Dear Sankar,

I have read the discussion here :


and the threads on the Wikimedia-I list.

<>I am
not qualified to comment but here goes. I think rather than look to
Wikipedia to change its policy, we must take the trouble to gather some kind
of proof.

Perhaps the best way is the way suggested by you - the Public Trust route,
* Prove that temple is public trust, and work in public place of art
* statement from trust that said painting has been in their ownership
earlier than 1950
* supported (if possible) by proof such as :
** stock register where the item is taken on charge
** record of payment to the artist
** affidavit from someone who has been associated over 60 years with the
temple that image is over 60 years old
** mention in some old book, etc
** sometimes old timers who visit the temple regularly remember details and
we can contact the artist (especially if its recent). He may release it into
public domain/under free license.

These could be sent as an OTRS so that the image is accepted.

Alternative (?) - get an artist to make a similar work & release it under

I dont know if this is helpful but for important images such as these, we
may need to take great efforts equivalent to the efforts for a hundred other
images otherwise.

BTW, I think we need an article on this temple too.


Ashwin Baindur

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Bishakha Datta <>wrote:

> And this is his second email.
> Best
> Bishakha
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Sankar Viswanathan <>
> Date: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 10:36 PM
> Subject: Re: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Mahasaraswati.jpg
> To: Bishakha Datta <>
> Thank you, Bishaka.
> I think it would help if you forward this to Tinu Cherian and Ashwin and
> ask them to post their comments there. Posting to the India list would be
> ideal. But I do not know how to do it.
> Sankar
> Service to Humanity is Service to God
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM, Bishakha Datta 
> <>wrote:
>> Dear Sankar,
>> Am really sorry to hear that - I know that deletion is becoming a big
>> issue across many of the projects, not just Commons.
>> The thing is editing decisions are made by the relevant project community,
>> so there is nothing I can do either. But here's what I suggest: please post
>> this to the India list. There are many editors on it, some of whom may be
>> able to help you with this by intervening directly in the discussion. Others
>> may have faced similar issues, or it may help to have other voices heard?
>> That is what I would seriously urge you to do; meanwhile, I shall keep
>> your comment, specially the aspect of 'not assuming good faith' in mind - we
>> are to have a broader discussion around these issues at our board meeting
>> later this week, so will bring this up then.
>> Alternately, please bring it to the attention of Tinu Cherian (
>> who is an administrator on English wikipedia +
>> Ashwin Baindur ( - they may be able to advise
>> you more meaningfully, specially if this is a recurring issue.
>> But there may be many others who can advise you on the India list if you
>> post there. Let me know if you want me to forward this to Tinu Cherian or
>> Ashwin or both.
>> Bishakha
>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Sankar Viswanathan <
>>> wrote:
>>> Hello Bishaka,
>>> Thank you for your response to my mail.
>>> The discussion is still going on. But the dice is loaded in favor of
>>> deletion.
>>> There are certain points which were raised in the discussion.
>>> Wikipedia is paranoid about Copyright. Of course this is a result of the
>>> U.S law and any number of cases. There was a time when any image available
>>> on the web was accptable to Wikippedia. I think they had some problems then.
>>> Of course there are some people who take delight in Deletion. Kind of a
>>> sadism.
>>> <<So to keep such images in Commons, either Indian government or Commons
>>> needs to have a policy addressing all pictures for which original authorship
>>> is unknown, or at the least about paintings of God which is widely
>>> available. Until then, we can either assume good faith and keep this image
>>> or start a new mass DR for all the images in the category Hindu deities.>>
>>> Indian government will not do anything. But Wiki Commons can do
>>> something. Another thing which is surprising is there is no assumption of
>>> Good faith. I am a volunteer. How do I benefit by the uploading of the
>>> image? Actually most volunteers like me do end up by spending money, because
>>> my internet connection is not free. I do not use an internet connection
>>> provided by any organization. This atitude of "there is no assumption of
>>> Good faith" will put off many people.
>>> I can not imagine anybody from India suing Wikipedia over an obscure
>>> painting in a temple.
>>> Now they are quoting the U.K law on which the Indian law is modelled to
>>> say that Wall paintings are not covered. This would effectively stop upload
>>> of many of the paintings in temples.
>>> But in India in a public temple, the installed idol itself is held to be
>>> the temple’s legal owner, and the beneficiaries—those to whom the endowment
>>> is dedicated --—are the general public. Does this change the position? I
>>> wonder. I have posted this.
>>> I am having another problem with this image. There is one person  called
>>> Pebble101 who is bent on deleting this image from the article.He deleteds it
>>> time and again for no reason. He could be the author of the last unsigned
>>> remark on the deletion page.
>>> The problem is there is nothing I can do. When I had such problems
>>> earlier I was asked to go for Arbitration.
>>> I thought I had to share my concerns with some one.
>>> Thank you.
>>> Sankar
>>> Service to Humanity is Service to God
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