Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sad news about the #Bundesarchiv

When a partner like the Bundesarchiv announces that they will not make any more material available to us, it is sad news. The Bundesarchiv was the first big GLAM who provided us with a large collection of scanned pictures and, it is good to appreciate the value of what they have given to us.

This has been a true partnership; many of our Wikipedians have used material as an illustration. At this moment, 20.97% of the 82553 pictures on Commons are used on one of the Wikimedia projects. They have been seen 76 490 874 in March, 90 034 115 in September and 90 839 613 in October. Wikimedians in turn have identified many people in the pictures and, many of the annotations have been evaluated and updated.

Georges Pompidou - Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F020538-0006
Does this picture have proper attribution
One picture is used a staggering 210 times but more interesting is the number two picture. Interesting because who would have thought that in order to illustrate a French president we have to turn 135 times to a picture of a German archive. It is equally amazing that the number 3 is used 133 time and is one of a Sovjet president.

The reason why the Bundesarchiv stops making material available to us is because so many people have ignored the provisions of the CC-by-sa license when they use their images outside of the WMF projects.

A big improvement is that on Commons HTML code is available for the embedding of pictures on the web. This makes it easy to use pictures and comply with license requirements.

Abiding by license requirements is important for our GLAM partners and, it is important to us as well. The Bundesarchiv does not want to be a "litigation bastard" but at the same time it is vitally important to them that the license requirements are abided by.

We are happy to continue doing our part of the partnership; we will continue to work on the annotations of the pictures and we hope to identify even more people.

We will be there when the Bundesarchiv reconsiders its moratorium on providing us with new material and we hope that together we can find a way to that will make the German cultural heritage that the Bundesarchiv is the custodian of available to the world wide audience that Wikipedia offers.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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