*DNA : Want to display your photos? Donate them to Wikipedia* http://epaper.dnaindia.com/epaperpdf/17102011/16main%20edition-pg8-0.pdf http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_want-to-display-your-photos-donate-them-to-wikipedia_1599817
*Kannan Shanmugam's grandfather was the first man to set up a photo studio in south Kerala at Kollam, giving the locals one of their first tastes of technology.Around 100 years later, Kannan is hoping to continue his legacy in a way that could be just as revolutionary in today's world — the act of giving something away, for free.* * * *Kannan is an active contributor to Wikimedia Commons, an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files primarily used to supplement other Wikimedia projects, Wikipedia being the most popular.* * * *The project, which began in 2006 and to which anybody can contribute, has amassed over 11 million media files in five years. * *With the fast-growing interest in Indian topics on English Wikipedia and 20 Indian language Wikipedias already in existence, there is a dire need for images from India. In the run-up to WikiConference 2011 to be held in Mumbai in November, the India Loves Wikipedia initiative has been launched to encourage people to donate their photos for India-related articles.* * * *Kannan has been one of the biggest contributors in the initiative which has amassed 3,359 photos, but feels it is difficult convincing professional photographers to contribute their photos.* * * *"Photography equipment is costly. You don't get any returns from uploading images on Commons. Only those who share this idea of free information are willing to do it," said Kannan, a former press photographer.* * * *Tinu Cherian, executive committee member of the Wikimedia India Chapter, agreed. "Releasing images for free use isn't a popular concept in India. And once your image is in the public domain, you are allowing people to use, share, alter the images (provided it is attributed) for both free and commercial purposes."* *However, Wikimedians (contributors to Wikimedia projects) insist you don't have to be a professional to submit your images.* * * *Vaishak Kallore from Kannur in Kerala believes it is amateur photographers in remote villages and towns in India who can be the most useful and generous contributors. "Professionals might not see it worth their while to take photos of seemingly mundane things. But there is a desperate need for such images to substantiate and inspire articles on India."* * * *From images of panoramas tostructures on the verge of extinction, almost nothing lies beyond the scope of Commons. * *And being a free repository, the images can be picked up for use by news publications, portals and blogs. However, Kannan said, Indian media companies often tend to use these images without giving credit to the photographers. "There is a need for greater awareness about free licensing. If there is proper attribution, more people will be encouraged to donate their photos."* * * *Explaining how government bodies in the US, especially NASA, release images into the public domain (including Commons) for free public education and use, Cherian said: "The biggest goldmine for Commons from India is actually the government. We haven't approached them officially yet, but we should be lobbying with them to come up with a similar policy." Want to donate your photos to Wikipedia? Visit www.commons.wikimedia.org* Regards Tinu Cherian http://wiki.wikimedia.in/In_the_news * * *Important Note : *The publisher ( DNA / Dainik Bhaskar ) of the above news article owns the copyrights of the article / content. Request to not kindly reproduce or circulate the content further. The information is only shared only with an internal community who is been featured on this article. All copyrights are duly acknowledged.
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