Thank you. That was my understanding based on your and Mike's previous
On the basis of the Board's position on (1) and (2), the Commons
community discussed (3) - as the Board has given it freedom to do - has
run a poll, and has decided to change policy to allow PD-Art images from
The main practical effect will be that hundreds, maybe thousands, of
images that we previously had to hand over to Wikipedia (where they were
stored on exactly the same servers that Commons uses) can now be kept
for re-use on multiple WMF projects.
Someone re-using a UK or Swedish PD-Art image will be in exactly the
same position under local law if he/she takes it from Commons as if
he/she takes it from Wikipedia. The risk is identical, and it is and
always has been up to the user to make sure that the proposed re-use is
allowed under local law.
Erik Moeller wrote:
2008/8/21 Luiz Augusto <lugusto(a)gmail.com>om>:
So, yes, there is a need to an official
statement. Erik and Mike have given
There are three separate questions here:
1) Does hosting these images put the WMF in legal danger? Mike has
weighed in on this, and said that based on the record so far, there is
no reason to assume that this is the case. If you want to know if
something should be deleted to protect WMF from harm, Mike is the
person to ask. He has been asked and has answered.
2) Does WMF's licensing policy require Commons to delete these images
to remain free-as-in-freedom? Our organizational response has always
been "no", dating back to Jimmy's first public statements on the
matter years ago, our response to demands to remove PD-Art images,
etc. I co-authored both the licensing policy and the Definition of
Free Cultural Works it refers to; I believe I can safely say that
neither of these documents was intended to suggest deletion of PD-Art
3) Is the Commons community free to decide that, in spite of 1) and
2), it wants to delete some PD-Art images in order to be maximally
free-as-in-freedom? As far as I can tell, the answer is "yes", in the
absence of an explicit Board-level policy statement on PD-Art images.
None of my or Mike's comments was intended to suggest otherwise.
I hope that clarifies the situation.