Sure, it's Wikipedia in that if you get an image of a painting on Commons
you can illustrate the associated article with it - this is an advert for
the museum, sort-of "wanna see the real thing? Go *here*". For letters or
other forms of writing, it might well be Wikisource - and you can bet your
ass the museums haven't heard of that.

>From the point of view that, I shouldn't have to fly to Berlin to see the
cool stuff they have on display, there's a point. I have a strong suspicion
that the German phrase that's been translated into "content liberation" has
many, many more nuances that work well with the custodians of such
institutes. The issue is, can we find a neat way to put it across in
English? To those of us involved with Wiki projects it really is a
no-brainer to share everything with the world, but these people have
employees/curators/volunteers to worry about - not to mention keeping the
bricks and mortar premises where they're storing the art, or other valuable
material. To "sell" releasing this to Wikipedia to folks like that you need
to consider that they want to see their institution continue. "Content
liberation" is ideologically sound for those who have embraced the wiki way,
but for a lot of other people - esp. those controlling fine art and
significant literature - it has to be sold as a way to promote the material
they are caretakers of, and encourage support of the places where it can be

To sum up, I see "content liberation" as the ideological goal we aim for,
but we have to live in the real world. There has to be a clear focus on
reassuring those running museums and galleries that WMF isn't out to steal
their customers and eat their lunch - you have to convince them that making
copies of work available is going to highlight what they have, and that only
there can you view it in "eyeball Xmillion pixels" resolution. Reality is
that the Wikimedia/Wikipedia pages for any art they have are going to rank
far higher than their own archives. I'd say there is a degree of
responsibility to refer people back to them, and encourage people to
actually go to the physical premises. Sure, the "content liberation" allows
millions who might never have seen a work to see a photograph, but there
should be an effort to encourage those fit, able, and affluent enough, to go
see it in person. What I take from "content liberation" is that you no
longer need to go to the museum because it is online. That is most
definitely not what I think should be encouraged, nor a realistic pitch to
those who you want to share content.

Brian McNeil

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Michael Peel
Sent: 10 April 2009 13:31
Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Membership drive template

On 10 Apr 2009, at 12:23, Thomas Dalton wrote:

> 2009/4/9 Andrew Turvey <>:
>> Hi Mike,
>> I got "content liberation" from the Berlin chapters' meeting
> I wasn't in that part, but apparently one of the things said during
> that session was that liberation isn't a good word to use.

I was at that meeting, and that's what prompted my earlier email. :-)

Brian: bear in mind that some museums have a large amount of their  
works online in digital form, so in that way they're already  
"liberated". Also, it's wider than just images - think bit of text/ 
letters/papers/books, sounds, videos, etc. as well.


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