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German Gov't Donates 100,000 Images To Wikipedia

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the only-80000-are-of-beer-and-sausages dept.

Government 113

Raul654 writes "The German Federal Archive has agreed to donate 100,000 images to Wikipedia under the German version of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. These pictures cover a period from 1860 to present. This is the largest picture donation ever to Wikipedia, and possibly the largest in the history of the free culture movement." Apparently, this is part of a project which will eventually make 11 million photos available for public use.

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Mmmm, (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013853)

A smorgasbord of scheisse, Goatse, der PenisWursten, bondage, anal ball-gagged shit-fisting.

French is the language of love. German is the language of RAGE!

Re:Mmmm, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013961)

Don't forget the Jew ovens!

Re:Mmmm, (-1, Offtopic)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014395)

Hay, what if Google is evil you guys!

Fortunately or unfortunately (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013857)

They're all related to Davis Hasselhoff and Knight Rider.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (5, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013955)

Wrong stereotype I'm afraid. I think this action will affect pictures like this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Einsatzgruppen_Killing.jpg [wikipedia.org]

So hopefully clusterfucks like this won't happen in future

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Image:Einsatzgruppen-Killingfull.jpg [wikimedia.org]

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (-1, Flamebait)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013989)

The last Jew in Vinnista? Damn he must have been rich!!!

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014471)

That is an interesting link, and beyond the value of the content, it also shows the evils of our dysfunctional copyright. The arguments that this photo should not be lost because it chronicles one of our (as in the human race) despicable moments are valid. I would also say that it is just as bad to let our chronicles of good and happiness be destroyed as it is to let chronicles of evil and shame.

So, this photo SHOULD be in the public domain, but so should works that are not chronicles of shame. For example, it is a travisty that the 'Happy Birthday' song is still under copyright.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014677)

I'd say the link shows more the evil of people who give too much value to ideology (in this case, following a internal and arbitrary policy) over common sense.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (0, Offtopic)

fugue (4373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014823)

For example, it is a travisty that the 'Happy Birthday' song is still under copyright.

I think you mean "it is a travesty that copyright law is not strong enough to allow the 'Happy Birthday' copyright holders to sue everyone who sings that insufferable piece of dreck into the poorhouse."

Other than that, good points!

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018367)

Well, I was going to say PacMan, but I figured that that would create a stream of "You just want something for free", and there are less people that are as emotionally attached.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015533)

I don't know about public domain, but certainly the unrestricted use of such images should be permitted under "fair use" provisions of any sane copyright law. Like the image of the American flag raised out of the rubble of the WTC, or the image of the naked Vietnamese girl running to escape the bombing, or the image of the firefighter saving a small child from the wreckage of the Oklahoma Federal building -- these images are all copyrighted but there's no way the copyright holders would be able to prevent their use in an encyclopedia or other work of scholarship or commentary.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015889)

Indeed. And in fact the summary at the end of that deletion request points out that the image can indeed be used under "fair use". But when a perfectly reasonable question such as "is this image in the public domain" can result in responses such as "if you delete this image then you're a nazi", it really does make you question whether the absurd copyright laws that would restrict this image are any worse than the masses that would argue against them. And while not all the answers were that bad, the overwhelming majority of them chose to deliberate ignore the question that had been put forward, to answer a completely different (and completely irrelevant) one. One can't help but conclude that common sense simply isn't all that common these days.

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017821)

What's insane is that some of the arguments presented were very valid -- including that anonymous Nazi photos were considered public domain, a point completely ignored by the final reviewer(s).

Re:Fortunately or unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013967)

Worse, all the images were actually this. [youtube.com] Oh well, who doesn't love a good epic troll?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26013863)

First post!

I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013909)

You would think that Governments--who exist to serve the people--would constantly look for avenues of already successful community sites as venues for returning information to the public. With privacy & security in mind, I wish that more governments would release this sort of stuff under a creative commons ... even if citizens of the world then have access to it, I don't think the taxpayers would mind. Wikipedia & other Wikimedia sites have shown to be very successful non-profit sites that are community owned and driven. Can anyone think of a good reason why we shouldn't extend the Freedom of Information Act a little further with recent advancements in communications and technology?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013943)

Can anyone think of a good reason why we shouldn't extend the Freedom of Information Act a little further...

Two words: National Security.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0, Offtopic)

Spartz (1164699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014099)

Yeah, maybe it needs to be reduced in some parts, since Obama cannot send emails because of it. Or is that another law/act? Though it definitely needs to be increased in other parts.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (3, Informative)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014331)

Obama "can't" send emails due to the presidential records act. More specifically, he can send all the emails he wants, but any email the president sends is a matter of public record.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014393)

Two words: National Security.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014655)

Two words: National Security.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

That's three words.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014673)

+1 Knowledge of advanced mathematic

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014731)

+1 Knowledge of advanced spellin

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015583)

Hmm, your response made me first thought you were talking about cryptography, you weren't, but, what's the legality of Obama encrypting all his emails before publishing them? I.e. if he sent them encrypted to the receiving party, and in case they don't have a known key-pair, give them a call with the (symmetric) decryption password?

AFAIK, the stupid law that is preventing the President to live in the 21st century is the fact that all written statements must be made public, whereas phone calls are okay, so if the written statement is a jumble of encrypted bytes, would that be okay too?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018355)

Two words: National Security.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

That's three words.

Four, actually. Mine has five.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (2, Insightful)

Dewin (989206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014889)

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

This is an outdated model. Nowadays, it's Fear, Uncertainty, and Debt

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015413)

It was cynical sarcasm you stupid dumbfuck mod!

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (5, Informative)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014011)

To be fair, the US government rule that works by government employees are not copyrighted has provided for a lot of free images used on Wikipedia. European governments, for example, are much more restrictive about copyrights.

that's one of the arguments being presented (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014115)

I can't say if it was a decisive factor in this particular image donation, but that's one of the arguments free-content proponents have been using to try to get other governments to open up at least some portion of their images: pointing out that since there is this large public-domain repository of US government images, if they want to promote their history and culture on par with that of the US, they need to provide us with a similarly high-quality, free-licensed collection of images.

Otherwise a large portion of generic examples are going to be US-based ones, simply because they gave us the images whereas other countries didn't.

Sometimes it leads to almost comical results, where dozens of other countries' leaders, ministers, and other figures are illustrated on Wikipedia by a photograph of them shaking hands with Reagan or Carter or Kissinger or whoever, because that US-visit photograph was freely released by the US State Department, while their photographs from back home are under a more restrictive copyright.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (2, Insightful)

geniice (1336589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014131)

Yes and no. A lot go for the equivalent of a no commercial use license. In other cases there is significant amounts of PD material around (crown copyright expired for example) but no one is prepared to pay the cost of digitalising.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015241)

i think £7.3 billion [thecrownestate.co.uk] should about cover it.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015543)

To be fair, the US government rule that works by government employees are not copyrighted has provided for a lot of free images used on Wikipedia. European governments, for example, are much more restrictive about copyrights.

Actually, that's just because Europeans are better photographers.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019449)

Am I the only who thinks that 100,000 is not that much to be considered the largest donation. My mom has easily seven times that amount of pictures on her personal computer.

If it's a question of quality, sure, I get that, I'm sure Wikipedia is appreciative of not having to wade through millions of images to select the better ones. But personally, I would love to have as many pictures released under the Creative Commons as possible, even if they're not all that well taken, or even if they're partially damaged. If any one can restore a digital image, or if anyone can hunt down the significance of a particular image, it's the masses of people on the internet that have a casual interest in the subject(s) of those images -- and nothing else better to do with their time.

Knowledge and information is a messy thing. I'm sure that for every image on display in a German museum (for instance), that same image has a thousand corresponding (similar/related, but unknown/less perfect) images archived somewhere in closed boxes and drawers.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (-1, Troll)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014229)

The world would be better of if we all had more of [insert your favourite item here], but I don't think anyone really enjoys or wants more socialism.

Except maybe the socialists.

Do you really want this country to be come a nation of cheese eaters?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014251)

What's socialist about governmental transparency?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014357)

The world would be better of if we all had more of [insert your favourite item here], but I don't think anyone really enjoys or wants more socialism.

Except maybe the socialists.

Do you really want this country to be come a nation of cheese eaters?

What's so wrong with cheese, anyway?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014431)

I eat cheese, you insensitive etc.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

fusellovirus (1386571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014527)

I don't think anyone really enjoys or wants more [insert your favorite ad hominem argument here]

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014537)

I'm from Wisconsin, you insensitive clod!

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015731)

Do you really want this country to be come a nation of cheese eaters?

It's "cheese eating surrender monkeys" you twit. We would have also accepted "brie eaters".

Learn your insults, you just set back the cause when you embarrass us like that.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (2, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014435)

But doing that wouldn't give the people in power any additional power!

Remember, governments only ever grow.

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (3, Insightful)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014567)

You would think that Governments--who exist to serve the people...

I think this is where it starts going wrong. Government institutions are basically working in their own self interest, and the only thing that makes government in check is the pressure put on it by people.

When legislators are looking over bills, in the back of their minds, there is the question, "Will this help me get elected again?" If it doesn't give them money or support, it's a bad move for them politically. How can any good government exist in such a system, except through constant pressure from voters?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015059)

How can any good government exist in such a system, except through constant pressure from voters?

I guess you voted for libertarians in the last election?

Re:I'm Confused Why We Don't See This En Masse (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019717)

Won't more electoral pressure increase the pressure of the question "Will this help me get elected again?".

Under your scenario increased electoral pressure would decrease the quality of govt. service.

I can easily answer this (1)

ObiWonKanblomi (320618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015075)

Since you refer to "Freedom of Information Act" I'm assuming you're speaking in an American context.

We already do this. Look here:
United States Library of Congress [loc.gov]
The National Archives [archives.gov]

Perhaps I'm not giving enough credit to Wikipedia/Wikimedia, but I haven't heard much about involvment by professional preservationists who know how to catalog and preserve the stuff, even in a digital context. I speak of the hardcore phd librarian and historian/librarian hybrid types who know how to do this stuff.

999,999 Of Them Are Of Scat Porn (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013929)

1 is of Heino rocking the house.

Nice (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26013939)

With all the stories over various entities trying to screw everyone over fair-use, such as the one over a state claiming copyright [boingboing.net] over their written laws,, this is a nice change. What I like about creative commons is that it is one way for a content holder to hold on to their 'rights', yet allow the material to be used by the general public. This saves our culture being lost in the cellars of town hall or of those of some other 'IP owner'.

Read the fine print. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014043)

This is a nefarious Italian conspiracy to destroy America.

Torrent? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014049)

Is there any way to get direct access to these images without going through the Wikimedia webpage, i.e. a torrent containing them all or so?

Re:Torrent? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014223)

Is there any way to get direct access to these images without going through the Wikimedia webpage, i.e. a torrent containing them all or so?

Right here [thepiratebay.org] .

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014451)

wow first time i've seen a rick roll on /.. good lookin

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015449)

Shorter version which doesn't give up the real destination http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/4469310/ [thepiratebay.org]

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018221)

fail

German speakers: help wanted (5, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014065)

For any German speakers out there: Most (all?) of these pictures lack English captions. I'm sure the people on Commons could use all the assistance they can get translating the German captions (especially into English). You can register an account on Commons [wikimedia.org] and help.

Also, props go to Wikimedia Deutchland [wikimedia.de] , which arranged this donation.

sometimes translation to German, too! (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014175)

Some of the captions are in need of being rewritten into a reasonable form even in German, especially older ones that are either out of date or hilariously biased. The worst are probably those that were apparently entered during World War II and never updated.

For example, this one [wikimedia.org] (which has in fact been updated), originally came with a caption that reads roughly:

Poland, Jew ordered to perform hard labor

For the first time they can make themselves useful. These Polish Kaftan-Jews (?), whose activity so far has only consisted of working against the volk-conscious German nation in the most detestable and conniving manner, receive the opportunity on the eastern front to make themselves really useful for the first time in their lives. Here they can be seen ready to embark on their work orders.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (5, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014233)

rewriting is fine, as long as you save the original too. The propaganda that was written on there is a much a part of history as the picture itself.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (5, Informative)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014321)

There is a disclaimer to that effect. Add a better (correct) description, but leave the original unchanged for documentary purposes.

It's quite a task to translate these descriptions. Those that I looked at all contained words or even concepts that people don't even know anymore ("Institute for Race Hygiene and Crime", wtf?)

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (4, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015131)

"Institute for Race Hygiene and Crime".

It was sort of cross between the DHS and the guantanamo "Combatant Status Review Tribunal".

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014467)

I don't think they should be rewritten at all. That's just as bad as the original bias/abuse. History is history, don't muck with it.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (2, Insightful)

jalet (36114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014255)

Isn't changing the original caption a form of "politically correct" motivated revisionism of history ?

If the caption is part of the picture, I can't see why anyone would want to modify it, unless this person wants to hide something.

Translating them is another matter, but real translations should be done, not edulcorated ones.

depends on the purpose (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014283)

I agree the original caption should be retained for historical purposes, but Wikimedia Commons images also have captions, which are intended to be neutral and descriptive. So one of those should be written as well, if the original caption doesn't fit those criteria.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (2, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014617)

I know when I read a modern encyclopedia, I expect to see captions like A Rumanian Jew and his family, 1938, pictured mid-scheme. In the glistening of his eyes is discernible a vile contempt for the purity and virtue of the German nation.

Y'know, they gotta keep it authentic.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (4, Insightful)

jalet (36114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014939)

Personally whenever I read an encyclopedia I want to see the original caption, or its translated version, as well as some lengthy textual, factual and neutral explanation about the context this picture was taken in. And if Hitler or Staline had mustaches when the picture was taken, I want to see them on the picture shown to me 60 or more years later.

If we begin to rewrite history by modifying original captions, instead of explaining why they were written this way, what's to stop us from modifying pictures themselves ? After all many countries used (haha !) to do this. I propose you put "Painter of the XXth century" as the caption below every picture of Hitler, instead of "German politician who inspired and directed the extermination of millions of people for dubious reasons"...

Not sure if you understand this point of view, but historical artifacts like pictures are what they are, and have to be used as historical artifacts, nothing less, nothing more, and despite their content being "shocking" for some people.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015009)

I'm not talking about historical revisionism. The original captions are of course an intrinsic part of the primary source documents.

But when images are captioned in documentary stuff, the captions are not, by convention, part of the source itself. They are generally used as a meta-narrative, and so their tone should reflect that.

The original captions themselves certainly belong with the picture (perhaps they are part of the picture) but in secondary and tertiary documents, they ought to be inside the picture frame rather than underneath it. They are pieces of history, but they aren't "captions" anymore.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

sailingmishap (1236532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017635)

Photos on Wikipedia are rarely analyzed (except on articles about specific photos). When photos are included in an article, they're just filler to say "This is what this subject looked like."

Wikipedia is rarely so specific as to address a single photo, on a subject as broad as WWII. That would be the artistic domain of a dedicated history book, not an encyclopedia.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019779)

> the extermination of millions of people for dubious reasons

Do you have any non-dubious reasons for the extermination of millions of people handy?

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019817)

I don't, it was just to introduce some humor in a very serious matter.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015291)

Isn't changing the original caption a form of "politically correct" motivated revisionism of history ?

If the caption is part of the picture, I can't see why anyone would want to modify it, unless this person wants to hide something.

Lets see if there are any official goverment pictures form the years of 1938-1944. Somebody might sue the goverment for propagating nazi propaganda. Perhaps that could trigger a law change for that particulary stupid limitation on freedom of expression. As if the goverment would think the Germans are not a reasonable people...

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

sailingmishap (1236532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017583)

It depends on what you're using the photo for.

On Wikipedia, the original caption of the picture doesn't really relate in a sensible way to the rest of the article. The article's not about the picture, the picture is about the article's subject, so its caption should be factual, understandable, and neutral. If you include what the picture's caption was in the 1940s, you're just drawing attention to the photo itself, which takes away from the article.

On the Commons gallery itself, the original caption should be included, since a Commons page is about the photo, and not the subject of the photo. So yeah, I would include the original caption there, but also include a modern, neutral caption that is relevant to today, so that people can understand what the photo is actually about.

As far as I see, that's exactly what the plan is. Both captions are being included on Commons, but on the encyclopedia, only modern captions are used. It's not about being politically correct (whatever the fuck that stupid phrase means), it's about being informative and clear.

Oh, no! An image of the german WWII killer joke! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014421)

Some of the captions are in need of being rewritten into a reasonable form even in German, especially older ones that are either out of date or hilariously biased. The worst are probably those that were apparently entered during World War II and never updated.

If one of these pops up, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_joke [wikipedia.org] , we will need to be very careful about the translation!

Each translator should only be exposed to two words, each.

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (4, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015895)

These Polish Kaftan-Jews (?)

Kaftans were a common item of apparel for Central European Jews in those times, and served as an ethnic stereotype. "Kaftan-Jew" would be a pejorative comparable to, say, "towelhead" for an Arab.

rj

Re:sometimes translation to German, too! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019727)

And they look pretty happy doing it too!

Taking bets on deletion (1, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014101)

  1. Non-notable?
  2. Attribution?
  3. Images that are unused, obsolete?
  4. other

Re:Taking bets on deletion (2, Informative)

teslatug (543527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014147)

Bollocks, this is not Wikipedia, but Wikimedia. Almost any picture gets accepted as long as the copyright stuff is in order.

Re:Taking bets on deletion (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014525)

not true. evidently, a lot of guys upload dicks pics. They reject most of them. Sadly, girls don't seem to upload beaver shots as often.

Re:Taking bets on deletion (2, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014191)

Commons has different image policies than Wikipeida. It will take pretty much any picture as long as it is of passable quality and acceptable copyright status.

Re:Taking bets on deletion (1)

amake (673443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26016999)

Yes, Commons doesn't have any "notability" or "relevance" requirements. But Wikipedia is, in a way, more lenient in that you can post "fair use" images if no truly free alternative exists, and it meets some other requirements (not too large in resolution, doesn't infringe on owner's blah blah blah).

So for instance the Journey self-titled album cover art [wikipedia.org] is acceptable for use in the article about same in Wikipedia. But this image would not be allowed in Commons because it is not a truly free image.

Re:Taking bets on deletion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014397)

That's what I came in to post. Heh.

5. Original Research

Why not public domain/copyright free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014137)

These people couldn't possibly bring themselves to genuinely /give/ away these images, some over a hundred years old, could they now?

Re:Why not public domain/copyright free? (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014285)

It may well be the case that that would not be possible without a law change and those take time.

Re:Why not public domain/copyright free? (2, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014487)

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike is not exactly an onerous or hard-to-comply-with license. It is also fairly easy to understand and interpret (unlike, say, the GFDL).

Re:Why not public domain/copyright free? (1)

Kam Solusar (974711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015243)

>100 years old doesn't necessarily mean that the image is out of copyright. In Germany (just like in the rest of the EU) copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. So if someone took some photos in 1890 at the age of 20 and died in 1960, copyright wouldn't expire until January 1st 2031.

Take the works of Leni Riefenstahl [wikipedia.org] for example. She created many Nazi propaganda movies, like Triumph of Will. She died in 2003, so her works won't be in the public domain until January 1st 2074.

Its a trap (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014163)

Well, its the government, what else do they do? :)

Creative commons.. :-( (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26014219)

While CC is far better than not available under any simple terms, it is far from ideal imo.

What if I want to use an image as a wallpaper (cropped, maybe gamma dimmed)? Do I need to provide a webserver where all the working versions of the image are downloadable?

Or if I use an image in a computer game? Where it's appearance dependes on the state in the game? What versions of the images do I need to give out? In any form as it *can* appear in the game (this could be thousands)? Must the game be released under CC as well?

Re:Creative commons.. :-( (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014389)

CC isn't the GPL, there is no requirement to include the source for a CC piece of work.

Re:Creative commons.. :-( (2, Informative)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014679)

CC isn't the GPL, there is no requirement to include the source for a CC piece of work.

Correct, because the CC doesn't make the distinction between binary and source versions of a piece of work. Which makes sense, as it's rather difficult to demand the negatives of a photo made 50 years ago (and you would gain little from doing so).

CC-SA-AT however does come very close to the GPL IMHO. In most cases with data you can modify the 'binary' directly without needing a 'source' version and for many kinds of data you can't even define a separate source version of the work.

It's only when you talk about code that making this distinction makes sense, as you have a binary that isn't easily modifiable without the source it was made from.

Re:Creative commons.. :-( (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014571)

No. You're not required to do any of those things. Personal use is utterly unrestricted. If you wish to share or redistribute the image or a derivative, then you do so under the terms of the license.

But the terms of that license are way looser than most Free Software licenses.

Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014425)

Oddly enough, there were no images from 1939 to 1945 in the archive.

Brian Griffin: Uh, I'm not seeing anything about German history between 1939 and 1945. There's just a big gap.
Tour guide: Everyone vas on vacation! On your left is Munich's first city hall, erected in 15--
Brian Griffin: Wait, what are you talking about? Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and--
Tour Guide: WE WERE INVITED! PUNCH WAS SERVED! CHECK WITH POLAND!
Brian Griffin: You can't just ignore those years. Thomas Mann fled to America because of Nazism's stranglehold on Germany.
Tour guide: Nope, nope. He left to manage a Dairy Queen.
Brian Griffin: A Dairy Queen? That's preposterous.
Tour guide: I WILL HEAR NO MORE INSINUATIONS ABOUT THE GERMAN PEOPLE!!!! NOTHING BAD HAPPENED!!!!!! SIE WERDEN SICH HINSETZEN!!! SIE WERDEN RUHIC SEIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Hmm... (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014863)

I suppose "German Invasion of Poland" always sounds better than "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Joint German-Soviet Invasion of Poland in 1939."

Nazi Era (2, Interesting)

terraformer (617565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26014841)

It is good to see they are not excluding things from the Nazi Era. That is as important historically as any other period and should not be forgotten.

Re:Nazi Era (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017273)

yes, but they have called spielberg to digitally replace all guns and nazi symbols with beer, sausages and mustard blotch art

Re:Nazi Era (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020071)

I'm sure you and I aren't the only ones who looked for Nazi pictures before looking at anything else.

I wonder if, one day, "German history -> Nazis" might *not* be imprinted into the minds of our children's children.

German Apology (0, Flamebait)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26015079)

Is this Germany's idea of an apology for past transgressions [slashdot.org] ?

Re:German Apology (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26015603)

That Heilmann worked for the German Democratic Republic's Ministry for State Security has been well known for a while, he is objecting to claims on Wikipedia that he was a pornographer and the like, which there is very little evidence of. Someone said it better than I could [slashdot.org]

He never wanted to block the whole german Wikipedia.
The wrong article got attention due to the press and the editors actually saw that the content was wrong and fixed it.
He didn't complain about anything about his stasi-past. He apologized afterwards for the blockade, saying he never wanted to affect so many people or hide anything.

What would you do if you had a Wikipedia page with a wrong (and citation-free) content and wikipedias policy says, you can't change it.

What does this have to do with the collaboration between Wikimedia Germany Company and the German government that has gone on for several years (they donated several images before), tell me?

But... (1)

emptycorp (908368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017727)

They seem to be missing images between 1939 and 1945...

a geopolitical analysis of the possible motivation (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017733)

The US government releases its stuff as public domain material.

The EU governments do not. UK government has Crown Copyright. Other governments have normal copyright. (IANAL).

This means that as free culture gets more popular and people spend more of their time reading free publications rather than proprietary publications, the US government has a hige advantage in being able to provide these free publications with free content, effectively projecting the US culture to the world.

But the EU governments do not have this ability so easily, they cannot easily project their culture to the world through free publications because their cultural works are not free.

Governments know very well how important it is to project their culture to the world (this is why all governments open offices or companies in other countries that promote their language, etc), and EU governments understand that now that free publications are on the rise and people get more influenced by free publications than by proprietary publications, they must do anything possible to be able to influence the free publications in promoting their own culture instead of the US culture.

EU governments are now realising that their restrictive copyright that applies to government material places them at a disadvantage compared to the US in influencing world culture. The obvious solution is to change their laws, but this may take time, so for the short-term the EU governments may be thinking that making specific donations under a free licence is a good idea while they are trying to decide how best to balance the US cultural dominance in free publications (because the US federal stuff is free, many wikis and other free publications make extensive use of US federal stuff, effectivelly helping promoting the US culture and the US government's worldview and history).

But such moves are not enough. You can't beat the US public domain cultural projection with one-off free donations of cultural works. EU governments must quickly make all their stuff public domain by default if they want people in the world to be influenced more by EU culture and not only by US culture.

Ya... Um... (1)

walom (1285322) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018135)

So, what's going on in this picture from 1936? here [wikimedia.org]

Re:Ya... Um... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019761)

They are taking a cast of his face at the Centre for Criminal Biology as he is considered race-pure and crime free so they can compare it's shape to other individuals in order to persecute them.

Re:Ya... Um... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020103)

They're making a cast of his face, probably for some "racial hygiene" reason. The original caption in the archive speculates that the man might be a Sinti or Roma, which would explain why they're so interested in his face.
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