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

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Thu Jul 24 10:47:25 UTC 2008

Magnus Manske wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 12:21 AM, Jimmy Wales <jwales at wikia.com> wrote:
>> Speaking only for myself, not the Board, and speaking only in my
>> traditional capacity, I can say that I very strongly support keeping
>> these images.  Public domain paintings are public domain.  This is not
>> about borderline cases around exact dates.  This is OLD stuff.
>> I call on the National Portrait Gallery to release these images under a
>> free license.  Barring that, I propose that we ignore any illegitimate
>> and unjust false claims to copyright in these things, unless and until
>> they are willing to take us to court.
>> Mike Godwin and the Wikimedia Foundation have the final say, of course,
>> and I respect that.  But I hope we encourage courage in this area.
> Yes! Now if the Foundation could set up a page clarifying the official
> position on this, we could just point to it in the future.
> Magnus
> _______________________________________________

My personal view is that this situation is best summed
up in an allegorical fashion. So let me tell a story from
when I was 3 to 4 years old:

I was enjoying a hot sumer at the cottage of a family
who were very good friends of my family, way up in the
North of Finland.

So one morning as I was walking down the path to the
lake, skipping from stone to stone on the path, I stepped
on a stone that was in fact a frog.

The wet and soft and slippery skin of the little amphibian
felt very startling and I was naturally caused mild
apprehension by its suddenness.

As it leaped away though, my parents and the rest of the
onlookers explained to me how to approach the situation.
Even though I felt more than a tinge of apprehension from
the unpleasant sensation caused in such an unexpected
fashion, the frog surely must have been much much much
more scared than I.

And this I feel is how we should view the National Portrait
Gallery. Or at least I am lead to believe by the views that
have been expressed, that they are much more afraid of us
than we are of them.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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