The UK government yesterday announced new rules on access to orphan works. You can see details here:
Although the headline is “UK opens access to 91 million orphan works”, the reality is a little more prosaic. The new rules allow the UK Intellectual Property Office to grant users a licence to use an orphan work on payment of a fee and on the provision of evidence that a ‘diligent search’ has been undertaken to find the copyright owner.
The rule allowing re-use after diligent search has been part of copyright law in the UK for many years. The primary purpose of the new licences seems to be to provide greater certainty to re-users that the searches they have undertaken are sufficiently extensive to guarantee legal protection should the copyright owner come forward.
Searches have to be exceptionally comprehensive before the Intellectual Property Office will certify them as ‘diligent’:
This may help a few GLAMs who have high-profile orphan images in their collections that they would like to use on their websites, but a real solution to the orphan works problem must await a more radical approach that goes beyond both this and the existing EU Orphan Works Directive.
Due to recent vandalism a new report on Commons for page patrollers
has been started at
This page shows images actively used on English Wikipedia biography
articles, where a new upload has overwritten the original by a
"newbie"* account. The report should be automatically refreshed within
15 minutes of a new image upload/overwrite of this type.
Instances of deliberate image vandalism of this type are rare, but
important to handle promptly. If you have suggestions for improvement
of this report, I would be happy to do my best to accommodate them.
* For convenience newbie accounts have been arbitrarily taken as
accounts with fewer than 200 edits on the English Wikipedia or fewer
than 100 edits on Wikimedia Commons.
* The report is maintained by Faebot and should be considered in a
draft state as it may be moved to a more 'official' location or be
taken on by more skilled bot operators.
Here's a quick update on the Structured Data project, which proposes to make multimedia data easier to search, view, edit, curate and re-use on Wikimedia Commons.
Today, information about media files on Wikimedia sites is stored in unstructured formats that cause a range of issues: for example, file information is hard to search, some of it is only available in English, and it is difficult to edit or re-use files to comply with their license terms.
Last week, a first bootcamp was held in Berlin to discuss this project and explore possible solutions, based the same technology as the one developed for Wikidata. Participants included community volunteers, as well as the Wikidata and Multimedia teams. This blog post gives an overview of what was discussed and accomplished. (1)
Some good ideas came out from this event, but many questions remain unanswered. We would now like to invite more community members to help plan next steps for this project: everyone is welcome to join the discussion and/or subscribe to the newsletter on the new Structured data hub on Commons. (2)
We also invite you to join tomorrow's live IRC chat about Structured Data: this Thursday, October 16 at 18:00 (UTC), on #wikimedia-office (3). The development teams would love to discuss this project with you.
Going forward, our community liaison Keegan Peterzell will be managing communications for this project. You will be hearing from him about our next discussions and other ways you can get involved in this important initiative.
We look forward to working with you to better support the needs of our users and modernize our multimedia infrastructure together.
Fabrice -- for the Structured Data team
Product Manager, Multimedia
We invite you to join our next Structured Data Q&A on IRC office hours next Thursday, Oc. 16, at 18:00 UTC.
Our Multimedia team and the Wikidata team will be on hand for this discussion, as well as some of the community volunteers who are helping guide this project, such as Multichill and TheDJ.
During this hour-long IRC chat, we will discuss our next steps for this Structured Data project, and give you an update on our bootcamp in Berlin. Please RSVP here, so we know who plans to attend:
Early next week, we will update our Structured Data pages with our latest work on this project, and send another email to invite you to review them.
And if you are based in Europe, we also invite you to join the Amsterdam Hackathon on November 14-16 , 2014. Many of us will be at this event, and plan to give more updates as well as do some hacking together. You can register here:
Please spread the word in your community, and invite them to join this chat, and/or the hackathon.
We look forward to a productive discussions with many of you tomorrow.
Regards as ever,
Fabrice — for the Structured Data team
Product Manager, Multimedia
«On September 16, 2014, Google announced they would be "migrating"
Panoramio over to Google Maps. During the migration, site features such
as comments, favorite photographers, and groups would be deleted.»
I think Panoramio, as a source of geotagged photos, is several orders of
magnitudes bigger than us (therefore, or because, Commons is no longer
included in Google Maps). However, there may be an occasion for outreach
here, among the disappointed crowd.
Last hear I manually sent a few hundreds WikiLovesMonuments invites to
Panoramio users of Italy, the response was entirely positive though
minimal (mostly because we have so few monuments allowed). I don't know
what pitch to use though, especially if they're looking for comments and
groups. I remember the Flickr Pro users missed the quality photography
discussions and learning; if there is one such community in Panoramio we
could try to merge it into Commons' Quality images and Featured pictures
community, à la