Copyright Act of 1790

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What CopyrightX needs now

Stack Exchange Q&A site proposal: CopyrightX

As of this moment, CopyrightX has 4 followers (one of which is me), and although having followers is great, what the proposal really needs now are Example Questions (EQs) and voting activity by the followers. In my last post, I mentioned that I’d address voting in a later post, and I’ll do that briefly here.

Recall that like all SE communities, CopyrightX is not a discussion forum. CopyrightX will be defined by questions and answers. But also recall that in the definition phase, not even answers are involved. At this point, only questions (more specifically, Example Questions) will define CopyrightX.

Example Questions (EQ)

Every SE network user is allowed to contribute up to 5 Example Questions (EQ) to any one community proposal. Thus far, I’ve contributed my allotment of EQs to CopyrightX and am permitted by the SE software to contribute no more unless I first delete one of my existing EQs. And it’s not really even as simple as deleting an EQ. Instead, I think I vote to delete an EQ and the other followers may also vote on that too. I’m pretty happy with my 5 EQs though (in spite of their having received some down-votes and some negative feedback in the comments, so I’ll leave them as is for now.

So for the 3 other current followers of CopyrightX, the best way for you to contribute to this community proposal now is to think long and hard about the best 5 EQs that you can come up with. My fellow classmates in HLS1x will, I think, have no problem with that, but if you’d like some advice on what kinds of EQs you should post to CopyrightX then please feel free to ask me in email and I’ll try to offer some suggestions.

Each question helps to define our community (and may be difficult to delete), so please think carefully about the EQs that you post to CopyrightX. Each EQ will need to be pithy (less than or equal to 150 characters and the SE software enforces this limit). Each EQ will also need to be very specific and answerable. See the other SE users’ comments on my 5 EQs for some thoughts on what types of EQs to post and (perhaps more importantly) what types of EQs to avoid. The best types of EQs are probably ones that you know the answers for and could cite the source of the specific answer if asked to do so (again, we should be posting no answers at this point though). Maybe “What is the duration of copyright protection in the USA without renewal?” would be a good EQ. I’m thinking that a poor choice for an EQ would be something like, “What are moral rights?” because it’s not very specific (they vary from nation to nation) and it’s open to a great deal of interpretation. If you have a great EQ in mind but it won’t fit in the character limit, then try to pare it down and then post it and elaborate upon it using the comment field that will appear directly below the EQ after you post it.

Voting

The other main thing that CopyrightX needs now is voting activity by the followers. The SE software hides who votes for what and how they vote (except cumulatively; see below), so I’m not sure if any of the CopyrightX followers have done any voting. I have a feeling that none have voted, and if that’s the case, then the proposal really needs your votes.

SE users can vote on almost anything. We can vote on EQs (CopyrightX needs this), proper questions (in the discuss.area51.SE.com site and CopyrightX needs this too), answers, comments, announcements (just below the community description) and I think those are all the possibilities but you should keep an eye out for up-arrows and down-arrows throughout the site.

Voting improves your own reputation score (I know I still need to explain this in the context of SE but hopefully the word is at least partially self-explanatory) though only slightly I think. Voting also affects other SE users reputation scores. Be careful about down-voting because new SE users require a certain reputation score to gain the privilege of down-voting, and perhaps more importantly, down-voting often lowers your own reputation score slightly (although this may not be true in the case of EQs), so it’s something that you probably won’t want to do much of until your reputation score is in the hundreds. You are only allowed to cast 5 up-votes for EQs in any one proposed community, so use your votes wisely. There may be a similar limit on down-votes although I’m not sure yet. In particular, don’t up-vote any EQs that already hold a score of 10. Such votes are wasted in terms of moving the community proposal forward and you’re only allowed to vote up 5 EQs. Furthermore, the SE software often prevents your going back later and revising a vote, so vote carefully and thoughtfully. Also, I think that your SE profile keeps track and makes public your cumulative voting record, so if you submit 15 down-votes and only 2 up-votes then that says something about your judgment that you may not want to make public (even if you’re not using your full legal name on SE).

So that’s what CopyrightX really needs now. Please write 5 thoughtful and specific EQs and please vote on 5 EQs.

Please also consider voting on the 4 discussion questions (and their answers and comments) that are currently associated with the proposal. My second discussion question “Why has CopyrightX been closed” was particularly controversial and earned at least 5 down-votes. This lowered my reputation slightly but I posted that question in order to try and draw the SE exec’s attention to the issue (he was unresponsive in email and I felt like hours were precious at that time because I had only an hour or so before just announced the proposal to about 1,000 people; because he had closed it, nobody was allowed by the SE software to follow the community in the wake of my announcement) and also to try and explain to any of the 1,000 people I had just alerted that it had only recently been closed and was subject to imminent reopening (so that they might come back and check again later). If you think that any of my 4 discussion questions (DQs) have merit, then please consider up-voting them. This would improve my reputation score slightly, but much more importantly, it shows other SE users who are not CopyrightX followers and who are watching this community how you feel about these DQs. I was able to get the proposal reopened about 18 hours after it was closed primarily because of my having posted that -5 scoring DQ (though I might have been able to do the same without including the email message I sent him in the public DQ). In that regard, my feeling is that the DQ deserves a better score than -5, but up-votes are only likely to come from CopyrightX followers.

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