[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Commons-l] FOP in Europe: does this include WWII monuments with art?

Jane Darnell jane023 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 4 08:24:55 UTC 2013

Hi Fae,
Thanks for your thoughts. I think the problem is one of definition of
terms. I checked out the links you listed and they are all
interesting, but I don't believe any of them are applicable to the
case of war monuments and memorials. I think war monuments and
memorials are by definition intended to keep the public aware of the
human sacrifices made in the past in any given municipality.
Therefore, when an artist (who is often a local artist) is given the
commission to create such a memorial, that person sees the commission
as a public honor and relinquishes copyright of any images of the
memorial to the municipality in question. I think there is a huge
difference between a municipal monument for "the tomb of the unknown
soldier" versus a private monument for the "tomb of a specific
soldier". I don't know if anyone ever asked Maya Lin what she thought
of the whole controversy, but it would definitely be worth finding

As far as the Netherlands go, they can probably obtain permission from
heirs or living artists in the usual Commons way, which is doable I
think, since it's such a small country and the war memorials are all
so well documented. I think I will try to do this for Haarlem as a
test case, since for Haarlem, this one is important:

As far as educational importance goes, I think the whole list here:

is worthy of a Commons photo project, and I really doubt any artist
involved would object to photos of such monuments being on Wikipedia.


2013/3/3, Fae <faewik+commons at gmail.com>:
> On 3 March 2013 12:10, Jane Darnell <jane023 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ...
>> In that discussion, the whole category for the Washington, DC Vietnam
>> memorial was nominated for deletion, see here:
>> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/Category:Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial
>> The last word on that discussion was "I called the Smithsonian and the
>> Park Service about this. Aside from laughing, they were confused why
>> anyone would assume that the copyright was owned by anyone except the
>> USGov, or that it wan't in the PD. I can't get anyone on the record
>> about this."
>> I would go so far as to assume that the same is true for Dutch WWII
>> memorials, and if we cannot come up with a good way of preserving
>> Dutch WWII memorial images for the Dutch Wikimedia community to use in
>> any Wikipedia project (so not just the NL wiki), then I propose a
>> Dutch Wikipedia blackout on May 4th out of protest, since obviously
>> the only hindrance is the fear of Wikimedia Commons users that they
>> will be legally pursued, and I assume that this fear is real enough
>> that we can go public with it.
>> On a personal level, as a Dutch citizen, I would be willing to be the
>> first to be tried legally on such an issue, and after my discussion
>> this morning, I believe I could crowd source my legal fees with
>> support from the Dutch Wikipedia community.
> Hi Jane,
> I know it's all rather frustrating. I suggest a common sense approach
> to the Commons community. There are a few rather good copyright
> wikilawyers that dominate the discussion on Commons, the primary way
> of handling them (us?) is to make sure that there is (i) clear policy
> or agreed guidelines and (ii) legal clarification and external advice
> where this would be helpful. Our critical wikilawyers do not make the
> law, but they do help highlight how daft it can be at times. :-)
> Now, in the *real world*, there is unlikely to be any issue were the
> GLAM project you envisage to upload 1,000 or 100,000 images. A tiny
> percentage will be deleted for various reasons, as a matter of course,
> no matter how hard you try to run detailed guidelines. The idea that
> such a project either must not proceed, or would be judged a failure
> by the Wikimedia community, were a single image to be a potential
> copyright problem, is not feasible, and we do not want such great
> projects to be paralysed for fear of criticism because we have not got
> full answers to every possible risk. The key Commons policy to
> consider is the Precautionary Principle, so long as there are no
> *significant* doubts with regard to copyright, then this indicates it
> is perfectly okay to upload images where one has taken simple and
> obvious precautions.[1]
> Commons benefits from another great community approach, that of
> staying mellow, you may want to take the Smithsonian's approach and
> laugh most of this away. I suggest rather than brinkmanship and
> calling for black-outs and legal cases, you consider different avenues
> of community consultation, such as relevant questions on the village
> pump, the copyright noticeboard and set up a GLAM Commons WikiProject
> page for long term guidelines for your project members to discuss and
> improve. With such consultation banked, it would be hard for anyone to
> come along later and criticise you for not trying to address the issue
> and reach a practical conclusion.[2][3][4][5]
> My viewpoint is as a well known Wikimedia Commons contributor with
> 40,000+ image uploads, 600,000+ edits and over 1.2 million further
> edits by bot. Oh, and I do other more important stuff too. :-D
> Links
> 1.
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Project_scope/Precautionary_principle
> 2. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Staying_mellow
> 3. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GLAM
> 4. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump/Copyright
> 5. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump
> Cheers,
> Fae
> --
> faewik at gmail.com http://j.mp/faewm
> Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae
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