moving this agenda item forward. WE are committed to getting this right. --Wayne Mackintosh 05:42, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Sorry - I jumped the gun. I have withdrawn the motion. How do we say "WE would support implementing embedded 3rd party media now" and just get on with it? I thought that would need a Workgroup and a motion. --Valerie Taylor 13:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC).

No apology necessary, you acted in good faith when tabling the motion. This action has resulted in a positive contribution for the meeting highlighting that we may not have achieved reasonable consensus on the implementation details. The procedure now is for our meeting to collaborate in drafting Straw Dog 3 to achieve consensus on the implementation detail. --Wayne Mackintosh 20:07, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Valerie: I thought the way you worded the motion was really good and would have seconded it too. The remaining time would be for consolidating the discussions into draft guidelines and defining the terms of reference for the workgroup. This can all be worked into straw dog 3. If your motion had been "WE would support implementing embedded 3rd party media now", I would disapprove for reasons indicated in most of my comments - Kim Tucker 20:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Procedural questions posted on the WCC Discussion List

  • Leigh's point of order concerning MP3 and FLV files hosted on WikiEducator
  • Valerie's point of information concerning what the meeting should do and questions pertaining to hidden agendas.

Amended motion

Copy of original motion:

I move that this Council appoint a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media. In preparing the proposal, the Workgroup will consider the draft guidelines, concerns and functionality outlined in the discussions at this meeting associated with the inclusion of rich media in WikiEducator OERs. --Valerie Taylor 22:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I move to amend the motion by including the immediate ability to embed third party media. Therefore the motion becomes;

I move that this council immediately implement the ability to embed third party media by fully installing the Widgets extension and appoint a Community Workgroup with appropriate terms of reference to prepare a proposal for integrating rich media. In preparing the proposal, the Workgroup will consider the draft guidelines, concerns and functionality outlined in the discussions at this meeting associated with the inclusion of rich media in WikiEducator OERs. -- Peter Rawsthorne 22:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Leighblackall 00:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


Yes, I like this. It acknowledges my concern that embedding media from 3rd party sites is already possible, and accepst that embedding is merely a glorified link, and so has little impact on Wikieducator as it stands now. However, it includes Kim and Wayne's concerns for needing a working group to develop policy on how such media will be fully encorporated into Wikieducator. This workgroup could well decide that it will only support free format media, and only allow embedded media when there is a free format version available. If they do that, that is ok by me, so long as the WE users have had a chance to experiment with embedded media, and the work group is informed by that user experience. Leighblackall 00:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Leigh. There is a practical concern from an implementation point of view with reference to "immediate" installation of the full functionality of the Widgets extension. We do not have the code in place to accommodate proper tracking of licensing or metadata as proposed. Moreover, full functionality of the Widgets extension includes ancillary web services. There is a separate approved item on the agenda dealing with this. Why force immediate installation until we have the systems in place to manage this? IMHO it would be better to say something like council approves the installation of extension(s) (for example the Widgets extension) which facilitates embedding of third party media .... Something to think about, but now difficult to achieve because the proposer and seconder have not given the meeting the opportunity to discuss the detail of the amendment and come up with a consensus proposal that all members of the Council could edit or comment on before tabling the motion :-(. So now if a minor adjustment is required, we may need a full majority vote to accommodate each minor adjustments and tweak --Wayne Mackintosh 00:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I consider embedded 3rd party media is nothing more than a link. It is creating a window inside a wikieducator page for that media to display from the 3rd party's site. The media is not on Wikieducator, it remains on the 3rd party site and is delivered from that site. It is nothing more than a link, much the same as the many users who currently link to such resources off wikieducator. This widget simply takes out a step where people leave Wikieducator to see the media. Embedding the media aids usability for what is already in place with hyperlinks! Meta data and tracking become an issue if people copy the media and upload it to WE or WikiCommons, and the policies and procedures are in place for that. From my perspective the discussion has been had. It is 3 years old Wayne! All this Council meeting has done is go over this old ground, and while I can accept it from Kim and anyone else who is new to it, I struggle to accept it from you. We have has this exact same exchange many times, why are your questions the same, why are my answers the same? At this point, lets get the meeting finished. The motion Peter puts up is a compromise. There was no coordination between Peter and I. I saw the amended motion and seconded it because I thought Peter was taking up your invitation for someone to propose an amended motion, and lift the hold on this vote. I think Peter honestly thought he was putting forward a fair half way between the two proposals. I have no more time for discussion, and I think its clear that no one else is engaging in the discussion. If it gets voted down, then that's that. Leighblackall 11:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Leigh, I can see that some educators will view 3rd party media as a glorified link simply because a video is being streamed from a third party site. To others, it is a material transgression of free cultural works licensing and the values of the Wikieducator project. The point here is to find the middle ground -- a solution in which everyone gains. To date, the WikiEducator Council has not discussed or debated the issues related to 3rd party media. In April 2007, WikiEducator had approximately 800 registered users, In April 2010, we have 13700 registered users. An entirely different ball game. The fact that there was a community discussion about third party media prior to the establishment of this Council has little bearing on the decision at hand. Sure many of the issues are similar, but our responsibility as Council is an order of magnitude more important for the future of this project. This Council has a responsibility to debate and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages that best serve the future of OER -- respecting freedom of choice. Every Council member is free to call a vote. The issue here is that by calling the vote, discussion to find the middle ground has been muted. By forcing a vote, the freedom for Council to comment on the amendment before it was proposed has been removed. While it is your view that the proposal represents middle ground. others may not think so. mmmm -- I wonder what a middle ground proposal might look like. I'm going to have a think and see what I might come up with .... --Wayne Mackintosh 02:11, 14 May 2010 (UTC)


WikiEducator Council uses an open ballot where members of Council are required to cast their votes or abstentions publicly in the wiki. Voting can commence once a formal tabled motion has been seconded. The votes of Council members in attendance are counted to determine the outcome in accordance with the majority provisions for the particular motion.


  1. Peter Rawsthorne 22:54, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  2. Leighblackall 00:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  3. Nellie Deutsch 09:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  4. Valerie Taylor 13:56, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


  • Randy Fisher 02:05, 13 May 2010 (UTC) - I have serious concerns here. There was a process to agree on the wording of the amendment, which has been disregarded
I'm a little confused here. There is nothing stopping you from discussing the wording of the motion. I don't know where it says that a motion cannot be discussed once voting has commenced. -- Peter Rawsthorne 02:40, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Peter, well procedurally you have created an impediment to open discussion on a draft amendment because there was already a process on the table to discuss and agree draft amendments (The Straw Dog 3 page). I pointed to these procedures when clarifying your point of information as well as numerous emails which documented how we were moving forward. There is a clear posting of procedural suggestions for Council members to consider aimed at avoiding the situation you have now created. By tabling and seconding the motion, the only mechanism to enact a further amendment is to first disapprove by majority vote the current motion on the table. There was clearly divided opinion on this motion as indicated by the respective lazy consensus polls on the Straw Dog 3 page. To call a vote in these circumstances appears to disregard reasonable attempts to achieve consensus through open and frank discussion. If you want to support open discussion of the amendment -- disapprove the motion. If a majority disapproval, then you can post a copy of your suggested amendment on the Straw Dog 3 page for discussion according to the process we announced. If you want to force a vote without all members of Council having an equal opportunity to discuss their view leave your vote as is. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
What a bureaucracy WE has become. This is truely a sad day. Something as beautiful as WE seems to have become overrun by bureaucrats. I have just reread the procedures and cannot find anywhere it states that a motion cannot be discussed and changed after voting has begun. Could someone please point me toward the procedure where discussion stops when voting has begun. I does speak to amending a motion, which I did. I believe that when creative people are given the freedom to create, beautiful things can happen. The creation of OER is no different, please don't stifle this creativity because "official" procedures are not in place. WE was, IMHO, built upon the value of free content, where contributors are also free from the restraints of a bureaucracy. Come on folks let's allow the embedding of third party media and see the beauty that happens, while a WE working group also creates the policies based on what people are actually creating. -- Sincerely, Peter Rawsthorne 06:39, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Peter, I shall deal with your question as a point of information. WE, since our inception have conducted meetings in accordance with parliamentary procedure. You will have observed this in the previous meeting. Once calling the vote on an amendment, the meeting must vote on the amendment by normal resolution (i.e. majority vote). Members may discuss the motion -- but once voting has started on a formal motion, it starts getting complicated in an asynchronous environment because some members may choose to support an idea in a discussion after casting their vote. This would require another amendment, and then what happens to the votes of other members that have already been cast. This is why we have a procedure for proposing a concept motion (see above) where normal practice requires between 24 - 36 hours before voting begins. In this case, the original motion had already been formerly tabled and seconded, then put hold, a counter motion on which you voted was ruled "out-of-order", and there were procedures already in place to debate any prospective amendments for this motion. You queried a point of information to which the Chair responded, and you chose to call the vote instead of debating the amendment -- so you were notified before the time that this would call the vote. Once seconded, and a vote has been cast -- no more debate can be permitted. I reiterate my point of information above: If you want to support open discussion of the amendment -- disapprove the motion (A member is entitled to change their vote). If a majority disapproval, then you can post a copy of your suggested amendment on the Straw Dog 3 page for discussion according to the process we announced. If you want to force a vote without all members of Council having an equal opportunity to discuss their view leave your vote as is. --Wayne Mackintosh 08:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Wayne, this is most unfortunate. You seem to have missed the point altogether. Above procedure I have always seen WikiEducator as an online space (and exemplar) that encouraged creative freedom to move the realities of OER forward. OERs are about empowering the individual to create with abandon and learn, learn learn. Not a space burdened with guidelines of how people should engage. I would certainly hope an international project would honour differences and be forgiving around procedure. I believe international projects have greater success when they can meet the needs of individuals and small regional groups rather than creating "standardized" rules of engagement which restrain everyone and serve no one. I believe it was this creative spirit that gave WE its initial success. I fear this is being lost and the creative early adopter energy required to keep WE growing will also be lost. I am thinking my resignation as a nominated council member comes at the right time as it would seem our approaches and ideals have gone in different directions. -- Sincerely, Peter Rawsthorne 14:54, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Peter, I'm in total agreement with the open education values you espouse for open projects and learning. However, the Chair's personal point of view is irrelevant to furthering the goals of education for all using open spaces within the context of the conduct of our meetings. At a personal level, I'm deeply saddened by your resignation. However, as a governance structure and elected Chair for these meetings, I must ensure due process. Council must be able to defend its decisions and we have an obligation to conduct these meetings in accordance with accepted meeting procedure. Already our meetings have been quite flexible and forgiving around procedure. Normal meeting protocol does not usually permit references to naming individuals and we have had a fair amount of "you did this" and "I did that" in this meeting, and WE've been most tolerant and flexible in this regard. WikiEducator does not impose on the rights and freedoms of individuals and regional groupings to do what they want to achieve. However, as stewards of the WikiEducator community -- WE must ensure an equitable space where these values of freedom are respected. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:39, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Ioana Chan Mow 3:48,13 May 2010 (UTC)- I would like to thank everyone who have contributed so far to the richness in the discussions about embedding of third party media. It has been quite educational for me. If anything the discussions have pointed to the complexity of the issue at hand. Reading through the discussions today I thought we were working through a process in which we were trying to reach some consensus on the motion. Hence I was quite taken aback to see that the issue has now been put to a vote. I do have concerns about the immediate implementation of the the embedding w.r.t to widgets particularly as there seems to be technical issues which need to be dealt with first. I for one see merit in the delegation of the issue to an appointed subcommittee (but taking into account all the points discussed at this meeting) if by the end of our meeting this Friday that this issue has not been resolved.
  • Sanjaya Mishra 05:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC). I strongly believe that we must have the policies in place to use third party media. Though technology is there, it is more important to understand why we need it, how not to violate laws, respect freedom and openness, etc. Let's think more...
  • Kim Tucker 22:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC) As indicated previously, this route conflicts with our values, raises privacy and other issues associated with ancillary web services, and carries higher risk for WE and users. IMO WikiEducator should continue to improve the user experience (including media rich experiences) in accordance with existing policies, taking into account these concerns. Carefully formulated policies on privacy and ancillary web services (two separate items on the agenda) are pre-requisites for approval of the amended motion as currently worded.
  • Rob Kruhlak 06:09, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Günther Osswald 15:25, 14 May 2010 (UTC) As I said before I need more time to get acquainted with the (not exactly simple) issue. Therefore I resist to an "immediate implementation ...". I`m sad to hear that you, Peter, will step back from WCC, seemingly because of your conflict with Wayne in this. I think we need people like you (and Leigh!) in our council! Please be patient with us, if we cannot be as quick as you! Kind regards, Günther
Günther, this isn't about patience... it's about boldness. From a start-up perspective WE must be bold and unrestrained, otherwise it won't gather the the number of contributors to become main stream. I'd love to stick around on the WCC, but I am an innovator and early adopter and find the processes and procedures that are forming way to frustrating and IMO are taking WE down a path WAY too soon. With love Günther, you were the one who talked me into accepting the nominated membership and for that I am grateful. I certainly hope WE gives it's collective head a shake and moves back to behavior much more conducive to attracting innovators and early adopters, then maybe I would contest an elected WCC position. -- Peter Rawsthorne 18:42, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Savithri Singh 16:20, 14 May 2010 (UTC) I do not think an immediate implementation is possible!! Anyways I need time to understand all this a little more - I seem out of my depth. Sorry, but this is my opinion.
Immediate is really quite simple. As soon as council approves the motion Jim T. (or some other WE sysadmin) could begin downloading and installing the widget. From a software implementation perspective this could be considered immediate. -- Peter Rawsthorne 21:15, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • List votes for disapproval here and sign


  • Any abstentions must be listed here


The outcome of the vote is posted by the Chair in accordance with the majority requirements of the motion being tabled. Once a motion is approved, not approved or put on hold, this is updated on the home page of the meeting.

Motion is unresolved as the amendment tabled did not achieve a majority vote by Council. --Wayne Mackintosh 22:33, 16 May 2010 (UTC)