Trigger warning: sensible suggestions, I know those can be upsetting

Might a friendly email to the museum have helped, just explaining the issue and suggesting a solution?

On 28 Jul 2017 14:32, "Fæ" <> wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear, this absolutely is a
classic example of copyfraud. To say "I see no evidence of copyfraud
by the BM" is precisely correct, however this is still copyfraud. It's
an example that is very handy for Wikimedia Commons to use to
illustrate its own policies with regard to deletions and allowed
photographs where there are false claims of copyright being made.
Certainly I would be extremely concerned if the Wikimedia Foundation
were in any way funding events or projects in partnership with a GLAM
institution that continues to propagate copyfraud, rather than taking
positive action to stamp it out.

We can see by simply looking at the photographs that copyfraud is
being committed by the Tullie House Museum, as they give members of
the public tickets for the exhibition, and are fully responsible for
the exhibition itself. I agree it is not clear yet whether the British
Museum have specifically required the Tullie House Museum to use this
particular sign and text. That would be a great question to get

I find it highly unlikely that the THM have used a notice that was not
agreed with the BM, in just the same way as the text of the related
labels and posters would be agreed. Despite the same exhibition having
many other artefacts from different museums across Europe and several
objects on loan from personal collections, I could not see any other
signs of this type against anything other than objects on loan from
the BM.


On 28 July 2017 at 14:14, Michael Maggs <> wrote:
> 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.
> Michael
> On 28 Jul 2017, at 13:11, Richard Nevell <>
> 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" <> 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.
>> Links
>> 1.
>> 2.
>> 3. Tullie House, Roman Frontier exhibition:
>> 4. British Museum "about us":
>> 5. Commons village pump discussion:
>> Contacts
>> *
>> *
>> Thanks,
>> Fae
>> --
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>> Wikimedia UK mailing list
>> WMUK:
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