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

Klaus Graf klausgraf at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 23 22:30:22 UTC 2008

Michael Maggs has invented the actual Commons "policy" on painting
reproductions in 2007 by creating the following page:


In 2006 and earlyer there was no doubt that Wikimedia Commons is
accepting Bridgeman v. Corel like the English Wikipedia and the German

In February 2008 Maggs has reverted my quotation of Moeller's statement:


In a discussion on this list in 2008 Mike Godwin has made clear that
he never "overruled" Moeller's statement which is until now the
official WMF position.

In May 2008 a German law expert H-stt called for revision of the "Maggs-Policy":


Maggs replied with a long biased discussion of UK citing a 2005 court
decision "Hyperion Records v Sawkin" which wasn't on reproductions of

A few days later another user Kaldari wrote "According to these
guidelines, all National Portrait Gallery images must be deleted from
the Commons" and nominated the first set of National Portrait Gallery
pictures for deletion.

A lot of German Wikipedians is actually protesting against the "Maggs-Policy":

Maggs and the other deletionists are trying to suppress these opinions
with the argument "this is not a vote".

A few moments ago I saw on the user page of a friend a deletion
nomination for a Commons copy of a Danish library reproduction of the
printed Flora Danica (XVIIIth century) because PD-art doesn't apply in


One might dispute that photographs of paintings are protected in some
countries but that isn't the case here. It is a mere reproduction like
a scan.

The Maggs-Policy means that Museum's Copyfraud is winning and Public
Domain is damaged. We cannot have any image of National Portrait
Gallery because Maggs is arguing that all photographs of the works are
UK photographs and thus protected by his self-invented Maggs-Policy.
He ignores that contractual bindings of the photographers aren't
relevant for the "country of origin". If an US photographer has made
such a photo legally "country of origin" is US and not UK.

If the Maggs-Policy wins at Commons we cannot host any UK Public
Domain painting aside of owner allowance. Nobody can go in the
National Portrait Gallery and can take photos. If NPG hasn't sent us a
take down notice we should keep this stuff on Commons and revise the
PD-art doctrine according the position of the WMF.

Klaus Graf

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