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Wikipedia, Museum and access to Art

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Presentation given on April 20, 2010 at Columbia University. Introducing concepts around copyright and licensing in art museum and how they interact with Wikipedia's policies. Introducing the concept …

Presentation given on April 20, 2010 at Columbia University. Introducing concepts around copyright and licensing in art museum and how they interact with Wikipedia's policies. Introducing the concept of "de-accessioning by copyright"


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  • 1. Wikipedia, Museums and access to Art Liam Wyatt, 20 April 2010 Columbia University, Copyright Advisory Office, New York City
  • 2. By way of personal introduction...
  • 3. The BM & me http://www.wittylama.com/2010/03/ the-british-museum-and-me/ Andrew Dunn - CC-by-SA http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:British_Museum_Great_Court_roof.jpg
  • 4. And a quick intro to Wikimedia... Charity Software Chapter Website
  • 5. “Free” • the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it • the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it • the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression • the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works http://freedomdefined.org/
  • 6. http://creativecommons.org/
  • 7. “Free x2” not for profit, volunteer created, available to use, and re-use. Imagine never having to work with a licensing agency again! Gratis Libre
  • 8. If you love something, set it free.
  • 9. (even if love isn’t always free) http://www.imamuseum.org/art/ collections/artwork/love-robert-indiana
  • 10. Some local museum missions
  • 11. Common theme... Engaging the community with their culture. Collect, preserve and share that culture. But...
  • 12. Art + Copyright = Nate.erlin - CC-by-NC-ND http://www.flickr.com/photos/nateerlin/520085236/
  • 13. Some potential issues for those images... • Freedom of Panorama • Commercial licenses • Cultural rights • Attribution • Donor restrictions • TPMs/DRMs • Museum photo policy • Fair use / fair dealing • Different national laws • Copyright in scans • Website terms of use • Database rights
  • 14. Tricks and traps for Wikimedia, Museums and access to Art...
  • 15. 1. License conditions (in real life) http:// jumpinginartmuseums.blogspot.com/ 2010/03/sol-lewitt-jumping.html/ Massachusetts museum of contemporary art: “Our policy is to allow photography everywhere” :-)
  • 16. Reasons given for “no photo” • I.P. - this should be nuanced, not blanket to everything • Conservation - Fair enough, accounts for no flash • Revenue streams - most common, if not admitted • Disruption of others - compare with sketching • Security of the building - really?! http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/ Caro Wallis - cc-by-NC http://www.flickr.com/photos/carowallis1/3189114504/ 2009/08/museum-photo-policies- should-be-as-open.html
  • 17. Licensing Conditions on 3rd parties? If you take a picture (when you’re not supposed to) Richard Giles - CC-by-SA (??) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ and give it to File:Usain_Bolt_Olympics_Celebration .jpg me, am I bound by your license conditions? http://ragesoss.com/blog/2009/10/09/wikipedia-and-olympics-committee-heading-for-collision/
  • 18. 2. Licensing Conditions (digital) Text National Library of Australia permissions statement. First page of Captain William Bligh’s log book - on the NLA Website. Image now also available, without permission, at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nla.ms-ms5393-2-s1.jpg
  • 19. 3. Fair Use Same article in: < Afrikaans Swedish > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Non-free_content
  • 20. 4. Freedom of Panorama http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zephyr_%28sculpture%29 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WPSPA
  • 21. 5. Copyright in collections and in scans
  • 22. Feist v. Rural Telephone (1991) Bridgeman v. Corel (1999) Originality v. “Sweat of the brow”
  • 23. Some obviously haven’t heard about this law... This is the Frick Collection’s copyright statement. Is it deliberately flouting New York law?
  • 24. To take something that is the public’s* and to make access restrictions on its digital manifestation that would not be countenanced for the original object is effectively... De-accessioning by Copyright ...and just like real-life de-accessioning in museums it’s sometimes necessary. But neither activity should be done just because some money can be made. *in a publicly funded collection and/or in the Public Domain
  • 25. Paying a license fee sometimes feels like a papal indulgence. It’s often not to cover costs, but to make a problem disappear. I don’t mind paying for staff time and materials. I do mind paying for access to already digitised and Public Domain material and having to sign a usage contract in order to receive it.
  • 26. The kind of things some claim copyright over! (examples) http://en.wikisource.org/ wiki/Agamemnon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:Berlin_Diplodocus.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:Illuminated.bible.closeup.arp.jpg
  • 27. Wikimedia takes a stand, so you don’t have to. :-)
  • 28. Peace, Love & Metadata liamwyatt@gmail.com [[user:witty lama]] @wittylama www.wittylama.com/blog