2009/7/11 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dal...@gmail.com>:
> 2009/7/11 David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com>:
>> ... the National Portrait Gallery appear to be sending legal threats
>> to individual uploaders, after the Foundation ignored their claims as
>> utterly, utterly specious.
>> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dcoetzee/NPG_legal_threat
>> The editor in question is US-based.
>> So. What is WMF's response to this odious attempt to enclose the commons?
> I don't know if the WMF can/will do much. When we've discussed this
> situation hypothetically in the past the consensus was that we would
> all rally round and pay for the appropriate legal representation
> required (I hereby pledge £10). Wikimedia UK may also be able to help,
> I don't know (we don't yet have a lawyer, but for something this
> specific we can find one). I don't know if WMUK wants to get involved
> with this sort of thing but if it does it could be a useful vehicle
> for collecting the funds. I have cross-posted this to the UK list.
> I imagine the user in question has no choice but the fight the case,
> since he doesn't have the power to fix the alleged infringement (the
> commons community may decide to remove them, but our community tends
> to be of the opinion that we shouldn't bow down to such legal threats,
> especially under non-US law). I don't know as much about UK copyright
> law as perhaps I should, given my choice of hobby and my location, but
> I would be surprised if there was enough creativity or work involved
> in taking a photograph of a painting for it to be independently
> copyrightable.

General opinion is that creativity isn't required for copyright in the
UK as long as enough work went into it.

>From a legal POV there is little point in fighting this in the UK. Far
better to fight when it hits the US if the NPG is stupid enough to
take it that far.

As long as the case remains within the UK our best line of attack is
probably PR based. On the face of it thats pretty hopeless. Trying to
get people annoyed about the national portrait gallery over some
arcane copyright issues is not going to be easy.

Sure for things like slashdot just mentioning the DRM angle will
probably do it but getting the wider public/media involved would be
problematical. The WMF could probably do it but without dirrect action
on their part this could be tricky.


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