Dutch museums and archives are well organised. Many of their collections can
be found, typically in the jpg format, at
The point for them istalk to us is to give more relevance to their
collections. The edge Commons has over Flickr is because we actually use the
material. It does however not exclude Flickr. They want to get the material
out to the public and give the material its relevance in ths way. There is
an archive I am talking to who is the repository of commercial publications
many of them who stopped publishing. They would be interested in providing
us with low res pictures and expect a referal to their high res pictures
that are for sale. There is a museum that can literally not find the
copyright holders because they are likely dead and there is no clue who
inherited these rights.. orphans indeed.
Current copyright practices do not consider these issues. At the WMF we
consider everything that is not clearly Public Domain as Copyrighted and
consequently off bound when there is no official grant of a license by the
copyright holder. This means that the social value of these works are
destroyed. It means that a large part of our subjects do not have proper
illustrations. A good example is [[en:wp:Ruud Lubbers]] a former Dutch prime
minister with only US archival pictures.
Relatively Dutch archives and museums are well funded. When they say they
have done their research, they did. They do put such material on Flickr. The
value of the material to a possible copyright holder only grows because of
the exposure. Making this material available on a low res would be an option
to safe guard the interests of a potential copyright holder.
2009/3/30 Liam Wyatt <liamwyatt(a)gmail.com>
On 3/30/09, Milos Rancic <millosh(a)gmail.com> wrote:
2009/3/30 Liam Wyatt
Although a "non-free" project might be
useful - I have my doubts - the
that Gerard is talking about would not be
affected by it. It is just the
standard practice of museums to not want to "stick their neck out" and
a legally binding statement that the images are
PD. For example, the
Powerhouse Museum (in Sydney) publishes its "Tyrrell photographic
collection" on Flickr under the "no known copyright restrictions"
many of these are now copied into Commons. This
is in spite of the fact
every single one of the images was taken before
1929 which makes them
It is just the legal department requirement that they not make a
legally-binding statement. It is sad, but true.
I believe these photos are in the same situation as what Gerard is
about? Is this a reasonable comparison? These
Tyrrell collection images
definitely belong in commons, despite the Museum not making the
legally-binding PD assurances, and therefore I believe that on this
other museums in similar circumstances should be
welcomed with open
From Gerard's initial post I understood that the main museum's problem
is dealing with copyright issues strictly. They don't have resources
for that and, besides that, it is not rationally to deal with
copyright issues strictly in such circumstances.
I understood from Gerard's initial post that the question was not about
their lack of resources but their/our legal concerns about copyright.
Gerard: can you please confirm this either way?
First, why do they need us or Flickr? One museum in Netherlands should
have enough money to pay for servers: for 1000
EUR per month it is
possible to rent more than enough servers for them and I am sure that
some data center in Amsterdam would rent to them servers under much
better conditions. The reason is simple: they don't know how to do
that without a help from outside.
I do not believe this is a correct understanding. Museums (such as my
previous example of the Powerhouse Museum) are not working with Flickr
because they don't have the resources to host their own image collection
online. They are working with Commons and/or Flickr because the realise that
it is in those places where the "audience" can be found. Are you suggesting
that the institutions that are involved with "Flickr Commons" (which include
the US library of congress) are doing so because they don't have a proper
web server of their own?!
Now, if they don't know how to solve something like that logistically,
I am sure that they are far away of any useful
kind of sorting their
materials. I am almost sure that their categorization of photos
(inside of hard disk folders or, worse, at CDs, DVDs or Blue Rays) is
something like: (1) photographs which we've got from donor X; (2)
photographs from 19th century in good condition; (3) photographs which
had been made by famous photographer Y and his family; (5) other
photographs of buildings; (6) color photographs made before WWII; (7)
photographs of Dutch cities; (8) other photographs in good
condition... (Note that just condition 2 is useful for us.)
In other words, they are not able to do the query like "select id from
photographs where cdate<=1928-12-31". Not to mention other conditions
which may raise number of useful photographs. This means that they
would have a significant logistic problem if they are willing to deal
This assumption is based on (what I believe to be) the false conclusion
that the institution is technically incapable and "need our help".
So, we have three options:
* Not to do anything with them directly, but to
wait for their
cooperation with Flickr and after that to take those images.
* To find volunteers to cooperate with them.
* To make a generic option for all such cases.
*If* we want to do that, I think that the third options assumes less
amount of wasted efforts than the second option.
Assuming they didn't know how to categorise/catalogue/host their own
collection then perhaps this conclusion would be correct. But working on the
assumption that they are a perfectly competent institution then there is no
reason not to trust their claim that they have made every effort to discover
any underlying copyrights.
Gerard - can you please clarify the question: are we talking about an
institution that doesn't know how to host the images themself, or are we
talking about an institution that would be working with Flickr:Commons if we
don't "catch them" first?
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