On Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 11:43 AM, David Gerard <dger...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In fact, the more legal success they have with this approach (and they
> do have a plausible cause in the UK, if they throw enough money at
> arguing so), the more *utterly radioactive* the publicity for them
> will be.
> I’ll be calling the NPG first thing Monday (in my capacity as “just a
> blogger on Wikimedia-related topics”) to establish just what they
> think they’re doing here. Other WMF bloggers and, if interested,
> journalists may wish to do the same, to establish what their
> consistent response is.

What  they think they're doing is protecting their revenue. I've just posted
on commons explaining where I think the NPG are coming from. To cut a long
story short, they are a non-profit making gallery and licensing
reproductions makes them a sizable annual income. They are also key members
of a group which co-ordinates other UK museums and galleries on copyright
law. They can't just decide to give up this case; they will fight it, if
needs be, in court.

Expect the NPG to argue that allowing WMF to host reproductions would, in
effect, extend Bridgeman v Corel worldwide, thereby depriving galleries of a
significant income from reproduction fees - income which would not therefore
be available to fund restoration of pictures etc. They are also likely to
say that the result would probably be that galleries would be unable to
afford to run websites containing reproductions, so it would actually
diminish public access.

I doubt that the media battle will be one-sided. The NPG has a large number
of influential friends.

Sam Blacketer
Wikimedia UK mailing list
WMUK: http://uk.wikimedia.org

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