Writing Public Domain Guidelines

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Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Maarten Zeinstra
Hi list(s),

As per request I am crossposting a summary to both the WIkimedia Cultural Partners Coordination list and the Commons list.

During GLAMCamp NYC[1] a discussion started to adopt Europeana's Public Domain Usage Guidelines[2] or Europeana Public Domain Charter[3] for Wikimedia Commons. The usage guidelines are pleases that state how Europeana would like to see Public Domain Works being re-used. It has been suggested that it is a good idea if Commons would also adopt these or similar guidelines.

Patrick Peiffer of Europeana Licensing (on the Cultural Partners list) says:
"the guidelines have been (for Europeana) a key trust building element to get GLAMs to follow the Europeana Public Domain Charter and apply the PD Mark (CC PD Mark). It did take a couple of years to get this trio of measures going, but it really was the Guidelines that tipped the scale.

My guess is that the guidelines alone or in combination with the Charter and the CC PD Mark, could help Wikimedia to overcome resistance of curators as well. Europeana has worked hard to be a trusted partner in that community which mostly was spend on listening to fears and wishes of curators while educating them about the value of releasing Public Domain works as proper Public Domain, without additional contractual restrictions. In that sense it is a big success, showing commitment of both sides to find a solution (but of course, I would never claim this is the only solution)

[...]

I do not believe that the Guidelines can be construed to restrict the uses anyone can make of a Public Domain work, they are explicitly non-binding and thus neither interfere with the Public Domain status nor any copyright limitations and exceptions.

They should be seen as what they are: a key element to build trust with institutions that are far away from an "everything is permitted" mind-set. They establish sensible community norms for the GLAM sector while not restricting re-use of Public Domain works with contractual restrictions. The fact that they are also seamlessly integrated into the CC PD mark is noteworthy as Europeana shares with CC the conviction that the easier it is to comply (in this case pointing to the guidelines), they more they will be respected, thus building trust with curators and users."   

User:Jean-Frédéric created this page http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Public_domain_works_guidelines to draft and discuss this idea. I am looking forward to wider discussion on this topic.

A discussion started about whether users should be pointed to the pleases as Europeana defines them, however Europeana notices that this an important tool to create trust for GLAMs. 

Best,

Maarten Zeinstra 

Kennisland | Knowledgeland

t +31205756720 | m +31643053919 | s mzeinstra


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Re: Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Paul Houle
  On 6/4/2011 10:01 AM, Maarten Zeinstra wrote:
> User:Jean-Frédéric created this page
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Public_domain_works_guidelines 
> to draft and discuss this idea. I am looking forward to wider
> discussion on this topic.
     It would be nice if there was something "there" on the page.

     The largest legal issue with w/ public domain in commons is that
the label is frequently used in cases where it doesn't apply.  For
instance,  person X takes some pictures in 2011,  uploads them to
wikimedia commons and claims they are pd-self.

     This doesn't make sense because you can't just say "this is public
domain",  but rather things are in the public domain for specific
reasons:  for instance,  something produced by a U.S. government
employee or something that was produced Y years ago in jursidiction Z.

     CC0 exists to simulate "I release this to the public domain" but
fewer than 5% as many people use this as use pd-self.

     The largest practical issue I run into w/ public domain in commons
is a lack of provenance information.  Quite a few things are public
domain that are scanned from books and I get an inquiry at least every
week from someone who needs to know more about the provenance.

     For instance,  somebody finds an image of an old king or politician
and they want to use it in a book.  Looking at the image it appears to
have been scanned from a book,  and given the style of the illustration
and the age of the subject it's plausible that the image is really
public domain.  Two issues turn up:  (i) is this really in the public
domain?  and (ii) can I get a higher quality version of this image?  I'd
really like to see a citation of the book so that a motivated person can
go find the book and rescan the image themselves.

     A high fraction of the Europeana usage guidelines would apply to
CC-BY-* and even other kinds of images.  Even if I bought an image for a
few bucks from a stock site,  I'd advise people to "show respect for the
original work",  "show respect for the creator",  "be culturally aware"
and "protect the reputation of creators and providers" even if the money
paid absolves me from the need to "give credit where credit is due" and
"preserve marks and notices".

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Re: Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Dereckson
In reply to this post by Maarten Zeinstra
Good afternoon,

The guidelines seem reasonable, but such a move could be dangerous.

Let's start to remember what the WMF mission is: "The mission of the
Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world
to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in
the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

One of the part of the mission is to disseminate effectively the
public domain. But to adopt such guidelines, especially when
associated with the expression "public domain" could be a move towards
stronger contractual relations in the future, based on those
guidelines.

Yes, this is not binding. But that will create with Europeana (14M
pieces of artwork) and Wikimedia Commons (10M works) two big media
repositories (a little less than 25 millions works) having asking
kindly to use public domain d'une certaine façon (a certain way).

The problem is the legislation isn't only the written law: when a
tribunal or a court judges a case, it compares frequently the behavior
of the parties with the usual practices of the sector.

And this is exactly what we're defining here, admitted practices in
the GLAM sector.

That's why my opinion is to adopt such guidelines could be dangerous
and against the WMF mission.

* * *

Now, to help us to take a decision knowingly, could you add some
figures to your proposal, ie the number of institutions who were
convinced because of those guidelines?

On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 4:01 PM, Maarten Zeinstra <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi list(s),
> As per request I am crossposting a summary to both the WIkimedia Cultural
> Partners Coordination list and the Commons list.
> During GLAMCamp NYC[1] a discussion started to adopt Europeana's Public
> Domain Usage Guidelines[2] or Europeana Public Domain Charter[3] for
> Wikimedia Commons. The usage guidelines are pleases that state how Europeana
> would like to see Public Domain Works being re-used. It has been suggested
> that it is a good idea if Commons would also adopt these or similar
> guidelines.
> Patrick Peiffer of Europeana Licensing (on the Cultural Partners list) says:
> "the guidelines have been (for Europeana) a key trust building element to
> get GLAMs to follow the Europeana Public Domain Charter and apply the PD
> Mark (CC PD Mark). It did take a couple of years to get this trio of
> measures going, but it really was the Guidelines that tipped the scale.
> My guess is that the guidelines alone or in combination with the Charter
> and the CC PD Mark, could help Wikimedia to overcome resistance of curators
> as well. Europeana has worked hard to be a trusted partner in that community
> which mostly was spend on listening to fears and wishes of curators
> while educating them about the value of releasing Public Domain works as
> proper Public Domain, without additional contractual restrictions. In that
> sense it is a big success, showing commitment of both sides to find a
> solution (but of course, I would never claim this is the only solution)
> [...]
> I do not believe that the Guidelines can be construed to restrict the uses
> anyone can make of a Public Domain work, they are explicitly non-binding and
> thus neither interfere with the Public Domain status nor any copyright
> limitations and exceptions.
> They should be seen as what they are: a key element to build trust with
> institutions that are far away from an "everything is permitted" mind-set.
> They establish sensible community norms for the GLAM sector while
> not restricting re-use of Public Domain works with contractual restrictions.
> The fact that they are also seamlessly integrated into the CC PD mark is
> noteworthy as Europeana shares with CC the conviction that the easier it
> is to comply (in this case pointing to the guidelines), they more they will
> be respected, thus building trust with curators and users."
> User:Jean-Frédéric created this
> page http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Public_domain_works_guidelines
> to draft and discuss this idea. I am looking forward to wider discussion on
> this topic.
> A discussion started about whether users should be pointed to the pleases as
> Europeana defines them, however Europeana notices that this an important
> tool to create trust for GLAMs.
> Best,
> Maarten Zeinstra
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Martsniez
>
> Kennisland | Knowledgeland
> t +31205756720 | m +31643053919 | s mzeinstra
> www.kennisland.nl | www.knowledgeland.org
> [1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAMcamp_NYC
> [2] http://www.europeana.eu/portal/pd-usage-guide.html
> [3] http://www.europeana-libraries.eu/web/europeana-project/publications/
> _______________________________________________
> Commons-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/commons-l
>
>

--
Sébastien Santoro aka Dereckson
http://www.dereckson.be/

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Re: [cultural-partners] Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Liam Wyatt
In reply to this post by Maarten Zeinstra
Thank you Jean-Fred for creating this page: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Usage_guidelines_for_public_domain_works

I've gone ahead and on the basis of Europeana's original guidelines and some of the comments that have been made so far (on both lists) I've attempted to fill out this page on Commons with our own PD usage guidelines. I've summarised it to 6 points:
  • Give attribution
  • Give credit
  • Show respect
  • Share
  • Be aware
  • Preserve
I have also added in the lead... "Importantly, such a guideline is in no way a legal contract or an attempt to "enclose" the reuse of public domain works; but would indicate a "polite" way to deal with these works. If these principles prevents you from improving Wikimedia projects or sharing cultural heritage, ignore it."

Can I suggest that we take discussions from both cultural-partners-l and commons-l on this issue to the talkpage: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons_talk:Usage_guidelines_for_public_domain_works

Sincerely,
-Liam

wittylama.com/blog
Peace, love & metadata


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Re: [cultural-partners] Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Rama Neko
For the "Show respect" thing, I'd go as far as saying something to the
effect of

"do not photograph if it is not allowed, do not use you flash, do not
attempt in any way to 'steal' photographs, as the quality will be poor
and the short-term thrill and benefits are vastly exceeded by the
long-term grudge and lack of confidence that the institution will hold
towards us".

-- Rama

On 06/06/2011, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you Jean-Fred for creating this page:
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Usage_guidelines_for_public_domain_works
>
> I've gone ahead and on the basis of Europeana's original
> guidelines<http://www.europeana.eu/portal/pd-usage-guide.html>and some
> of the comments that have been made so far (on both lists) I've
> attempted to fill out this page on Commons with our own PD usage guidelines.
> I've summarised it to 6 points:
>
>    - Give attribution
>    - Give credit
>    - Show respect
>    - Share
>    - Be aware
>    - Preserve
>
> I have also added in the lead... "Importantly, such a guideline is in no way
> a legal contract or an attempt to "enclose" the reuse of public domain
> works; but would indicate a "polite" way to deal with these works. If these
> principles prevents you from improving Wikimedia projects or sharing
> cultural heritage, ignore it."
>
> Can I suggest that we take discussions from both cultural-partners-l and
> commons-l on this issue to the talkpage:
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons_talk:Usage_guidelines_for_public_domain_works
>
> Sincerely,
> -Liam
>
> wittylama.com/blog
> Peace, love & metadata
>

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Re: [cultural-partners] Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Pedro Sanchez-2
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:23 AM, Rama Neko <[hidden email]> wrote:

> For the "Show respect" thing, I'd go as far as saying something to the
> effect of
>
> "do not photograph if it is not allowed, do not use you flash, do not
> attempt in any way to 'steal' photographs, as the quality will be poor
> and the short-term thrill and benefits are vastly exceeded by the
> long-term grudge and lack of confidence that the institution will hold
> towards us".
>
> -- Rama
>

I disagree on two accounts.

First, it's an usage guide. It assumes you already have the PD work
available for use, so the photograph point is moot.

Second, even if it were referring to the process of obtaining (not
using), many places impose groundless restrictions (as if they owned
copyright, and every use of the work had to be approved by them).
Supporting this position implicitly says we agree that a PD work is
not actually available.

The current form is indeed good. It's about how-to-use PD content,
showing respect
* Don't imply you use is endorsed. (It may or may not, but don't imply it)
* Point out any modification (so it doesn't get confused with the
original work)
* Properly label the credits for any modification

All about general and desirable conditions on how to use, not how you
get the PD content.

--
Pedro Sánchez
http://drini.mx
@combinatorica

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Re: [cultural-partners] Writing Public Domain Guidelines

Liam Wyatt
On 6 June 2011 08:35, Pedro Sanchez <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 3:23 AM, Rama Neko <[hidden email]> wrote:
> For the "Show respect" thing, I'd go as far as saying something to the
> effect of
>
> "do not photograph if it is not allowed, do not use you flash, do not
> attempt in any way to 'steal' photographs, as the quality will be poor
> and the short-term thrill and benefits are vastly exceeded by the
> long-term grudge and lack of confidence that the institution will hold
> towards us".
>
> -- Rama
>

I disagree on two accounts.

First, it's an usage guide. It assumes you already have the PD work
available for use, so the photograph point is moot.

Second, even if it were referring to the process of obtaining (not
using), many places impose groundless restrictions (as if they owned
copyright, and every use of the work had to be approved by them).
Supporting this position implicitly says we agree that a PD work is
not actually available.

The current form is indeed good. It's about how-to-use PD content,
showing respect
* Don't imply you use is endorsed. (It may or may not, but don't imply it)
* Point out any modification (so it doesn't get confused with the
original work)
* Properly label the credits for any modification

All about general and desirable conditions on how to use, not how you
get the PD content.

--
Pedro Sánchez
http://drini.mx
@combinatorica


I agree with what Pedro has said here. This proposed guideline on Commons is about how we should treat the digital objects that have been donated to Commons - not about how to obtain more. Rama - what you have said is true and I agree with the principles you've listed, but perhaps http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Guide_to_content_partnerships is a better place to put that kind of advice.

Sincerely,
-Liam

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