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Interest In Open-Source Web Format Permaculture Design Manual?

 
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I develop and distribute a lot of open-source software. Which is software that anyone can edit, duplicate and view free of charge. That said I currently have a really great setup for open-souring webpages in a format that would be perfect for a textbook.

There are three problems:
1) Bill Mollison's Permaculture Designers Manual is that it is a somewhat rare, heavy, and expensive old book.
2) Appropedia's wiki format is good for informing but not so much for learning.
3) When folks create their PDC the burden of creating a curriculum can be a daunting task.

What if I made a website that acts as a living document structured like a textbook for specifically permaculture knowledge?

1) Open to anyone to contribute without having to be a pro web dev.
2) Moderated to keep things in scope.
3) High-end graphics, and charts that surpass the hand-drawn doodles found in most PDCs/books.
4) Rules in place to ensure a neutral worldview to not alienate any people groups. (Nature personification, age of the earth, scientific speculation, religious terminology, etc.).
5) Easily duplicatable so verbiage can be replaced and versions distributed that appeal to specific people groups. (3rd parties can alter content to make X version for their niche).
6) Convertable to .pdf for printing & distribution.
7) Fancy pants IKEA/Lego-style manuals on how to build things like RMH.
8) Multi-Langauge support.

I would need to raise some money to cover:
1) Web hosting costs
2) Maintenance/moderation costs
3) Content assets (diagrams, images, videos, etc.)

Text content can be crowd-sourced, paraphrased from Appropedia, or done completely from scratch. However I would like for content assets such as diagrams, and images to be at a higher modern standard that most people don't have the skill for. I have a small library of 3D and vector graphics for teaching permaculture things but not enough for a whole book's worth.

I already have the tech to launch but is there enough interest to cover the cost of filling out all the content a modern design manual would need?
 
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With all the appropriate permissions, I'll bet Permies itself could easily provide so much material and links to usable material for this. It would be great to have something like this happen!
 
T Simpson
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I certainly want this to happen since learning 1001 things by parsing hand-drawn images from 5 gurus and half a dozen websites and 50 different .pdf docs was a chore and *if* you can get your hands on Bill Mollison's book there have been a lot of advancements/alternatives since then.

I'm sure some of the folks here on permies could get things filled out quite quickly.

What would probably happen is I would launch with a bunch of placeholder content and then gradually make things nicer. Having a cohesive style between all visual assets and not having to juggle copyright licenses and citations is ideal, but also the largest expense.

If I crowdfund then maybe I could make sure all the visuals are in order and not have to crowdsource a hodgepodge of temporary images in varying styles/formats.


I guess I should go through Bill Mollison's book and count the chapters & images and see just how much material might be needed.
 
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T Simpson wrote:is there enough interest to cover the cost of filling out all the content a modern design manual would need?


How much?
 
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T Simpson wrote: is there enough interest to cover the cost of filling out all the content a modern design manual would need?



My suggestion would be to contact Tagari before you put a lot of effort into this project.

Tagari may already have something working in this direction or to see if they might be interested in partnering with you.  This seem would save a lot of legal fees.

Mollison's daughter is a member of the forum:

https://permies.com/u/335092/Lisa-Ann-Mollison

https://permies.com/wiki/20210/Permaculture-Designer-Manual-Bill-Mollison#1299615

www.tagaripublications.com
 
T Simpson
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Christopher Weeks wrote:
How much?




If matching the amount of content in Bill Mollison's book probably around $20,000 for graphical content between myself and a freelancer assuming no 3rd parties contribute, website costs would be pretty much nothing.
 
T Simpson
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Anne Miller wrote:

My suggestion would be to contact Tagari before you put a lot of effort into this project.

Tagari may already have something working in this direction or to see if they might be interested in partnering with you.  This seem would save a lot of legal fees.



What I'm proposing is just a wiki in a textbook format, I'd moderate it to ensure it doesn't directly infringe or plagiarize anything from Bill Mollison's book. It would compete though. I'll ask and see what they are doing and maybe they would be willing to contribute.


I could launch within the week with minimal/no content and see where people take it.
 
T Simpson
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From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

"Trademark and copyright disputes surround the word permaculture. Mollison's books claimed on the copyright page, "The contents of this book and the word PERMACULTURE are copyright." Eventually Mollison acknowledged that he was mistaken and that no copyright protection existed.[103]

In 2000, Mollison's U.S.-based Permaculture Institute sought a service mark for the word permaculture when used in educational services such as conducting classes, seminars, or workshops.[104] The service mark would have allowed Mollison and his two institutes to set enforceable guidelines regarding how permaculture could be taught and who could teach it, particularly with relation to the PDC, despite the fact that he had been certifying teachers since 1993. This attempt failed and was abandoned in 2001. Mollison's application for trademarks in Australia for the terms "Permaculture Design Course" and "Permaculture Design" was withdrawn in 2003. In 2009 he sought a trademark for "Permaculture: A Designers' Manual" and "Introduction to Permaculture", the names of two of his books. These applications were withdrawn in 2011. Australia has never authorized a trademark for the word permaculture.[105]"

I'll look into this more to confirm the copyright status of "permaculture".

Edit:
after reading through this thread https://permies.com/t/92441/word-Permaculture
I think it would be fine to use the word and I think the project would be different enough from Mollison's Book (because it isn't a book) that it wouldn't infringe. But to be fair I think I should give credit, backlink, and maybe even require contributors to have taken a PDC to ensure content is actually "Permaculture".
 
Rachel Lindsay
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T Simpson wrote:...maybe even require contributors to have taken a PDC to ensure content is actually "Permaculture".


This excludes people like me from contributing. I've never taken a PDC, but I can research and write my way up and down the USA. There definitely should be some certified folks to review and approve all uploaded material, but since those are gonna be very busy people--they may not have the time to initially write stuff up!
 
T Simpson
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:

T Simpson wrote:...maybe even require contributors to have taken a PDC to ensure content is actually "Permaculture".


This excludes people like me from contributing. I've never taken a PDC, but I can research and write my way up and down the USA. There definitely should be some certified folks to review and approve all uploaded material, but since those are gonna be very busy people--they may not have the time to initially write stuff up!



I agree, I'm in a similar boat since the courses I took aren't necessarily in direct lineage like a course from Geoff or the Permaculture institute. I also think it is important to include ideas outside of the lineage to ensure it is a unique work while still retaining the core ideas.


What I'll do today is contact tagari and see if they are cool with the project and if they are willing to contribute any official text or images even if it isn't permanent.

Maybe I can subsidize the cost of visual content with affiliate links to permies or tagari.
 
T Simpson
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Lisa Mollison just replied to my inquiry and clarified some things, but pretty much gave the green light.


I have launched the website: https://open-permaculture.com/

There are probably 100 little things I need to go in tweak but we can begin filling in the information.


The route I went to ensure that it is all open source was to host it on GitHub so everyone has access to the code of the website and any changes made (that I approve) will propagate to the live site.

Text can be formatted with GitHub's markdown which is similar to BB code used here on the forums. This will get automatically converted to HTML under the hood.


I will make a new thread with more details.
 
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