Open Access File of the Day on Wikimedia Commons: Qualia of sound.jpg

All of the files presented so far in the Open Access File of the Day on Wikimedia Commons series have been reused only for display. Today’s is an example for remixing, which is another of the freedoms openly licensed (or libre Open Access) materials enjoy over gratis Open Access.

At the beginning, there was the article Disentangling Sub-Millisecond Processes within an Auditory Transduction Chain, published by Tim Gollisch and Andreas Herz in PLoS Biology (and thus under a CC BY license) in January 2005, whose Figure 1 prepares the ground for the paper by explaining the auditory transduction chain.

The image was reused – with colour added – in the accompanying synopsis (presumably by Liza Gross), from where it got copied onto Wikimedia Commons a month later. This file is not just used in the Wikipedia articles on Sound across multiple languages, it also inspired the creation of a Spanish version and – last but not least – of today’s file, which features a whistle on the left and a mental representation of it (in Japanese) on the right, both added by Was a bee in April 2006, who also removed the original basic description:

The whistle was taken from another image on Commons that had originally been uploaded by Markus Schweiss in December 2005 under a GFDL license. License compatibility issues would actually stand in the way of such remixing (a fact that Was a bee apparently was not aware of), but I won’t dwelve on them here, as the Wikimedia Foundation’s Licensing update in summer 2009 eased that situation. The whistle is thus now also available under CC BY-SA, which is one-way compatible with CC BY. In such cases, the more restrictive license forces itself upon the entire remix, and while this seems to have gone unnoticed during the largely automated relicensing of the files on Commons, it was easily fixed in 2011. Another fix would be to have the whistle relicensed under CC BY, which I have requested its author to consider.

Qualia of sound.jpg is now used in the article on Qualia in the Japanese and Italian Wikipedias.


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One Response to Open Access File of the Day on Wikimedia Commons: Qualia of sound.jpg

  1. Another adaptation of the original Fig. 1 from the Gollisch and Herz paper was conversion to SVG, which made it editable: .

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