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Wikipedia Sued By National Portrait Gallery

jpatokal (96361) writes | more than 5 years ago

Censorship 3

jpatokal writes "The National Portrait Gallery of London is suing a Wikipedia user over his uploads of pictures of some 3,000 paintings, all 19th century or earlier and firmly in the public domain. Their claim? The photos are a "product of a painstaking exercise on the part of the photographer", and that downloading them off the NPG site is an "unlawful circumvention of technical measures". And remember, the NPG's taxpayer-funded mission is to "promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media [...] to as wide a range of visitors as possible"!"
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Suing Wikipedia or User? (1)

syntap (242090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28657389)

Confused... suing a user for uploading is different than suing the site.

Re:Suing Wikipedia or User? (1)

jpatokal (96361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28658373)

It's complicated -- the letter blames both, but the actual lawsuit is aimed against the user who did the uploading.

Our client contacted the Wikimedia Foundation in April 2009 to request that the images be removed but the Wikimedia Foundation has refused to do so leaving our client with no option but to commence legal proceedings against you personally through the UK Courts. The purpose of this message is to inform you of the nature of our clientâ(TM)s claims against you and to give you an opportunity to settle the claims before legal proceedings are commenced. ...

Our client remains willing to enter into a dialogue with the Wikimedia Foundation to discuss terms upon which low-resolution images of paintings in its collection can be made available on the Wikipedia website and our client will continue to write to the Wikimedia Foundation with requests for discussion. However, to date, the Wikimedia Foundation has ignored our clientâ(TM)s attempts to negotiate this issue, preferring instead to take a more harsh approach that one would expect of a corporate entity.

And no, I have no idea what "a more harsh approach that (sic) one would expect of a corporate entity" means.

Incidentally, the Wikimedia Foundation has a long-standing and consistent position [] on claims like this:

WMF's position has always been that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain ... WMF has made it clear that in the absence of even a strong legal complaint, we don't think it's a good idea to dignify such claims of copyright on public domain works.


Its their photographer? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28665651)

Their photo art to have on their site or sell in books?
The art might attract you to their web site and make you buy an art book, with cash flowing back to them?
If you want pics, go to the National Portrait Gallery, take the pics and upload them to wikipedia.
The age of the art is not the problem, or taking pics by outsiders? Its just using the pics they had made.
Their could be a valid point, but what if the web site and gallery removes art from public display into storage and changes the web site to reflect what is on show.
Then wikipedia becomes the only 'public' display of the art.
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