[Foundation-l] UMP Convention

Andrew Gray shimgray at gmail.com
Thu Oct 5 22:15:17 UTC 2006

On 05/10/06, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/5/06, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I wonder if we can use this sort of thing to
> > our advantage? "Look how many of the freely-available images of major
> > humanitarian operations have American flags all over them. Yes, I know
> > the French government gave more aid after the tsunami than the
> > Americans. But they didn't release ten thousand photographs of it all
> > as part of their normal practice. This sort of thing can pay off."
> The problem is that most goverments hold the copyright on things of
> significant value and as such are unlikely to release them directly
> into the public domain. Most will consider it enough to allow use for
> non comercail uses or for educational uses. Or will produce something
> like the british crown copyright system.

Yes, but there's no requirement for anyone to go as far as the US and
release *everything* regardless. It wouldn't be impossible to come up
with some kind of a system where copyright was disclaimed on routine
work and most publications, with the government retains the right to
assert copyright at its discretion where it felt it would be
beneficial to do so.

(I think I remember seeing a study once, prepared by HMSO, about the
amount of money made by the UK government through copyrighted
material. It'd be interesting to see what proportion of that comes in
from trivial things)

The trick is arranging a system where it isn't worth their while to
copyright all the photographs and reports churned out by government
workers ;-)

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk

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