[Clipart] OpenClipart and Debian.

Jonadab the Unsightly One jonadab at bright.net
Wed Jan 12 21:12:29 PST 2005

[disclaimer -- the opinions I express below are mine; the OCAL has not
formed an official policy on this stuff yet]

Jon Phillips <jon at rejon.org> writes:

> Daniel Carrera wrote:
>> But what you are proposing is that each distributor look through
>> 3,000 images (and growing) each time they update their file to
>> makesure that they aren't going doing anything illegal, or morally
>> wrong.

Ultimately I think our solution would be to have these images tagged
with relevant keywords in their metadata, and then each distributor
could filter out items with particular keywords as deemed necessary or
appropriate for given distribution channels.  We can provide a script
for doing this filtering, which would take on the command-line a list
of keywords to filter out (i.e., delete images that have them).

>> I don't think this is a reasonable proposal.  You might like to
>> think that OCAL is like a library, but truth is, it isn't a public
>> library, or a historical archive.

It is not a public library in the sense of being a 501(c)3 nonprofit
organization dedicated to serving the educational, informational, and
entertainment needs of a particular community, but it *is* a library
of sorts, a collection certainly, and will be used by the public --
and not just the German public only.

>> And the German law says that the current ocal distribution is
>> illegal.

This is just completely astonishing to me.  Germany?  As in, the
Germany that is in Europe and in most respects is widely considered to
be a civilized, first-world country with indoor plumbing, a good
educational system, and a representative, mostly non-totalitarian
government?  Are we talking about the same country?

When I think of countries where a particular political flag or symbol
is illegal, I think of countries it's not safe to visit, because you
could be kidnapped by guerillas and held for ransom or get caught in
the crossfire between opposing factions with AK47s or accidentally
step on an anti-personnel mine left over from the Khmer Rouge.  I
would NOT have guessed that Germany falls into this category.  That
seems very incongruous to me.

Be that as it may, obviously then that image would need to be removed
for distribution in Germany.  If we put the keyword "nazi" in its
metadata, will that be adequate, or do we need to work out a more
elaborate system of remove-for-such-and-such-a-country keywords?
"remove-for-germany", perhaps?

Now that this is on my radar, I'll try to get a filtering script ready
in time for the next release.  It shouldn't be hard; Bryce's
SVG::Metadata module does all the hard stuff.  We knew we would need
something like this eventually (although I expected people to use it
for removing nudity and such, not historic flags of all things).

>> I think ocal should at least try to addresss these concerns
>> responsibly. Removing the flag is certainly one option. 

Doubleplusungood clipart collection; refs unflags; rectify fullwise.

I do not view that as an option.

It's not that I have any Nazi sympathies (quite the contrary), but the
flag is in context with a collection of various national, political,
and historic flags, and I don't think it's right to remove the Nazi
flag from the collection altogether, for everyone worldwide.  And I'm
not an anti-censorship nut; I recognize as well as anyone the need for
reasonable amounts of reasonable kinds of censorship -- but this a
flag that was used as *the* flag of a country (or, at least, *the*
flag of the military of a country) during an historically significant
time period.  Censoring that is like outlawing history books.  What
does Germany want us to do, pretend that WWII never happened?  I'm
sorry if this hurts someone's feelings, but rewriting history is no
solution to anything.  For distribution in locations other than
Germany, I think we should keep the flag in the collection.
Distributors who are distributing in Germany can filter it.
>> Let's consider some alternatives:
>>  * Make two distributions. One with "everything" and one "clean".

I certainly would consider the Nazi flag clean.  It's a historical
flag, for crying out loud, what's cleaner than that?  Do we also need
to remove the pictures of guns and other weapons?  How about the
Hummer; those are used by the military...

Do you see the problem?  If we remove everything from the collection
that might offend anyone, we'll have nothing left.  The Palestinians
will probably complain that the flag of Israel is offensive, too, and
I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Northern Ireland is offended by
the Union Jack.  Sorry about your feelings, but it's a flag, get over
it.  The Christmas images will probably offend Muslims.  The
Thanksgiving images will offend some people just because Thanksgiving
is American.  You can see where this is going.  Images of SUVs and so
forth could offend the rabid environmentalists.  The handshake will
offend the KKK, because one of the hands is (horror of horrors) darker
than the other.  As far as I'm concerned, they can deal with it.

Things that are *widely* considered offensive, such as pornography and
dead babies, I can see excluding or partitioning off separately into
an "everything" collection, but things that are only a problem in very
specific areas or for very specific subpopulations are another matter.

If we flag them with appropriate keywords, then distributors putting
together localized packages for those locations or subpopulations can
filter out images with those keywords deemed problematic for that
locale.  This fits right in, incidentally, with our L10N plans.  The
tarball we are currently providing is intended for English-speaking
countries, but it should not be hard, if we get the metadata right, to
produce one localized for another language.  We haven't gotten there
yet, but it is planned.

split//,"ten.thgirb\@badanoj$/ --";$\=$ ;-> ();print$/

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