The Aviator and Vera Drake scoop top prizes at the 2005 Orange BAFTA Film Awards

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The Aviator and Vera Drake scoop top prizes at the 2005 Orange BAFTA Film Awards

Sunday, February 13, 2005

LONDON – The big-budget Hollywood movie The Aviator and the low-budget Brit flick Vera Drake have scooped the main prizes at the 2005 Orange BAFTA Film Awards. Four gongs went to The Aviator with the top ones being Best Film and Cate Blanchett for Best Supporting Actress. Vera Drake got three gongs with Best Director, Best Actress & Costume Design. Jamie Foxx got Best Actor with Ray and Clive Owen got Best Supporting Actor with Closer.

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  • US reveals Nazi war criminal’s location was known two years before his capture

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    US reveals Nazi war criminal’s location was known two years before his capture

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006

    The 27,000-pages of documents released on Tuesday reveal that while the United States and West Germany knew the location of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann two years before his capture, the fact was kept secret. The documents were declassified as part of the Nazi War Criminals Disclosure Act of 1998.

    West German Intelligence informed the US in March 1958 of the whereabouts of the senior Gestapo officer, who was living under the alias “Clemens” in Argentina where he had arrived seven years earlier.

    It was not US policy at the time to go after Nazi criminals since they were still recruited for Cold War operations.

    “It now appears that West Germany could have captured him in 1958, if it wished to,” said University of Virginia historian Timothy Naftali. He also said that CIA helped West Germany at the time to suppress part of Eichmann’s diary – which was in the possession of Life magazine – that would have embarrassed West German national security adviser Hans Globke, himself a former Nazi.

    Eichmann was captured by Israelis in 1960 in Argentina. He was tried in Jerusalem and received the death penalty.

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    Google launches Google Spreadsheets

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    Google launches Google Spreadsheets
    Posted in Real Estate | September 24th, 2017

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006

    Google has launched an online spreadsheet site, in a private beta.

    The site will allow spreadsheets to be shared between up to 10 users, which is aimed to be useful to teams and small businesses. “Many people already organise information into spreadsheets. Where they are struggling is to share it” said the product manager, Jonathan Rochelle.

    Google recently bought the online word-processor Writely, launched a calendar product, as well as a desktop search tool. Many see this as them straying into Microsoft‘s markets.

    Google Spreadsheets uses very advanced AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And Xml) and Client Side Scripting to mimic very effectively it’s desktop counterparts’ functions.

    It is surprisingly fast, has very good formatting and advanced formula support, but best of all it has complete support for Microsoft Excel .xls files, and very good collaboration: just enter the e-mail address and you can share easily.

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    Google launches Google Spreadsheets

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    Google launches Google Spreadsheets
    Posted in Real Estate | September 24th, 2017

    Tuesday, June 6, 2006

    Google has launched an online spreadsheet site, in a private beta.

    The site will allow spreadsheets to be shared between up to 10 users, which is aimed to be useful to teams and small businesses. “Many people already organise information into spreadsheets. Where they are struggling is to share it” said the product manager, Jonathan Rochelle.

    Google recently bought the online word-processor Writely, launched a calendar product, as well as a desktop search tool. Many see this as them straying into Microsoft‘s markets.

    Google Spreadsheets uses very advanced AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And Xml) and Client Side Scripting to mimic very effectively it’s desktop counterparts’ functions.

    It is surprisingly fast, has very good formatting and advanced formula support, but best of all it has complete support for Microsoft Excel .xls files, and very good collaboration: just enter the e-mail address and you can share easily.

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    Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes

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    Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes
    Posted in Real Estate | September 24th, 2017

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

    In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

    The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

    Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”

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    Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes

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    Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes
    Posted in Real Estate | September 24th, 2017

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

    In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

    The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

    Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”

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    British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters

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    British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters
    Posted in Real Estate | September 24th, 2017

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    Five British sailors traveling in a yacht in the Persian Gulf were detained and released by Iranian authorities after they accidentally crossed into Iranian waters. The sailors were on their way to a race then they suffered propeller problems and drifted into Iranian waters.

    Iranian authorities interrogated the sailors and released them after they found no evidence of “bad intentions.” They earlier warned that the sailors would face prosecution if they suspected any wrong doing.

    “[There was] certainly no question of any malicious intent on the part of these five young people,” stated the Iranian Foreign Ministry to the IRNA. The Revolutionary Guard stated, “after carrying out an investigation and interrogation of the five British sailors, it became clear that their illegal entry was a mistake.”

    Team Pindar composed of David Bloomer, Luke Porter, Oliver Smith, Oliver Young and Sam Usher, were travelling to the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, a 360-mile (580-kilometer) race when they were arrested on November 25. The race took place on November 26. The sailors were met by team representatives and are being escorted in their yacht out of Iranian waters.

    David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary for the UK denies that the unconditional release was not a political move calling it a “human story” and that it had “nothing to do with politics. It’s got nothing to do with the nuclear enrichment program.”

    A similar incident took place in July, but on land. Three American hikers, identified as Shaun Gabriel Maxwell, Shane Bower and Sara Short, were arrested on July 31 in the country after they crossed into Iranian territory. Reports say the hikers accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking between Halabja and Ahmad Awa in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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    Anne Frank tree saved from being chopped down

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    Anne Frank tree saved from being chopped down
    Posted in Real Estate | September 23rd, 2017

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    A tree known as the Anne Frank Tree, a 150 year-old chestnut tree that was made famous in the writings of Anne Frank‘s diary, has been saved from being chopped down by a Dutch court.

    Frank was a Jewish girl who was hiding from the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II and often referred to the tree as being “comforting” as she looked out the hidden apartment skylight.

    Officials for the city of Amsterdam and the Anne Frank Museum state that the tree is infected with a fungus and poses a public health hazard as they argue that it was in imminent danger of falling over. It had been scheduled to be cut down on Tuesday, but was saved after an emergency court ruling.

    Judge Jurjen Bade said the tree did not pose an “acute danger” and ruled out what he called “extreme measures,” such as cutting it down immediately because conservationists claimed that it could be saved, and the city did not consider other alternatives to cutting it down.

    According to the city the tree would have been replaced with an offspring of the original tree.

    “We would rather have a young living tree that will be ten meters tall in ten years,” said the director of the museum, Hans Westra.

    People have even begun to sell the tree’s chestnuts on auction websites like eBay where one of the nuts reportedly reached a bid of US$10,000.

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    U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images

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    U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images
    Posted in Real Estate | September 23rd, 2017

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

    The English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London has threatened on Friday to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery’s copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.

    In a letter from their solicitors sent to Coetzee via electronic mail, the NPG asserted that it holds copyright in the photographs under U.K. law, and demanded that Coetzee provide various undertakings and remove all of the images from the site (referred to in the letter as “the Wikipedia website”).

    Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-to-use media, run by a community of volunteers from around the world, and is a sister project to Wikinews and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Coetzee, who contributes to the Commons using the account “Dcoetzee”, had uploaded images that are free for public use under United States law, where he and the website are based. However copyright is claimed to exist in the country where the gallery is situated.

    The complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

    The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that “Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images.”. Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images “more difficult” by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they “provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system”.

    In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while “many customers — famous museums for example” use Zoomify, in their experience a “general consensus” seems to exist that most museums are concerned with making the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than preventing the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

    Other actions in the past have come directly from the NPG, rather than via solicitors. For example, several edits have been made directly to the English-language Wikipedia from the IP address 217.207.85.50, one of sixteen such IP addresses assigned to computers at the NPG by its ISP, Easynet.

    In the period from August 2005 to July 2006 an individual within the NPG using that IP address acted to remove the use of several Wikimedia Commons pictures from articles in Wikipedia, including removing an image of the Chandos portrait, which the NPG has had in its possession since 1856, from Wikipedia’s biographical article on William Shakespeare.

    Other actions included adding notices to the pages for images, and to the text of several articles using those images, such as the following edit to Wikipedia’s article on Catherine of Braganza and to its page for the Wikipedia Commons image of Branwell Brontë‘s portrait of his sisters:

    “THIS IMAGE IS BEING USED WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER.”
    “This image is copyright material and must not be reproduced in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Under current UK copyright law, there is copyright in skilfully executed photographs of ex-copyright works, such as this painting of Catherine de Braganza.
    The original painting belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London. For copies, and permission to reproduce the image, please contact the Gallery at picturelibrary@npg.org.uk or via our website at www.npg.org.uk”

    Other, later, edits, made on the day that NPG’s solicitors contacted Coetzee and drawn to the NPG’s attention by Wikinews, are currently the subject of an internal investigation within the NPG.

    Coetzee published the contents of the letter on Saturday July 11, the letter itself being dated the previous day. It had been sent electronically to an email address associated with his Wikimedia Commons user account. The NPG’s solicitors had mailed the letter from an account in the name “Amisquitta”. This account was blocked shortly after by a user with access to the user blocking tool, citing a long standing Wikipedia policy that the making of legal threats and creation of a hostile environment is generally inconsistent with editing access and is an inappropriate means of resolving user disputes.

    The policy, initially created on Commons’ sister website in June 2004, is also intended to protect all parties involved in a legal dispute, by ensuring that their legal communications go through proper channels, and not through a wiki that is open to editing by other members of the public. It was originally formulated primarily to address legal action for libel. In October 2004 it was noted that there was “no consensus” whether legal threats related to copyright infringement would be covered but by the end of 2006 the policy had reached a consensus that such threats (as opposed to polite complaints) were not compatible with editing access while a legal matter was unresolved. Commons’ own website states that “[accounts] used primarily to create a hostile environment for another user may be blocked”.

    In a further response, Gregory Maxwell, a volunteer administrator on Wikimedia Commons, made a formal request to the editorial community that Coetzee’s access to administrator tools on Commons should be revoked due to the prevailing circumstances. Maxwell noted that Coetzee “[did] not have the technically ability to permanently delete images”, but stated that Coetzee’s potential legal situation created a conflict of interest.

    Sixteen minutes after Maxwell’s request, Coetzee’s “administrator” privileges were removed by a user in response to the request. Coetzee retains “administrator” privileges on the English-language Wikipedia, since none of the images exist on Wikipedia’s own website and therefore no conflict of interest exists on that site.

    Legally, the central issue upon which the case depends is that copyright laws vary between countries. Under United States case law, where both the website and Coetzee are located, a photograph of a non-copyrighted two-dimensional picture (such as a very old portrait) is not capable of being copyrighted, and it may be freely distributed and used by anyone. Under UK law that point has not yet been decided, and the Gallery’s solicitors state that such photographs could potentially be subject to copyright in that country.

    One major legal point upon which a case would hinge, should the NPG proceed to court, is a question of originality. The U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines in ¶ 1(a) that copyright is a right that subsists in “original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” (emphasis added). The legal concept of originality here involves the simple origination of a work from an author, and does not include the notions of novelty or innovation that is often associated with the non-legal meaning of the word.

    Whether an exact photographic reproduction of a work is an original work will be a point at issue. The NPG asserts that an exact photographic reproduction of a copyrighted work in another medium constitutes an original work, and this would be the basis for its action against Coetzee. This view has some support in U.K. case law. The decision of Walter v Lane held that exact transcriptions of speeches by journalists, in shorthand on reporter’s notepads, were original works, and thus copyrightable in themselves. The opinion by Hugh Laddie, Justice Laddie, in his book The Modern Law of Copyright, points out that photographs lie on a continuum, and that photographs can be simple copies, derivative works, or original works:

    “[…] it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage.”

    Various aspects of this continuum have already been explored in the courts. Justice Neuberger, in the decision at Antiquesportfolio.com v Rodney Fitch & Co. held that a photograph of a three-dimensional object would be copyrightable if some exercise of judgement of the photographer in matters of angle, lighting, film speed, and focus were involved. That exercise would create an original work. Justice Oliver similarly held, in Interlego v Tyco Industries, that “[i]t takes great skill, judgement and labour to produce a good copy by painting or to produce an enlarged photograph from a positive print, but no-one would reasonably contend that the copy, painting, or enlargement was an ‘original’ artistic work in which the copier is entitled to claim copyright. Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”.

    In 2000 the Museums Copyright Group, a copyright lobbying group, commissioned a report and legal opinion on the implications of the Bridgeman case for the UK, which stated:

    “Revenue raised from reproduction fees and licensing is vital to museums to support their primary educational and curatorial objectives. Museums also rely on copyright in photographs of works of art to protect their collections from inaccurate reproduction and captioning… as a matter of principle, a photograph of an artistic work can qualify for copyright protection in English law”. The report concluded by advocating that “museums must continue to lobby” to protect their interests, to prevent inferior quality images of their collections being distributed, and “not least to protect a vital source of income”.

    Several people and organizations in the U.K. have been awaiting a test case that directly addresses the issue of copyrightability of exact photographic reproductions of works in other media. The commonly cited legal case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. found that there is no originality where the aim and the result is a faithful and exact reproduction of the original work. The case was heard twice in New York, once applying UK law and once applying US law. It cited the prior UK case of Interlego v Tyco Industries (1988) in which Lord Oliver stated that “Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”

    “What is important about a drawing is what is visually significant and the re-drawing of an existing drawing […] does not make it an original artistic work, however much labour and skill may have gone into the process of reproduction […]”

    The Interlego judgement had itself drawn upon another UK case two years earlier, Coca-Cola Go’s Applications, in which the House of Lords drew attention to the “undesirability” of plaintiffs seeking to expand intellectual property law beyond the purpose of its creation in order to create an “undeserving monopoly”. It commented on this, that “To accord an independent artistic copyright to every such reproduction would be to enable the period of artistic copyright in what is, essentially, the same work to be extended indefinitely… “

    The Bridgeman case concluded that whether under UK or US law, such reproductions of copyright-expired material were not capable of being copyrighted.

    The unsuccessful plaintiff, Bridgeman Art Library, stated in 2006 in written evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was “looking for a similar test case in the U.K. or Europe to fight which would strengthen our position”.

    The National Portrait Gallery is a non-departmental public body based in London England and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Founded in 1856, it houses a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. The gallery contains more than 11,000 portraits and 7,000 light-sensitive works in its Primary Collection, 320,000 in the Reference Collection, over 200,000 pictures and negatives in the Photographs Collection and a library of around 35,000 books and manuscripts. (More on the National Portrait Gallery here)

    The gallery’s solicitors are Farrer & Co LLP, of London. Farrer’s clients have notably included the British Royal Family, in a case related to extracts from letters sent by Diana, Princess of Wales which were published in a book by ex-butler Paul Burrell. (In that case, the claim was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the extracts were not likely to be in breach of copyright law.)

    Farrer & Co have close ties with industry interest groups related to copyright law. Peter Wienand, Head of Intellectual Property at Farrer & Co., is a member of the Executive body of the Museums Copyright Group, which is chaired by Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery. The Museums Copyright Group acts as a lobbying organization for “the interests and activities of museums and galleries in the area of [intellectual property rights]”, which reacted strongly against the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. case.

    Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, media, and other material free for use by anyone in the world. It is operated by a community of 21,000 active volunteers, with specialist rights such as deletion and blocking restricted to around 270 experienced users in the community (known as “administrators”) who are trusted by the community to use them to enact the wishes and policies of the community. Commons is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable body whose mission is to make available free knowledge and historic and other material which is legally distributable under US law. (More on Commons here)

    The legal threat also sparked discussions of moral issues and issues of public policy in several Internet discussion fora, including Slashdot, over the weekend. One major public policy issue relates to how the public domain should be preserved.

    Some of the public policy debate over the weekend has echoed earlier opinions presented by Kenneth Hamma, the executive director for Digital Policy at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Writing in D-Lib Magazine in November 2005, Hamma observed:

    “Art museums and many other collecting institutions in this country hold a trove of public-domain works of art. These are works whose age precludes continued protection under copyright law. The works are the result of and evidence for human creativity over thousands of years, an activity museums celebrate by their very existence. For reasons that seem too frequently unexamined, many museums erect barriers that contribute to keeping quality images of public domain works out of the hands of the general public, of educators, and of the general milieu of creativity. In restricting access, art museums effectively take a stand against the creativity they otherwise celebrate. This conflict arises as a result of the widely accepted practice of asserting rights in the images that the museums make of the public domain works of art in their collections.”

    He also stated:

    “This resistance to free and unfettered access may well result from a seemingly well-grounded concern: many museums assume that an important part of their core business is the acquisition and management of rights in art works to maximum return on investment. That might be true in the case of the recording industry, but it should not be true for nonprofit institutions holding public domain art works; it is not even their secondary business. Indeed, restricting access seems all the more inappropriate when measured against a museum’s mission — a responsibility to provide public access. Their charitable, financial, and tax-exempt status demands such. The assertion of rights in public domain works of art — images that at their best closely replicate the values of the original work — differs in almost every way from the rights managed by the recording industry. Because museums and other similar collecting institutions are part of the private nonprofit sector, the obligation to treat assets as held in public trust should replace the for-profit goal. To do otherwise, undermines the very nature of what such institutions were created to do.”

    Hamma observed in 2005 that “[w]hile examples of museums chasing down digital image miscreants are rare to non-existent, the expectation that museums might do so has had a stultifying effect on the development of digital image libraries for teaching and research.”

    The NPG, which has been taking action with respect to these images since at least 2005, is a public body. It was established by Act of Parliament, the current Act being the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. In that Act, the NPG Board of Trustees is charged with maintaining “a collection of portraits of the most eminent persons in British history, of other works of art relevant to portraiture and of documents relating to those portraits and other works of art”. It also has the tasks of “secur[ing] that the portraits are exhibited to the public” and “generally promot[ing] the public’s enjoyment and understanding of portraiture of British persons and British history through portraiture both by means of the Board’s collection and by such other means as they consider appropriate”.

    Several commentators have questioned how the NPG’s statutory goals align with its threat of legal action. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, asked “The people who run the Gallery should be ashamed of themselves. They ought to go back and read their own mission statement[. …] How, exactly, does suing someone for getting those portraits more attention achieve that goal?” (external link Masnick’s). L. Sutherland of Bigmouthmedia asked “As the paintings of the NPG technically belong to the nation, does that mean that they should also belong to anyone that has access to a computer?”

    Other public policy debates that have been sparked have included the applicability of U.K. courts, and U.K. law, to the actions of a U.S. citizen, residing in the U.S., uploading files to servers hosted in the U.S.. Two major schools of thought have emerged. Both see the issue as encroachment of one legal system upon another. But they differ as to which system is encroaching. One view is that the free culture movement is attempting to impose the values and laws of the U.S. legal system, including its case law such as Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., upon the rest of the world. Another view is that a U.K. institution is attempting to control, through legal action, the actions of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

    David Gerard, former Press Officer for Wikimedia UK, the U.K. chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has been involved with the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest to create free content photographs of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, stated on Slashdot that “The NPG actually acknowledges in their letter that the poster’s actions were entirely legal in America, and that they’re making a threat just because they think they can. The Wikimedia community and the WMF are absolutely on the side of these public domain images remaining in the public domain. The NPG will be getting radioactive publicity from this. Imagine the NPG being known to American tourists as somewhere that sues Americans just because it thinks it can.”

    Benjamin Crowell, a physics teacher at Fullerton College in California, stated that he had received a letter from the Copyright Officer at the NPG in 2004, with respect to the picture of the portrait of Isaac Newton used in his physics textbooks, that he publishes in the U.S. under a free content copyright licence, to which he had replied with a pointer to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp..

    The Wikimedia Foundation takes a similar stance. Erik Möller, the Deputy Director of the US-based Wikimedia Foundation wrote in 2008 that “we’ve consistently held that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing purposes”.

    Contacted over the weekend, the NPG issued a statement to Wikinews:

    “The National Portrait Gallery is very strongly committed to giving access to its Collection. In the past five years the Gallery has spent around £1 million digitising its Collection to make it widely available for study and enjoyment. We have so far made available on our website more than 60,000 digital images, which have attracted millions of users, and we believe this extensive programme is of great public benefit.
    “The Gallery supports Wikipedia in its aim of making knowledge widely available and we would be happy for the site to use our low-resolution images, sufficient for most forms of public access, subject to safeguards. However, in March 2009 over 3000 high-resolution files were appropriated from the National Portrait Gallery website and published on Wikipedia without permission.
    “The Gallery is very concerned that potential loss of licensing income from the high-resolution files threatens its ability to reinvest in its digitisation programme and so make further images available. It is one of the Gallery’s primary purposes to make as much of the Collection available as possible for the public to view.
    “Digitisation involves huge costs including research, cataloguing, conservation and highly-skilled photography. Images then need to be made available on the Gallery website as part of a structured and authoritative database. To date, Wikipedia has not responded to our requests to discuss the issue and so the National Portrait Gallery has been obliged to issue a lawyer’s letter. The Gallery remains willing to enter into a dialogue with Wikipedia.

    In fact, Matthew Bailey, the Gallery’s (then) Assistant Picture Library Manager, had already once been in a similar dialogue. Ryan Kaldari, an amateur photographer from Nashville, Tennessee, who also volunteers at the Wikimedia Commons, states that he was in correspondence with Bailey in October 2006. In that correspondence, according to Kaldari, he and Bailey failed to conclude any arrangement.

    Jay Walsh, the Head of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Commons, called the gallery’s actions “unfortunate” in the Foundation’s statement, issued on Tuesday July 14:

    “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. To that end, we have very productive working relationships with a number of galleries, archives, museums and libraries around the world, who join with us to make their educational materials available to the public.
    “The Wikimedia Foundation does not control user behavior, nor have we reviewed every action taken by that user. Nonetheless, it is our general understanding that the user in question has behaved in accordance with our mission, with the general goal of making public domain materials available via our Wikimedia Commons project, and in accordance with applicable law.”

    The Foundation added in its statement that as far as it was aware, the NPG had not attempted “constructive dialogue”, and that the volunteer community was presently discussing the matter independently.

    In part, the lack of past agreement may have been because of a misunderstanding by the National Portrait Gallery of Commons and Wikipedia’s free content mandate; and of the differences between Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia Commons, and the individual volunteer workers who participate on the various projects supported by the Foundation.

    Like Coetzee, Ryan Kaldari is a volunteer worker who does not represent Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons. (Such representation is impossible. Both Wikipedia and the Commons are endeavours supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and not organizations in themselves.) Nor, again like Coetzee, does he represent the Wikimedia Foundation.

    Kaldari states that he explained the free content mandate to Bailey. Bailey had, according to copies of his messages provided by Kaldari, offered content to Wikipedia (naming as an example the photograph of John Opie‘s 1797 portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose copyright term has since expired) but on condition that it not be free content, but would be subject to restrictions on its distribution that would have made it impossible to use by any of the many organizations that make use of Wikipedia articles and the Commons repository, in the way that their site-wide “usable by anyone” licences ensures.

    The proposed restrictions would have also made it impossible to host the images on Wikimedia Commons. The image of the National Portrait Gallery in this article, above, is one such free content image; it was provided and uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence, and is thus able to be used and republished not only on Wikipedia but also on Wikinews, on other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as by anyone in the world, subject to the terms of the GFDL, a license that guarantees attribution is provided to the creators of the image.

    As Commons has grown, many other organizations have come to different arrangements with volunteers who work at the Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. For example, in February 2009, fifteen international museums including the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum established a month-long competition where users were invited to visit in small teams and take high quality photographs of their non-copyright paintings and other exhibits, for upload to Wikimedia Commons and similar websites (with restrictions as to equipment, required in order to conserve the exhibits), as part of the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest.

    Approached for comment by Wikinews, Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said “It’s pretty clear that these images themselves should be in the public domain. There is a clear public interest in making sure paintings and other works are usable by anyone once their term of copyright expires. This is what US courts have recognised, whatever the situation in UK law.”

    The Digital Britain report, issued by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in June 2009, stated that “Public cultural institutions like Tate, the Royal Opera House, the RSC, the Film Council and many other museums, libraries, archives and galleries around the country now reach a wider public online.” Culture minster Ben Bradshaw was also approached by Wikinews for comment on the public policy issues surrounding the on-line availability of works in the public domain held in galleries, re-raised by the NPG’s threat of legal action, but had not responded by publication time.

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    Eleventh Docudays UA concludes

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    Eleventh Docudays UA concludes
    Posted in Real Estate | September 23rd, 2017

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    The Eleventh International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA, in Kyiv, Ukraine, ended on Friday.

    The Awards Ceremony was held in the Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House. There were 36 documentary films competing for prizes in three festival programs: DOCU/Short, DOCU/Right, DOCU/Life. There were also special prizes from Students’ Jury, Audience Award, and the Andriy Matrosov Award from Docudays UA Organizing Committee.

    The special guest of the Awards Ceremony was a symbol of the festival — Nikita Mikhalko. He is featured on the official posters of the festival. Nikita was on Maidan Nezalezhnosti on February 19, in the morning. The picture of him was chosen by the organizers as the “image that would deliver the spirit of our [Docudays UA] festival to the best of its possible might”. The piece of movie where he is taking tangerines from a woman that morning has become the official trailer of the festival. The episode is featured in the opening film of the festival Euromaidan: Rough Cut. Thus Nikita and his burning glasses have become the symbols of the festival. The organizers decided to find out who the symbol of the festival was, and if he was alive. They have started looking for him and luckily, they were able to ask him to come as a special guest of the Awards Ceremony. Nikita had the opportunity to say on the microphone, “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine), and have the whole hall hollering back at him, “Heroiam Slava” (Glory to the Heroes).

    The Eleventh Docudays UA Winners are (in the order of awarding):

    Audience Award

    The Audience Award went to Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013.

    Student’s Jury Award

    The Students’ Jury Award went to Tucker and the Fox, directed by Arash Lahooti, Iran, 2013, awarded for “an optimistic story about a life-long passion”.

    DOCU/Short

    Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013, received special mention. The jury chose it for “filmmaker’s ability to be both intimate and discreet”

    Mom, directed by Lidia Sheinina, Russia, 2013, received special mention for “ability of the filmmaker to find in the closed world of one apartment ‘things that quicken the heart'”.

    The main prize went to Liza, Go Home!, directed by Oksana Buraja, Lithuania, Estonia, 2012. The film was awarded for “filmmaker’s poetic sensibility and respect for other humans’ secrets”.

    Andrei Zagdansky, a Ukrainian-American, was awarding. The other two members of the jury were Victoria Belopolskaya of Russia, and Stéphanie Lamorré of France.

    DOCU/Right

    No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, directed by Callum Macrae, UK, 2013, received special mention. The film was awarded for “the powerful use of video advocacy in global awareness-raising and opinion-shaping regarding the mass murders of civilians belonging to a Tamil minority in Sri Lanka”.

    Captain and His Pirate, directed by Andy Wolff, Belgium, Germany, 2012, received special mention for “exceptional courage of the film crew and an outstanding presentation of international piracy phenomenon as presented by a victim and his prison guard”.

    The main prize went to Mother’s Dream, directed by Valerie Gudenus, Switzerland, 2013. The jury awarded the film for “a highly sensitive, empathic, and artistic presentation of a controversial and socially resonant human rights problem, affecting the fates of women and children globally”.

    Natalka Zubar of Ukraine announced the winners. The other two members of the jury were Andrzej Poczobut of Belarus, and Oksana Sarkisova of Hungary.

    DOCU/Life

    Crepuscule, directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine, 2014, received special mention. The film was awarded for “a visually and emotionally superior depiction of human resilience, sensibility, and interdependence”.

    Night Labor, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, USA, Canada, 2013, received special mention for “a provocative, atypical, allegorical description of industrial work and personal freedom”.

    The main prize went to The Last Limousine, directed by Daria Khlestkina, Russia, 2014, awarded for “a dignified, compassionate portrayal of state-factory workers lost in transition, but not in humanity”. The jury mentioned the film was perfectly casted.

    The whole jury was present: Boris Mitić of Serbia, Chris McDonald of Canada, and Simone Baumann of Germany.

    Andriy Matrosov Award from the Docudays UA Organizing Committee

    The Andrey Matrosove Award went to A Diary of a Journey, directed by Piotr Stasik, Poland, 2013.

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    People are gathering.Image: Antanana.

    A queue is forming.Image: Antanana.

    The Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House.Image: Antanana.
    The hosts of the event are the journalists Andrii Saichuk and Nataliia Humeniuk.Image: Antanana.
    Nataliia Humeniuk, translator and photographer.Image: Antanana.
    Nikita Mikhalko is featured on the festival poster and trailer.Image: Antanana.
    The festival gift shop team is giving the Audience Award.Image: Antanana.
    The film Joanna (director Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013) is awarded.Image: Antanana.
    The representative of Aneta Kopacz is taking the prize.Image: Antanana.
    The Students’ Jury: Viktor Kylymar, Oleksandr Shkrabak, Halia Vasylenko, Petro Vyalkov, Tetyana Chesalova.Image: Antanana.
    Tucker and the Fox (director Arash Lahooti, Iran, 2013) is awarded.Image: Antanana.
    The googles would help him to film even more.Image: Antanana.
    The Festival diploma.Image: Antanana.
    The cobblestone from Maidan Nezalezhnosti is the main festival trophy.Image: Antanana.
    The trophy goes to Iran.Image: Antanana.
    Andrei Zagdansky (Ukraine) announces the winners for DOCU/Short.Image: Antanana.
    The first special mention: Joanna (Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013).Image: Antanana.
    The representative of the director.Image: Antanana.
    The 2nd special mention: Mom (director Lidia Sheinina, Russia, 2013).Image: Antanana.
    Main prize: Liza, Go Home! (director Oksana Buraja, Lithuania, Estonia, 2012).Image: Antanana.
    The journalist, director Natalka Zubar.Image: Antanana.
    Special mention: No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka (director Callum Macrae, UK, 2013) Anthem of Ukraine.Image: Antanana.
    Special mention: Captain and His Pirate (director Andy Wolff, Belgium, Germany, 2012).Image: Antanana.
    Main prize: Mother’s Dream (director Valerie Gudenus, Switzerland, 2013).Image: Antanana.
    Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine Christian Schoenenberger is taking the prize.Image: Antanana.
    Chris McDonald (Canada), Simone Baumann (Germany).Image: Antanana.
    Special mention: Crepuscule (director Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine, 2014).Image: Antanana.
    Boris Mitić (Serbia), Simone Baumann.Image: Antanana.
    Special mention: Night Labor (directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, USA, Canada, 2013).Image: Antanana.
    Main prize: The Last Limousine (director Daria Khlestkina, Russia, 2014).Image: Antanana.
    The Last Limousine.Image: Antanana.
    Daria Khlestkina.Image: Antanana.
    The cobblestone from Maidan Nezalezhnosti is taken to Moscow.Image: Antanana.
    Andriy Matrosov Award from the Organizing Committee.Image: Antanana.
    A Diary of a Journey (director Piotr Stasik, Poland, 2013) is awarded.Image: Antanana.

    After the ceremony The Last Limousine, the winning film of DOCU/Life program, was screened.

    The festival was first held in 2003, called at that time Docudays on Human Rights. In 2006 the festival was accepted as part of the international Human Rights Film Network at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It is usually held during the last week of March.

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