[Foundation-l] At least 500 images will have to be deleted from the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Maggs Michael at Maggs.name
Wed Jul 23 20:18:56 UTC 2008


Could I just check, please, whether you were just replying to an 
out-of-the-blue email from Klaus or whether you have replied after a 
review of

[[Commons:Deletion requests/National Portrait Gallery images (first 
set)]] where your email has now been publicly quoted.

The policy we at Commons have been working to is that images must be 
free in both the US and in the source country.  I assume that is still 
the WMF general position?

The problem in the UK is that - contrary to what Klaus said - there is 
now a binding Court of Appeal judgement (Hyperion Records v Sawkin) 
which makes it very clear that the Bridgeman principle will _not _stand 
up in a UK court.  You can find details of the UK case law at [[Commons 
talk:When to use the PD-Art tag#Reply to call for revision 

If it's official WMF policy that Bridgeman is assumed to apply in all 
countries, even in countries where there is jursiprudence to say that it 
will not, a formal statement to that effect would be most helpful.  It 
will mean we can keep the NPG images, and quite a few others, and we can 
also dismantle much of the policy we have put in place to ensure that 
this issue is looked at on a country-by-country basis. We can for 
example delete the policy page [[Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag]] 
almost entirely. 



Mike Godwin wrote:
> Klaus Graf writes:
>> For years there was no doubt that Bridgeman v. Corel was accepted on
>> Commons. It is said that British courts would'nt accept Bridgeman v.
>> Corel but there is no proof for this. It is true, in the contrary,
>> that the NY US judge has diligently discussed UK law with the result
>> that also according UK copyright law mere reproductions are NOT
>> protected.
>> Bridgeman vs. Corel is an essential point for Commons and for all
>> Wikimedia projects. This is not an issue some Commons pseudo-experts
>> could decide. Before 500+ pictures of PUBLIC DOMAIN PAINTINGS are to
>> be deleted the board of the Foundation should decide if Moeller's
>> quote above is still its position.
> I think it's still the Foundation's position, Klaus. We've gotten the  
> occasional note from the National Portrait Gallery in the UK,  
> asserting copyrights in reproductions of very old paintings, but to my  
> knowledge we've never actually faced anything like legal action or a  
> DMCA takedown notice regarding such images.  I think the National  
> Portrait Gallery may be afraid to put their claims to the test in  
> actual litigation, since doing so would be a straightforward assault  
> on the public domain, and could raise international enforcement issues  
> besides.  While I respect the Commons community's engagement in the  
> issue of keeping Commons clear from copyright problems, it should be  
> stressed that it is unclear whether the Foundation currently has any  
> legal problems as a result of the public-domain paintings in question  
> appearing on Commons.
> --Mike Godwin
> General Counsel
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the foundation-l mailing list