Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

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Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

David Gerard-2
In my volunteer job as Wikimedia press contact, I've been doing rather
a lot of liaison with public relations people and other corporate
representatives wanting to get their clients onto Wikipedia. You can
see how this is a rather conflicted area. [1]

*However*, it occurs to me that one thing we could do with more of is
high-quality imagery, and companies have a pile of this stuff. Often
professional shots of whatever that they've taken for promotion that
sit in a box forever.

What good approaches, phrases, soundbites are there that could be
spread to get them into donating this stuff to the commons? Let's say
CC by-sa, it's simple and works.

In my experience, the head-explody bit is "you relinquish control".
But PR people are not stupid and know a PR advantage when they see one
:-)

Durova's piece from a few years ago advocating SEOs give us pictures
may be apposite:

http://searchengineland.com/an-untapped-seo-opportunity-image-link-love-from-wikipedia-12136

Any other ideas?


- d.

[1] Off-topic for this email, but there's a bit on my blog:
http://davidgerard.co.uk/notes/?p=803
http://davidgerard.co.uk/notes/?p=965

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Federico Leva (Nemo)
David Gerard, 12/09/2012 21:28:
> *However*, it occurs to me that one thing we could do with more of is
> high-quality imagery, and companies have a pile of this stuff. Often
> professional shots of whatever that they've taken for promotion that
> sit in a box forever.

WMIT (Frieda in particular) constantly reminds them so; an agreement has
been recently reached with Telecom Italia to take advantage from their
huge archives, but I don't remember if there's a report anywhere or if
the details can be made public yet (Frieda?).

Nemo

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Ryan Kaldari-2
Just please make sure that whoever you talk to is actually authorized to legally donate the rights to the images. We've had several cases where someone at a company has donated a collection of images, but we later had to delete them all because the representative didn't actually control the rights. PETA and Cafe Magazine are 2 examples I remember off the top of my head.

Ryan Kaldari

On 9/12/12 1:00 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
David Gerard, 12/09/2012 21:28:
*However*, it occurs to me that one thing we could do with more of is
high-quality imagery, and companies have a pile of this stuff. Often
professional shots of whatever that they've taken for promotion that
sit in a box forever.

WMIT (Frieda in particular) constantly reminds them so; an agreement has been recently reached with Telecom Italia to take advantage from their huge archives, but I don't remember if there's a report anywhere or if the details can be made public yet (Frieda?).

Nemo

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

David Gerard-2
On 18 September 2012 01:27, Ryan Kaldari <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just please make sure that whoever you talk to is actually authorized to
> legally donate the rights to the images. We've had several cases where
> someone at a company has donated a collection of images, but we later had to
> delete them all because the representative didn't actually control the
> rights. PETA and Cafe Magazine are 2 examples I remember off the top of my
> head.


Oh, ouch. Do we have writeups on said cases? What would constitute
sufficient evidence?


- d.

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Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Andrew Gray-3
One problem is that it's often not clear who actually *has* that authority in most organisations, even for someone within it. Where they deal with image licensing as a general rule (cultural institutions, publishers, media, etc) there'll usually be a system in place, but if not, the person we're dealing with will basically have to guess, or else keep referring it upwards until approved or, more likely, it vanishes into the ether.

If they do take a gamble and release it, and someone later objects... well, it's very easy to say "sorry, it turns out I never had authority after all". The lack of any visible process makes this an eminently defensible position - who can challenge it, without knowing how that authority is laid out?

A couple of probable rules of thumb for our own comfort:

a) The more senior the contact (or the smaller the organisation they're in) the more likely they are to have authority;
b) Any indication that a legal, publishing, or licensing department was involved, the more likely it is to be supported

- Andrew.

On Tuesday, 18 September 2012, David Gerard wrote:
On 18 September 2012 01:27, Ryan Kaldari <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just please make sure that whoever you talk to is actually authorized to
> legally donate the rights to the images. We've had several cases where
> someone at a company has donated a collection of images, but we later had to
> delete them all because the representative didn't actually control the
> rights. PETA and Cafe Magazine are 2 examples I remember off the top of my
> head.


Oh, ouch. Do we have writeups on said cases? What would constitute
sufficient evidence?


- d.

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- Andrew Gray
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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Andrew Gray, 18/09/2012 10:02:
> A couple of probable rules of thumb for our own comfort:
>
> a) The more senior the contact (or the smaller the organisation they're
> in) the more likely they are to have authority;
> b) Any indication that a legal, publishing, or licensing department was
> involved, the more likely it is to be supported

This is amazing. At least in Italy, as far as I can see, when it comes
to copyright we only have problems with excessive bureaucracy, controls,
caution and escalating; never the opposite. You're very lucky if you
find such enthusiast "corporate [alleged] representatives"!

Nemo

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

David Gerard-2
On 18 September 2012 09:25, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Andrew Gray, 18/09/2012 10:02:

>> A couple of probable rules of thumb for our own comfort:
>> a) The more senior the contact (or the smaller the organisation they're
>> in) the more likely they are to have authority;
>> b) Any indication that a legal, publishing, or licensing department was
>> involved, the more likely it is to be supported

> This is amazing. At least in Italy, as far as I can see, when it comes to
> copyright we only have problems with excessive bureaucracy, controls,
> caution and escalating; never the opposite. You're very lucky if you find
> such enthusiast "corporate [alleged] representatives"!


The target I'm thinking of is PR people who are actually fans of
WIkipedia (these exist and are enthusiastic) and who can see something
useful to them (get their pics into Wikipedia). So the trick is how to
make an image donation reasonably safe without causing so much
bureaucracy we can't safely accept the donation.


- d.

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Pierre-Selim
The simplest thing is to send a photographer from the closest chapter IMO ^_^.

2012/9/18 David Gerard <[hidden email]>
On 18 September 2012 09:25, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Andrew Gray, 18/09/2012 10:02:

>> A couple of probable rules of thumb for our own comfort:
>> a) The more senior the contact (or the smaller the organisation they're
>> in) the more likely they are to have authority;
>> b) Any indication that a legal, publishing, or licensing department was
>> involved, the more likely it is to be supported

> This is amazing. At least in Italy, as far as I can see, when it comes to
> copyright we only have problems with excessive bureaucracy, controls,
> caution and escalating; never the opposite. You're very lucky if you find
> such enthusiast "corporate [alleged] representatives"!


The target I'm thinking of is PR people who are actually fans of
WIkipedia (these exist and are enthusiastic) and who can see something
useful to them (get their pics into Wikipedia). So the trick is how to
make an image donation reasonably safe without causing so much
bureaucracy we can't safely accept the donation.


- d.

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:28:
> The target I'm thinking of is PR people who are actually fans of
> WIkipedia (these exist and are enthusiastic) and who can see something
> useful to them (get their pics into Wikipedia). So the trick is how to
> make an image donation reasonably safe without causing so much
> bureaucracy we can't safely accept the donation.

If it's about fans already active in PR and so on, they probably have a
website? Just make them stick a CC-BY/CC-BY-SA tag on their website with
the photos or whatever.
Many agencies and various entities use flickr, which we can import from.
If they have to digitize stuff or whatever, things get harder.

Nemo

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Pierre-Selim
That does not solve the problem to do flickr washing, that just convince me more that we should not import from flickr. 

2012/9/18 Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>
David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:28:

The target I'm thinking of is PR people who are actually fans of
WIkipedia (these exist and are enthusiastic) and who can see something
useful to them (get their pics into Wikipedia). So the trick is how to
make an image donation reasonably safe without causing so much
bureaucracy we can't safely accept the donation.

If it's about fans already active in PR and so on, they probably have a website? Just make them stick a CC-BY/CC-BY-SA tag on their website with the photos or whatever.
Many agencies and various entities use flickr, which we can import from.
If they have to digitize stuff or whatever, things get harder.

Nemo


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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On 18 September 2012 10:43, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:28:

>> The target I'm thinking of is PR people who are actually fans of
>> WIkipedia (these exist and are enthusiastic) and who can see something
>> useful to them (get their pics into Wikipedia). So the trick is how to
>> make an image donation reasonably safe without causing so much
>> bureaucracy we can't safely accept the donation.

> If it's about fans already active in PR and so on, they probably have a
> website? Just make them stick a CC-BY/CC-BY-SA tag on their website with the
> photos or whatever.
> Many agencies and various entities use flickr, which we can import from.
> If they have to digitize stuff or whatever, things get harder.


That word "just" ... you're trivialising that doing a simple thing has
actually caused problems in the past. It would not have solved the
PETA or Cafe Magazine examples, for example.


- d.

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Federico Leva (Nemo)
David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:52:
> That word "just" ... you're trivialising that doing a simple thing has
> actually caused problems in the past. It would not have solved the
> PETA or Cafe Magazine examples, for example.

Internal problems of corporations can't be solved by us.

Nemo

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:
David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:52:

That word "just" ... you're trivialising that doing a simple thing has
actually caused problems in the past. It would not have solved the
PETA or Cafe Magazine examples, for example.

Internal problems of corporations can't be solved by us.


Well, it's a problem to Wikimedia and the community if there are lots of images that are copyright violations. The higher the percentage of such images, the worse it is for Wikimedia's reputation, and the more work it is for admins and staff who have to look into this and delete it all. 

So, you can't solve the problems of corporations, but when they transfer their problems to you, they eventually become your and your colleagues' problems.

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On 18 September 2012 15:29, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> David Gerard, 18/09/2012 11:52:

>> That word "just" ... you're trivialising that doing a simple thing has
>> actually caused problems in the past. It would not have solved the
>> PETA or Cafe Magazine examples, for example.

> Internal problems of corporations can't be solved by us.


It is if we want to get stuff that will benefit us. Are you actually
reading this thread or just randomly typing things?


- d.

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

geni
On 18 September 2012 15:38, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It is if we want to get stuff that will benefit us. Are you actually
> reading this thread or just randomly typing things?


Small scales releases tend to have a poor hassle to results ratio.
Particularly when our image archives are already pretty extensive. It
might actually cost less to set up a studio and hire a photographer.


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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Stan Shebs-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Gray-3
On 9/18/12 1:02 AM, Andrew Gray wrote:
> One problem is that it's often not clear who actually *has* that authority
> in most organisations, even for someone within it. Where they deal with
> image licensing as a general rule (cultural institutions, publishers,
> media, etc) there'll usually be a system in place, but if not, the person
> we're dealing with will basically have to guess, or else keep referring it
> upwards until approved or, more likely, it vanishes into the ether.
>
>

The Free Software Foundation has a similar issue, in that people doing
GNU work in their day jobs do not own the copyright themselves, and so
the corporation must itself assign the copyright.  The assignment needs
to be signed by someone with sufficient authority, which in practice
means vice-president and up.  (I seem to recall that at least in the US,
VP is the legally-defined rank at which a person can take actions that
are binding on the corporation as a whole.)

Although it sounds like a significant hurdle, most corporations have a
VP of marketing, who will likely see the value of making material
available.  It would probably be a good idea to develop a standard
letter/form that includes all the right verbiage; the FSF example (found
at the end of the GPL) has been engineered to withstand the scrutiny of
a skeptical legal department, for instance.

Stan


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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Ryan Kaldari-2
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
Let me offer a few case studies of cases in which a company has donated images and then asked to have them deleted. In one case we successfully kept the images, in two other cases we didn't...

Case #1: Pearson Scott Foresman (educational publishing company)
Donated: A couple thousand non-digitized original illustrations, in a box. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:PD-ScottForesman
Situation: Three years after the donation, their lawyers sent us a DMCA request to remove all the images. Luckily, we saved the original letter that accompanied the box. The letter included a statement that the donation was authorized by Pearson Scott Foresman President, Paul McFall. We faxed the letter to their lawyers and they withdrew the DMCA request.
Outcome: Images kept

Case #2: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Donated: All the images from their website (including advertizing materials featuring celebrities)
Situation: A community member contacted PETA asking for permission to license certain materials. The representative who answered the email stated (incorrectly) that everything on the PETA website was free for use without restriction (i.e. public domain). The email was stored in OTRS and dozens of images from the PETA website were then transferred to commons. Due to the high commercial value of some of the images (esp. featuring celebrities) someone else contacted PETA asking for clarification on the licensing terms. The 2nd representative talked to PETA's legal department and determined that they didn't own most of the images in question.
Outcome: Images deleted

Case #3: Cafe Magazine
Donated: Dozens of images of celebrities by posting to Flickr under a free license
Situation: A couple community members imported the images from Flickr and had them Flickr-reviewed. A year or so later a representative from the Magazine asked to have them deleted. After much discussion it was established that Cafe Magazine didn't own the images, but only licensed them for publication. The copyrights were actually held by various photographers and agencies.
Outcome: Images deleted

Lessons learned:
1. Having the images posted to Flickr isn't always adequate
2. Having an email in OTRS isn't always adequate
3. Don't rely on the word of the PR rep; ask for higher-level authorization if possible
4. Save everything related to the donation (or forward to OTRS)
5. Cheesecake images of celebrities are never free

Ryan Kaldari

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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Gaurav Vaidya
Hi Ryan,

On 18-Sep-2012, at 3:14 PM, Ryan Kaldari wrote:
> Let me offer a few case studies of cases in which a company has donated images and then asked to have them deleted.
Those case studies are fascination! Would it be okay if I copied it into http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Guide_to_content_partnerships?

cheers,
Gaurav
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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Ryan Kaldari-2
Lemme check with the legal department to make sure they wouldn't have
any objections to putting it on-wiki.

Ryan Kaldari

On 9/18/12 7:11 PM, Gaurav Vaidya wrote:

> Hi Ryan,
>
> On 18-Sep-2012, at 3:14 PM, Ryan Kaldari wrote:
>> Let me offer a few case studies of cases in which a company has donated images and then asked to have them deleted.
> Those case studies are fascination! Would it be okay if I copied it into http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Guide_to_content_partnerships?
>
> cheers,
> Gaurav
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Getting corporate representatives to donate photos

Ryan Kaldari-2
In reply to this post by Gaurav Vaidya
Geoff (WMF general council) suggests that if we're going to put them on
wiki, we should anonymize them, e.g. "Company X donated 2000 images...",
otherwise, he doesn't have a problem with it.

Ryan Kaldari


On 9/18/12 7:11 PM, Gaurav Vaidya wrote:

> Hi Ryan,
>
> On 18-Sep-2012, at 3:14 PM, Ryan Kaldari wrote:
>> Let me offer a few case studies of cases in which a company has donated images and then asked to have them deleted.
> Those case studies are fascination! Would it be okay if I copied it into http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Guide_to_content_partnerships?
>
> cheers,
> Gaurav
> _______________________________________________
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