in the sharing mood


One of my big projects at work has been to set up an online photo gallery for the City. Unlike the blog project, the idea for the gallery did not originate with me, but it's become a major part of my responsibilities. Like the blog, the gallery will be launching soon and once it does it will be viewable both by City staff and by the public. The image gallery will not be segregated by department, but will instead be categorized by event and related content and will utilize tagging to help people search and sort. Right now the tags are set by staff only (uh, so me and another colleague), but I'm hoping to open up that process so that tagging can be more of a collaborative effort involving staff and the community. However, dreams about folksonomies aside, what I find most exciting is that the default license for the images shared with the public will be under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License, so users will be able to share and remix the works as long as they provide attribution, are using the images for non-commercial purposes and will share-alike under a similar license. To use language that is not so eloquent (I've been reading up about privacy and copyright legislation which is drier than melba toast and I think the legalese has robbed me of some of my vocabulary), I think it's super rad that the City is going to be sharing images under a CC license. It is such a simple step, but with really powerful implications.

Perhaps I'm just feeling inspired, having recently watched Lawrence Lessig's keynote on copyright from the recent EDUCAUSE conference (video below). Take the time to watch it. It's really rather good at providing a history of copyright and addressing the state of confusion that surrounds copyright today, as well as the potential to change the culture surrounding creativity and models of compensation.

Tomorrow I'm presenting the photo gallery to the Strategic Communications Team at the City. I don't know on the exact date that this project will go live, but if I finish up all the documents that need to support the gallery (FAQ, links on the various sites, other bits and pieces as needed) it may go live as early as December 1st. The first of December, of course, also being the day that the City blog will go live. Oh my, that's a lot to look forward to next week.