Riksarkivet på Flickr Commons

Foto: Riksarkivet/Landslaget for reiseliv i Norge. (No known copyright restrictions).

Riksarkivet er blitt den tredje norske institusjonen til å legge ut fotohistorisk materiale på Flickr Commons. Dette prosjektet vokser støtt og stadig; nye arkiver, biblioteker og museer kommer til, og de som har vært med lengre legger ut nye bilder. For to år siden skrev jeg en artikkel i forbindelse med at Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek ble den første norske deltakeren i prosjektet.

Steal this story vs. please pay here: The coming debate about public service media

The re-emergence of “paid content” in the past couple of years, most aggressively marketed by Rupert Murdoch, has dominated media coverage. But in the shadow of The Times’ new paywall and the apps for Apple craze another development has taken hold — an approach to news publishing that has the potential to reinvent the idea of public service media. This is the idea of promoting (almost) unrestricted re-use, re-publication of your material, in order to achieve the greatest possible impact of your journalism. ProPublica is one of the news organizations to embrace this principle in their invitation to steal their stories. Logically, they use the established Creative Commons licensing system, but they implement it in an innovative way. Instead of just the discreet Creative Commons logo attached to stories, there is a “Republish” button that produces the text with html tags, ready for pasting into a publishing tool — exactly the kind of extra service that has always been needed to unleash the potential in Creative Commons.

The US startup ambitious journalism projects that have sprung up recently, wholly or partly funded by foundations, in essence share the “steal this story” approach:

Instead of planning how to get the story published before word of it leaked, the excited editors started throwing out ideas for how they could share Johnson’s reporting with a large array of competitive news outlets across the state and around the country. No one would get a scoop; rather, every outlet would run the story at around the same time, customized to resonate with its audience, be they newspaper subscribers, Web readers, television viewers, or radio listeners.

The quote describes California Watch, who also have case-studied themselves.

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FT against copyright extension

An editorial in the Financial Times speaks out very clearly against the planned extension by the EU parliament of copyright on recorded music from 50 to 95 years (via Hax):

Copyright extension is, in the main, just the well-known strategy of powerful companies: profit-grabbing through lobbying for state protection. That is bad enough. Worse is the chilling effect it can have on creativity: the industry is already on a legal crusade against the sampling of copyrighted material into new original work. This is like the Grimm brothers’ descendants suing Disney for using their fairy tales. The cultural industries are over-protected. If cultural works were less greedily hoarded, consumers would enjoy more variety – and artists would create more freely.

(Scandinavian readers: See blog post about Lawrence Lessig on this topic and more on internet policy).

UPDATE: The 95 years proposal is off the table, according to Dagens Nyheter. Instead an increase to 70 years will be voted on in the EU parliament on April 23rd as a compromise. Some MEPs will also propose not to increase at all, among them the Swede Christofer Fjellner.

UPDATE II: The majority in the EP voted for the 70 years proposal. The law must also be adopted by the EU Council.

Fantastiske norgesbilder på Flickr


Stadig flere institusjoner knytter seg til Commons-prosjektet på Flickr. Nå har Library of Congress publisert en fantastisk samling “postkort” fra Norge, Sverige og Danmark (flere land skal følge). Bildene er fra perioden 1890-1910 og i “Photochrom”:

Published primarily from the 1890s to 1910s, these prints were created by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the Detroit Publishing Company in Michigan. The richly colored images look like photographs but are actually ink-based photolithographs, usually 6.5 x 9 inches.

Flickr-brukere kan legge til tags (stikkord) og kommentere bildene — dette er mye av poenget med Commons-prosjektet. Brukerne er allerede i gang med å forsyne bildene fra Skandinavia med forklaringer og presiseringer.

Hele samlingen finnes på Library of Congress’ sider.

(tips: Mymarkup).

OPPDATERING: NRK Beta og deretter Aftenposten og en haug andre medier tar saken videre. Flott. Hvilken norsk institusjon blir den første på Flickr Commons?

Berlin, 1939

Berlin March 1 1939. Photo: Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons

Troops parade past the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (and Generalfeldmarschall Göring) in Berlin’s Wilhelmstrasse on March 1, 1939. The photo is one of about 100.000 donated by Germany’s Bundesarchiv to Wikimedia Commons and being uploaded today. The photos are published under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany license.

UPDATE: More details about the cooperation on Spiegel Online.

“Humanity connected”

That’s the motto of Tim Berners-Lee’s latest initiative, unveiled yesterday. The World Wide Web Foundation seeks:

to advance One Web that is free and open,

to expand the Web’s capability and robustness,

and to extend the Web’s benefits to all people on the planet.

Worthy goals that won’t be reached without effort and good policy choices (see for example Jonathan Zittrain’s worrying message about the future of the internet). From Berners-Lee’s opening speech:

Our success will be measured by how well we foster the creativity of our children. Whether future scientists have the tools to cure diseases. Whether people, in developed and developing economies alike, can distinguish reliable healthcare information from commercial chaff. Whether the next generation will build systems that support democracy, inform the electorate, and promote accountable debate.

This last point is expanded upon in a BBC interview. Berners-Lee is worried that the web enables effective distribution of disinformation. The web is a good tool for cults and all kinds of enemies of reason. I think this is a built-in problem, and Berners-Lee’s ideas here — “new systems that would give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources” — sound unpractical and exceedingly difficult to manage. But let’s wait until we see what that initiative is really about.

Related: An article by Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt in Scientific American: Web Science: Studying the Internet to Protect Our Future.