While the text on the labels is obviously wrong, I see no evidence of copyfraud by the  BM. 

The labels are most likely placed by the Tullie House Museum in a (confused) effort to comply with a contractual term of the loan, under which the receiving museum must not allow photography. 

Such terms are pretty common where works are sent out on loan, sometimes to protect delicate artworks from flash. Here of course there is no need for such protection. 

A quiet word with 
Tullie House Museum would seem the best way forward, first to see whether they are indeed required by the BM to prohibit photography, and second to explain that any such restriction has nothing to do with copyright and should not be expressed as such.  Enquiry and education, not shaming. 


On 28 Jul 2017, at 13:11, Richard Nevell <richard.nevell@wikimedia.org.uk> wrote:

Attempting to embarrass the British Museum is misguided and certainly would not build bridges for future collaboration.

On 28 Jul 2017 13:03, "Fæ" <faewik@gmail.com> wrote:
The Tullie House Museum in Carlisle has a number of objects on loan
from the British Museum,[3] 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.[1][2] 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[4] 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.

1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_Museum_2nd_century_bronze_jug,_with_copyfraud_notice.jpg
2. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_Museum_Fortuna_statue,_with_copyfraud_notice.jpg
3. Tullie House, Roman Frontier exhibition:
4. British Museum "about us":
5. Commons village pump discussion:

* https://twitter.com/britishmuseum
* https://twitter.com/TullieHouse

faewik@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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