The Tullie House Museum in Carlisle has a number of objects on loan
from the British Museum, and it appears that it is only those
objects that have any restrictions on photography. I took photographs
of two of these (without any flash), as the restrictions are
shockingly obvious cases of copyfraud, and not for any reason that
might protect the works from damage. It seems incomprehensible
as to why the British Museum would ever want to make copyright claims
over ~2,000 year old works especially considering they are not a
money-making commercial enterprise, but a National institute and
charity, with a stated objective that "the collection should be put
to public use and be freely accessible".
Does anyone have any ideas for action, or contacts in the Museum, that
might result in a change of how loans from the BM are controlled? I'm
wondering if the most effective way forward is to make some social
media fuss, to ensure the Trustees of the museum pay attention. The
reputational risk the apparent ignorance over copyright by the BM
loans management team seems something that would be easy to correct,
so changes to policy are overdue. My own experience of polite private
letters to a Museum's lawyer demonstrates that you may as well save
hours of volunteer time by filing these in the bin, compared to the
sometimes highly effective use of a few pointed tweets written in a
few minutes and shared publicly and widely across social media.
Those of us Wikimedians who work closely with GLAMs tend to shy away
from any controversy, wanting the organizations to move towards
sharing our open knowledge goals for positive reasons. I'm happy to
try those types of collegiate ways of partnering, however drawing a
few lines in the sand by highlighting embarrassing case studies, might
mean we make timely progress while activist dinosaurs like me are
still alive to see it happen.
3. Tullie House, Roman Frontier exhibition:
4. British Museum "about us":
5. Commons village pump discussion:
Just a heads-up that I'm organising a daytme editathon in London on
Friiday, 13 October 2017.
I hope those of you who aren't superstitious will be able to make it.
Details including the host organisation, will follow as soon as I'm
cleared to announce them, but I thought you might want to keep the
Could WMUK do a little research on this please?
If this feedback on my correspondence with the Imperial War Museum was
received from the IWM during meetings with employees of the charity in
January 2013, this happened when I was a trustee on the board. I do
not recall feedback like this getting shared with the board from the
CEO, nor was I personally approached or informed separate from the
board. It's the sort of thing I doubt I would forget, though I do
recall being critical during a board meeting about any potential WMUK
project or partnership with the IWM at that time, unless their use of
misleading claims of copyright on public domain media changed first.
As there were discussions about me, I would appreciate the notes held
by WMUK from these meetings about a potential WMUK project being
shared with me, even at this late stage. It seems fair that the WMUK
CEO check the facts being made public on this list, and whether this
feedback was shared with the board of trustees at the time.
This is not a reply to Richard Symonds, for reasons known to the WMUK
board and CEO.
On 28 July 2017 at 20:32, Richard Symonds <chasemewiki(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> First: I know me and you haven't got on very well in the past Fae, so I want
> to underline that this email is meant in the friendliest way possible. I
> really appreciate the work you do on Commons, and am deeply struck by the
> passion with which you approach our shared goal. We're both on the same team
> - working for free knowledge.
> That said, there's a bit of criticism - constructive, I hope. I'm not sure
> if further emails like the ones at
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:F%C3%A6/email/IWM would be very
> helpful - they didn't work at the time, and clearly haven't worked in the
> past four years, despite your tweeting. The issue the IWM had in that case
> was that they didn't agree with you that it was copyfraud. The solution
> would be a sit-down talk between professionals, that is as you say, "invest
> some resources into changing their minds".
> I remember trying this with the IWM in 2013 - at the time, I was talking to
> the institution about the WW1 centenary, which they were the driving force
> behind. They were happy to talk, and extremely friendly, and we had several
> meetings with them. However, they had issues with the emails that you were
> sending to them, which they saw as rude, passive-aggressive, and generally
> unhelpful. The institution didn't see them as polite correspondence, and it
> made them reticent to work with Wikipedia because they didn't feel like they
> could be a part of a community that spoke to people like that. I know that
> to you the emails were professional and to the point, and objectively
> correct. But to them it came across as unprofessional, and that it happened
> during the run-up to the WWI centenary made it very difficult for Wikipedia
> to get involved in the commemorations in any more than a passive capacity.
> You redoubled your efforts after you saw the IWM refusing to change, but
> sometimes, our passion for change - for righting the wrongs in the world -
> makes us seem like fanatics to middle-managers in cultural institutions.
> This pushed them away, and made it harder for them to understand our point
> of view.
> The solution here is, as you say, friendly and professional discussions -
> social media campaigns about it, as well as using words like "copyfraud"
> (which invoke thoughts of criminality in the minds of the reader), are
> counterproductive. We need to be professional and approachable, engendering
> change through example, and although social media campaigns and shaming work
> sometimes (and are legitimate ways of forcing change on an old institution),
> we have to be careful not to go to it as a first option, especially when our
> strength in WMUK is our professional connections throughout the third sector
> and "GLAM" world.
> On 28 July 2017 at 18:16, Fæ <faewik(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 28 July 2017 at 17:18, John Byrne <john(a)bodkinprints.co.uk> wrote:
>> > The BM still in effect operates a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on
>> > photography - see
>> > [http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/2011-11-14%20Visitor%20Regulations%20FINAL…
>> > section 8.1] here: "8.1 Except where indicated by notices, you are
>> > permitted
>> > to use hand-held cameras (including mobile phones) with flash bulbs or
>> > flash
>> > units, and audio and film recording equipment not requiring a stand. You
>> > may
>> > use your photographs, film and audio recordings only for your own
>> > private
>> > and non-commercial purposes." The same goes for the images on their
>> > website.
>> > But as I think Fae knows, they have in the past kindly facilitated
>> > back-stage photography of objects by Wikipedians, knowing the images
>> > will be
>> > uploaded to Commons. Matthew Cock, our former main contact left some
>> > years
>> > ago. Most "policy" matters are hard to change at the BM because of the
>> > size
>> > of the organization. Everything "would have to go to the Trustees" - an
>> > appalling vista for middle management.
>> > No doubt the THM is trying to enforce these standard terms, reflected in
>> > the
>> > loan agreement, more strictly than the BM itself does. I'm not sure
>> > there's
>> > much point in going to or after them.
>> > One day their main policy will improve, but they are not easy to
>> > pressure -
>> > in practice things work ok as it is, normally.
>> > John
>> Thanks John, I recall us having meetings with BM folks. It was
>> illuminating hearing how things work from the inside. Within my
>> personal network I have some insight into the BM specifically, and
>> other large academic related institutions. In general we get a
>> positive response from curators and researchers who may plan an
>> exhibition, in fact their issues with our open projects are spot on
>> and match our own concerns. But this is a very separate world from the
>> operations and marketing middle management who make the final
>> decisions on loan policies and public exhibition standards.
>> From the perspective of open knowledge advocates, after meetings and
>> presentations I have had curators shake my hand and thank me for
>> saying things they cannot. One of the great benefits of having unpaid
>> volunteers like us knocking around with no "professional" affiliation
>> with the institutions that may manage the content we are passionate
>> about, is that we can say obvious things, without worrying too much
>> about diplomacy or PR.
>> Despite being criticised for making waves every now and then, it's
>> those personal thanks for doing what I do that will encourage me to
>> call unambiguous copyfraud, copyfraud, whenever I see it.
>> If anyone wants to see my previous efforts trying politely talking to
>> IP lawyers representing an institution that simply does not get it,
>> they can take a look at my correspondence with the Imperial War
>> Museum. It's four years since I very politely and clearly gave them
>> the facts about their continued copyfraud, and they have not lifted a
>> finger to correct it. I guess they are too big to care about my tweets
>> that continue to point out this problem, however it would be great
>> if WMUK wanted to invest some resources into changing their minds; in
>> line with our shared vision of open knowledge and free access to
>> public content.
>> 1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae/email/IWM IWM emails.
>> 2. https://twitter.com/Faewik/status/890954001990201346 example tweet
>> on copyfraud from earlier today.
>> faewik(a)gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
Hello mailing list. Last year we had a lot of fun taking photos at the
Pride march in London. This year it's on Saturday 8th July and we can get
press accreditation for photographers if anyone is interested in attending.
You should have a professional quality camera. If there are any other
events you would like to get press accreditation to go to, get in contact
and let me know and I can ask for you.
*Apologies for cross posting*
With only three weeks to go until Repository Fringe 2017 takes place at the John McIntyre Centre at the University of Edinburgh on 3 & 4 August, registrations are filling up fast and we have a packed programme which will hopefully pique your interest!
Registration closes on 28 July so make sure you register now at: http://www.epay.ed.ac.uk/conferences-events/information-services/informatio…
We have a really exciting programme lined up this year with a range of topics including:
· Kathleen Shearer, COAR - Raising our game - repositioning repositories as the foundation for sustainable scholarly communication
· Paul Ayris, UCL - The Empires of the Future are the Empires of the Mind’ [Winston Churchill]: Defining the Role of Libraries in the Open Science Landscape
· Chris Banks, Imperial College - Focusing upstream: supporting scholarly communication by academics
· Ewan McAndrew, University of Edinburgh & Navino Evans, Histropedia - Wikidata I/O Showcase
Programme Hot Pick - Wikidata Showcase
This Wikidata event at Repo Fringe is scheduled for 1pm to 3.15pm on Friday 4th August. It will be split into two main segments.
Part 1: Adding data to Wikidata: the Wikidata hackathon
The first session, from 1pm to 2.30pm, will focus on how to add data to Wikidata so this will include a short intro to what Wikidata is before looking at how individual items of data can be added to and, importantly, backed up with references as part of a data hackathon.
Part 2: Querying and visualising Wikidata
The second session, 2.30pm to 3.15pm, will look at how the data in Wikidata can be consumed, queried and visualised; whether it’s Voltaire’s works, the collections of the National Library of Wales, an analysis of MPs’ occupations or the 3 million linked citations visualised using the new Scholia tool.
In addition to these sessions we are also running a SPARQL workshop from 9.30am-10.30am on Friday morning.
Find out more about our programme at: http://rfringe17.blogs.edina.ac.uk/programme/
2017 marks the 10th Repo Fringe where we will be celebrating progress we have made over the last 10 years in sharing content beyond borders and debating future trends and challenges.
We look forward to seeing you in August!
Wikimedian in Residence
Tel: 07719 330076
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Wikipedia Project Page for the residency: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:University_of_Edinburgh
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The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
MozFest is calling for proposals for their annual festival this October in
East London, and it would be great to have some Wikimedia-related
The deadline is 1st August. I'm sure a number of you will have been to this
before but I went for the first time last year and it really is a great
conference. Of course it covers a wide scope of interest but in 2016 there
was lots that was pertinent to people working or volunteering for
Wikimedia, or for the open movement more broadly.
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