good news for the rare picture hunters

I just found something amazing.
On the site of Media.org, which is an outstanding collective that produces very important and relevant websites and online initiatives, I found a link to Public Resource. At first this looks like a simple and strange site.
However, when you click on one of the logo's you find an open letter to a government institutions.
The letter(s) deals with the right a culturual and public institution had of keeping information from the public (which is in essence the funder of the institution).
Here's a fragment:
We write to you today on the subject of SmithsonianImages.SI.Edu, a government ecommerce site built on a repository of 6,288 images of national significance. The site is breathtaking in scope, with imagery ranging from the historic cyanotypes of Edward Muybridge to historic photos from aviation, natural history, and many other fields. If the Smithsonian Institution is our attic, these photos are our collective scrapbook.
However, the web site imposes draconian limits on the use of this imagery. The site includes a copyright notice that to the layman would certainly discourage any use of the imagery. While personal, non-commercial use is purportedly allowed, it requires a half-dozen clicks before the user is allowed to download a low-resolution, watermarked image. An image without the watermark and at sufficient resolution to be useful requires a hefty fee, manual approval by the Smithsonian staff, and the resulting invoice specifically prohibits any further use without permission."

The result of this is:
"Because the overwhelming majority of the images in SmithsonianImages.SI.Edu appear to be public domain, and because the draconian notices on the site have a dramatic chilling effect on use of these historic images and national symbols, we have performed several actions that we hope will allow others to examine the public domain status:
  1. We downloaded all 6,288 images, scraped the metadata from the html pages, and embedded the metadata in the .jpg headers. These images are low-resolution and contain a watermark, and were all previously available on-line.
  2. The images were uploaded to Flickr, a popular photo sharing site.
  3. The images were loaded into 262 contact sheets and formatted with a cover for printing as an e-book. The book is available for free download or a printed copy may be ordered.
  4. A tarball of the images was created and is available by download by ftp or http.
  5. Three of the high-resolution, non-watermarked images of Muybridge Cyanotypes were purchased, and a series of derivative works were created and posted.

when I went to the flickr site, I found this fantastic image (among thousands of others!)

Geen opmerkingen: