Sven Manguard and I have been working on a little project to try to get
state and local government to release their Flickr photostreams under a
license that's compatible with Wikimedia Commons. Right now the MA
governor's office releases photos under a CC license that does not allow
commercial reuse (and so is incompatible with Wikimedia's requirements) and
the Boston Mayor's office releases their photos as "All Rights Reserved".
I'd like to send a letter to contacts of ours at the governor's and mayor's
offices requesting this change. However, the letter should come from our
Wikimedia New England group rather than from any of us individually. I've
included a draft below, *please give me your feedback.*
I want to demonstrate that this isn't just one person making this request
so I think its important that this letter be signed by as many of our vice
presidents as possible using their real names, cities and, if possible job
titles. We don't need to put that information online, but we should include
it in official correspondence. If you want your name included in this
letter, please send me your information privately. I won't send anything
out until I get the okay from (at least) a majority of the vice presidents
appointed at our April general meeting.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,
We are an organized group of volunteers supporting Wikipedia outreach in
> New England. We are currently in the process of forming a regional chapter
> of the Wikimedia Foundation, the international non-profit organization that
> runs Wikipedia and its sister projects, including Wiktionary, Wikiquote and
> One of our group’s goals is to work with governmental, cultural and
> educational organizations in New England to expand the public’s access to
> knowledge and creative works. Much of the cultural heritage of our region
> is not online or is available only under restrictive copyright licenses
> that make it difficult for citizens to use, share or build upon these
> works. If this material becomes available to the public under a less
> restrictive license, it can be used in myriad ways, such as in Wikipedia
> articles or student projects.
> We would like to meet with you to discuss changing the licensing of the
> photos your office already posts online on Flickr. Right now, the license
> terms your office uses prevent us from using these photos on Wikipedia. By
> making this change, you can help insure that Wikipedia can use high-quality
> photographs to illustrate articles on public officials, government agencies
> and programs.
> Your office is currently releasing these photos under <>, but we would
> like you to release the images under a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license. CC-BY
> allows anyone, including commercial entities, to distribute the work and to
> adapt or remix it, under the condition that the work be attributed to the
> original creator. CC-BY-SA adds an additional condition that anyone who
> alters your photograph must release their version under the same license.
> Implementing this change is trivial – it simply requires adjusting a
> setting on your office’s Flickr account.
Hello Massachusetts based compatriots!
Between an established proto-chapter, several academic institutions with
alined goals, and several luminaries living and working in the state, a
reasonable argument can be made that Massachusetts is the free culture
capital of the east coast.
We should totally leverage that.
I'd love to see Massachusetts join Florida and California, becoming the
third state to release the majority of government works into the public
domain. I think it's doable, but I think it will take time, and possibly
lobbyists and money and volunteer hours. In other words, I think it's a
worthy long term goal to work towards.
In the mean time, I'd like to put free culture on the Governor's agenda,
albeit in a comparatively minor role. The Governor's official Flickr stream
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/massgovernor) releases all work under a
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license. The fact that it's a CC
license at all shows that someone, somewhere in the administration is
What I'd like to do is create a petition asking the administration to
release their photographs under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-SA) license, instead of
an NC one. I think it's an eminently achievable goal. The way I see it, we
need a few things to make it happen:
1) Research: We need to know exactly what we're asking for. Are we asking
for an executive order, or something less formal? Would this apply to
future administrations? Who in the Massachusetts State bureaucracy should
we be handing this petition to (i.e. whose responsibility does this fall
under, since I doubt it's going to go straight to the governor). Also, we
would do well to create a list of people we'd like to have sign the
2) Petition writing: The petition needs to be well written. It needs to
explain our argument clearly and concisely. We need to point out the
benefits of making such a change. It needs to be professionally worded and
not sound like a rant. You get the idea.
3) Rallying: Before we even release the petition to the public, we're going
to want to make sure that all the signatories we want are on board, and
we're going to want them to be signing it they day that the petition goes
public, or even before then. Momentum is important. Momentum and a list of
names with cachet is even better.
Is anyone else interested in this? Does anyone have any ideas? I'd really
like to run with this, but I can't do it on my own.
For anyone in the DC area...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ed Summers <ehs(a)pobox.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 4:22 PM
Subject: [wikimedia-dc] August 13th at the Library of Congress: Cultural
Institutions and Wikipedia: a Mutually Beneficial Relationship
To: Wikimedia DC chapter mailing list <wikimedia-dc(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
My apologies if this has been announced already. I imagine the current
Wikipedian in Residence at the National Archives is a known quantity
to many of you already. Dominic graciously agreed to visit to the
Library of Congress to talk about his experience working with
Wikipedia at NARA. The talk is open to the public so please feel free
to spread the word. I'm personally hoping that Dominic's visit will be
an opportunity to talk about how LC (and ogs) can use and promote
Wikipedia more effectively.
Cultural Institutions and Wikipedia: a Mutually Beneficial Relationship
1:30 - 3:00
6th floor, James Madison Memorial Building
Over the past few years, cultural institutions have formed
partnerships with Wikipedia in order to increase their visibility on
the web and connect with a vibrant community of online volunteers. As
a purpose-driven, non-profit educational project, Wikipedia and its
sister sites have shared values and interests with cultural
institutions that are only now being fully realized. The National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has become an enthusiastic
and vocal participant in this movement to build bridges with Wikipedia
and its community in the past year. Using specific examples,
McDevitt-Parks will discuss how NARA views the partnership as a
vehicle for increasing access to holdings, citizen engagement, and
openness, while addressing practical concerns and challenges
institutions will likely face if they choose to become involved.
Dominic McDevitt-Parks is the Wikipedian in Residence at the National
Archives and Records Administration and has served in that role since
May 2011. He came to NARA from the Archives Management program at
Simmons College and also holds a B.A. in history from Reed College. He
has been a volunteer Wikipedia contributor since 2004.
wikimedia-dc mailing list
Samuel Klein @metasj w:user:sj +1 617 529 4266
FYI for those interested in monumentalism.
I gave a talk to a group of hs and college students recently, whow anted to
know what to do to start editing. "do you love monuments?" "yes!" they
all loved the wlm website and started plotting in their own neighborhoods
:-) "how cool that chicago has N different districts already!"
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lodewijk <lodewijk(a)effeietsanders.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 7:19 AM
Subject: [Wiki Loves Monuments] Deadlines: please check
To: Wiki Loves Monuments Photograph Competition <
I would like to repeat the deadlines from
again, and would like to hear it very soon if one of the deadlines is not
realistic for you, or if you have good reasons to change it. Especially the
October 21 deadline is important. With that information, we will set the
final deadlines on Saturday.
* August 27: Upload wizard and websites should be ready.
* August 30: Crucial infrastructure should be translated to your local
languages, banner info should be ready and translated. English summary page
should be available for each country.
* 1 September - 30 September: actual contest. Banners up. (exception
Israel, which is using the hebrew months, but will follow the other
* October 21: *Deadline for submitting the 10 nominations for the
international contest*. This can be a private submission (with delayed
publishing) and they do not have to be ordered. Being late for this
deadline might result in having no nominations in the international contest
- so make sure this is a realistic deadline for you.
* November 18: The international jury needs to have its results ready. This
can't be much later, because we would like to produce calendars again, but
this time get them delivered before the end of the year.
I would appreciate it also if some people could confirm this is realistic
and workable for them.
Wiki Loves Monuments mailing list
Samuel Klein @metasj w:user:sj +1 617 529 4266