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

Mike Godwin mgodwin at wikimedia.org
Wed Jul 23 22:24:20 UTC 2008

Michael Maggs writes:

> 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.

Are these my only two choices?

I'm aware, generally, of the ongoing discussion in Commons and  
elsewhere about about how to respond to the National Portrait  
Gallery's efforts to assert copyright interests in works that are  
otherwise public domain. I don't normally "review" such discussions  
(if you consider the volume of policy discussions on the projects  
generally, you can see why).

> 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?

I'm not sure I understand the question, at least the way it's framed  
here. WMF doesn't administer Commons policy to any great degree --  
that's done by the community members at Commons.

> If it's official WMF policy that Bridgeman is assumed to apply in all
> countries....

I'm not trying to say this, or even to tell the Commons community how  
to apply Bridgeman at all.  What I'm saying is that there seems to be  
an effort to address a problem that, for the Foundation at least,  
hasn't yet been shown to exist.  (Believe me, I'd know it if we were  
getting lots of takedown notices or copyright lawsuits from the  
National Portrait Gallery.)

My strong belief is that there is no compelling reason to remove the  
National Portrait Gallery-associated images unless there's some kind  
of evidence of a legal problem for the Foundation. Thus far, there has  
not been such evidence.


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