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The Internet

Wikimedia Commons reaches 400,000 Files 110

Brushen writes "Wikimedia Commons, a website built to be a repository of free, public domain, or GFDL images, sounds, and animations, has reached 400,000 files this week. Launched in September 2004 by the Wikimedia Foundation, the creators of Wikipedia, the organization intended for it to be a source of images that could be used in the rest of the organization's projects. As well, recently they've had a best picture comeptition."
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Wikimedia Commons reaches 400,000 Files

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  • by Somatic ( 888514 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:15PM (#14533188) Journal
    ...find 400,000 images and videos on the internet that weren't porn? Now that really is an accomplishment.
  • Impressive, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BertieBaggio ( 944287 ) <bob@nospam.manics.eu> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:22PM (#14533231) Homepage

    How many of the media files have been taken despite being under copyright? I've seen the obvious and/or controversial images removed -- pretty promptly in most cases. But how about an image taken from a website with no watermark taken from a website where the webmaster has no time to pursue misappropriation.

    Although if they truly have 400 000 original images that have been validly released for them to use, more power to them.

    • by anthony_dipierro ( 543308 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:58PM (#14533433) Journal
      Well, many of the images are not original, in fact a large portion of them are public domain due to age or some other reason. But Wikimedia Commons is much better than Wikipedia with regard to inclusion of copyright violations. The vast majority of images on Wikimedia Commons are in fact public domain or under a free license.
      • by syousef ( 465911 )
        Did you know that video or photography taken on private property or of private property requires the permission of the owner before you can exhibit them?

        Have a look at this - one of a collection taken at Disney's Animal Kingdom:
        http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Varanus_ko modoensis2.jpg [wikimedia.org]

        Do you think the owner got permission from Disney to put this up on Wikimedia? I know when I tried to get permission to use photos from Sydney's Taronga Zoo in Australia I was shot down in flames and told they'd persue
        • Did you know that video or photography taken on private property or of private property requires the permission of the owner before you can exhibit them?

          No, in fact I'm not even sure that's true. It's certainly not an aspect of US copyright law. If you can point me to the part of the US Code which covers it I'd appreciate it.

          Or maybe you're thinking of Australian law.

          Have a look at this - one of a collection taken at Disney's Animal Kingdom: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Varanus_ko [wikimedia.org] modoen

          • Typical BS on /. - you're not even sure if that's right and you're certainly not an expert - so go ahead and slam someone who is, even if you haven't checked your facts. What's more imply that the other person's country is inferior to your wonderful USA and perpetuate the stereotype of the arrogant obnoxious American, who doesn't know a thing.

            These laws and principles of law aren't an Australian exclusive. Here are some articles so perhaps you can get a clue before you type sarcastic drivel - it isn't my jo
            • I don't think you can find this mentioned in statutory law, but instead is something that comes from common law. Copyright law is full of that, including seemingly contradictory legal precedence that seems to support and deny certain activities. This property release issue is certainly one of those issues where it depends largely on the attitude of the judge toward the issue and how well the attorney who is representing you has prepared and gone into case history to defend your right to use photography th
              • I don't think you can find this mentioned in statutory law, but instead is something that comes from common law. Copyright law is full of that, including seemingly contradictory legal precedence that seems to support and deny certain activities.

                Well, federal copyright law actually supercedes common law. There is some common law (and statutory law) concerning privacy and publicity rights, though. But I seriously doubt it would apply to a picture of some lizard, and I'm certain it wouldn't apply to nonco

            • I don't see where exactly he implies Australia is inferior to the USA, but perhaps I missed something. All he said about Australia, as far as I can tell, was that it had different copyright laws, and the picture was not taken there. His post certainly does not seem "arrogant" or "obnoxious". It seemed to me that, having never heard of any such thing before, and, noting that your experiences were in Australia and thus subject to Australian law, assumed that it was not a part of US law.
              • No, in fact I'm not even sure that's true. It's certainly not an aspect of US copyright law.

                His words.
                He basically shot down what I said without backing it up. By using the word "certainly" not only is what he is saying false but he's implying I'm either a fool who doesn't know what he's on about or a liar because supposedly I've said something false.

                He goes on:
                . If you can point me to the part of the US Code which covers it I'd appreciate it.
                Or maybe you're thinking of Australian law.


                Given that he's just s
                • By using the word "certainly" not only is what he is saying false but he's implying I'm either a fool who doesn't know what he's on about or a liar because supposedly I've said something false.

                  My work "certainly" was qualified with "not an aspect of US copyright law". What I'm saying is that the law you claim exists is definitely not a part of Title 17 of the US Code (which is referred to as "US copyright law"). I'm quite sure of this. I've read the title several times and I've examined a lot of the c

                  • You apparently *don't* know what you're talking about. And US law *is* superior in the sense that it doesn't allow such things, but neither was my point at the time.

                    You know saying something is so doesn't make it true. That seems to be your whole mode of argument. State something as if it were fact. Don't qualify it. Insist you know what you're talking about and that the other person doesn't. Frankly it makes you look incapable of arguing a point.

                    I do know what I'm talking about and I just provided evidenc
            • Typical BS on /. - you're not even sure if that's right and you're certainly not an expert - so go ahead and slam someone who is, even if you haven't checked your facts.

              I don't believe I slammed anyone. You claimed there was a law, I said I wasn't sure that was a law, and if so it's definitely not a copyright law. I asked for further information.

              These laws and principles of law aren't an Australian exclusive.

              Maybe not. I never said they were. In fact, I know very little about non-US law. But the

        • Were you going to sell this calendar? If so, it's reasonable they didn't allow it.

          If not, then they overreacted - or maybe they *thought* you wanted to sell it ...
          • Nice opinions. Care to back them up with some reasoning?

            Possible reasoning:
            1. It might take away from sales of calendars the zoo would otherwise make.
            Counterpoint: What if you sold in a different market?

            2. You might somehow harm the zoo's reputation with bad photos etc.
            Counterpoint: Why not allow people to submit photos for inclusion in their calendars. (I enquired about this, and they'll only use their own pro photographers no matter how good the shot).

            The IP law is a joke. I'm certainly not going to spend
        • Did you know that video or photography taken on private property or of private property requires the permission of the owner before you can exhibit them?

          Google Earth owes me royalties!!!

          Really, do you think they have permission from every property holder on the planet?

          The links you posted referred to usage "for trade or advertising purposes", "for commercial purposes in an annual report, advertisement, etc.", "in order to sell your photo for commercial use ", and even then are a just-in-case point of view (
          • Can you provide a link to IP law, and not some "property release"?

            No. I'm not an IP lawyer. However if every large stock house on the planet requires property releases I'd think there's something to it. These people make their money from the photos they sell. They're not exactly looking for reasons to exclude good pictures.

            I was trying to make people aware that there were issues here that the average /.er doesn't seem to know about. If you want to be difficult go ahead, just don't expect me to care or to go
    • by teslatug ( 543527 )
      You do realise that even works licensed under the GFDL and CC are copyrighted don't you? Which means that a large chunk are copyrighted. Of course, there are public domain ones too.
    • How many of the media files have been taken despite being under copyright?

      Anybody with a collection of anything can get sued in a dispute over whether they actually own something. That's not a problem affects free licenses in particular. The same holds whether you have a collection of files (whether free or commercially licensed), a museum (works have long and twisted histories), own a newspaper (journalists sometimes plagiarize), or run a pawn shop (people might sell you stolen goods).

      So I have no pa

  • by fa2k ( 881632 ) <pmbjornstad@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:27PM (#14533259)
    Now there will be 100k more files, of which 99k are called hello.jpg ;)
    • You can't actually have more than one file with the same name on the Commons. A new one with the same name would overwrite the old one. So in this case there would be 1001 pictures, and the one called "hello.jpg" would have been overwritten 98999 times...
  • by BeDoper Guy ( 947983 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:33PM (#14533292) Homepage
    400,000 files seems like an awful lot of licenses to verify. Having said that, this is a real boon to graphic artists, 3D animators and the like. Gotta love that CC license.
    • A pretty large percentage of images seem to be classic art works. You don't really have to verify the license on those. ^_^
    • Having contributed a fair bit to Commons myself, trust me when I say that licenses do get verified... much more so than comparable websites. You have to explicitly state the license, and the source of the image as well. If the image seems a little too nice to have come from an amature source the administrators on Wikicommons will try to check up on you as an individual to see if you really do have content of that quality that is original content.

      I have had images that I uploaded which have been deleted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...best picture comeptition."

    Taco, is it really that hard to correct "comeptition" to "competition"?

    You are supposedly an editor, yet you can't even be bothered to use a spellcheck?

    I know he says this doesn't matter on slashdot and that it is just minutiae, but most people would say it does matter a great deal. This site is run by paid editors, it is long past time they act like it.

    • Leave him alone! It's the weekend :)
    • I guess a spelling bee is out of the question...
    • This site is run by paid editors, it is long past time they act like it.

      But they do a good job. I enjoy reading Slashdot, hence they're doing okay.

      Oh, yes -- your sentence is grammatically incorrect. You should have put a period or maybe a semicolon where you put the comma.
    • You must have missed the recent news post where Taco answered a bunch of questions about SD and talked about this point, he basically said that all the grammar and spelling errors are part of the charm of Slashdot.

      In other words, it's a feature, not a bug lol.

      I'd find a link to the discussion but I can't be arsed to wade through the hundreds of posts in the discussion to find it.

      I admit to it bothering the hell out of me before also (the frequent, obvious screwups in the postings), but now that I know they
      • Actually I may have paraphrased too much, I think the specific point was more along the lines of they once had a person to edit the crap mistakes out, but instead of complaining about those, people just complained about other stuff, so better to just spend time flogging submissions than worrying about satisfying people that are going to complain no matter what, so give them some low hanging fruit to complain about.
  • 400,000 files is very impressive achievement. I've only ever listed to sounds on Wikicommons a few times though; I don't think they are too useful.

    Anyway, I think the following page is worth a visit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sunrise [wikimedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:16PM (#14533542)
    Well, as a photographer I'm not sure I welcome this. Yeah, Adobe has entered the royalty free sector, for cheap-ass business users looking for cheesy pics of people in suits shaking hands. That was never a market I competed in. Wikipedia worries me because well funded media organisations are going to stop paying for real photographers to do stuff like "we need a picture of Barcelona for a travel story". Oh, get a wikimedia image, pay nobody, increase value add for our shareholders. And I guess I don't care about that either because I don't have any pictures of Barcelona. And there are no serious ethical issues of working in Barcelona. But for stuff I do have, like a refugee camp someplace quite logistically hard to get to or work in, or for a picture of the leader of this rebel group, or of a soccer team in a war zone. Is this sort of thing better when it's taken by a kid who doesn't speak the language who's just left college and is doing the peace corps thing, and decides to donate all this holiday snaps to wikimedia(though the pics are lowish resolution and miscaptioned). Or should that kind of thing be done by AP or Reuters who employ (for example) someone in the refugee camp who knows what's going on. Or by independent foreign journalists with their own set of biases? Yeah, we should all adapt to the market, worse is better, etc. I'm watching people who are cross subsidising photography with other income sources eat away at my market, and I don't like it.
    • Surely the turning point will be when those villagers have cameras and internet connections. There's no intrinsic requirement for journalists to white american men, especially when villages start getting mobile phones or $100 laptops. I think wikipedia/wikinews might be ideal for them...
    • Is this sort of thing better when it's taken by a kid who doesn't speak the language who's just left college and is doing the peace corps thing, and decides to donate all this holiday snaps to wikimedia(though the pics are lowish resolution and miscaptioned). Or should that kind of thing be done by AP or Reuters who employ (for example) someone in the refugee camp who knows what's going on. Or by independent foreign journalists with their own set of biases? Yeah, we should all adapt to the market, worse is
    • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @03:17PM (#14534104) Homepage
      Ok....so you've expressed your displeasure with the current market forces, you admit you need to adapt to the new situation...what do you plan on doing about it? You seem to be almost trying to argue that it is not ethically right for some peace corps college kid to upload his pictures because it deprives you of revenue...or maybe I just read that wrong.

    • When big corporations say similar things, they are laughed it. There's some kind of quote relevant to it, and I don't have it. But the point is that just because you made money on it before doesn't mean you have a right to make money on it forever.

      Times change. Cobblers had to find new jobs once upon a time, now there's a new set of people who need to retrain themselves.

      Due to digital cameras, amateur shutter bugs take 1,000 pictures on a 7-day vacation instead of 72 or 108. And the quality (technically, no
    • The peace corps college kid takes away your income source, sure enough, but the kid also provides to millions of people for free what they otherwise would have to pay for. So overall, it's a clear plus for the world; you just happen to sit on the wrong side of the equation. Time to move.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:42PM (#14533669) Journal
    Flicker's CC material [flickr.com] has over 8 million pictures now, all CC categories summarized. Even if you restrict yourself to the CC license subset Wikimedia uses, there's still more pictures on Flickr. However, Wikimedia possibly has a more "professional" set of pictures, rather than "here's me and my girlfriend on vacation" pictures, but with Flickr's powerful tagging system, I still recommend people looking for CC pictures suiting their license needs to check them out. I've found a surprising number of high quality photos there that suits Wikipedia perfectly, but keep in mind Wikipedia prefers CC material that is NOT restricted to non-commercial use only. When I use images from Flickr on Wikipedia, I usually use the most free license -- the Attribution license. Then it's a simple matter to attribute the picture with a link and author in the image description when you upload it.

    Of course, don't forget Google's Advanced Search which nowadays support searching for CC licenses material too. If you're still looking, Wikipedia's public domain resource list [wikipedia.org] is another good starting point.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In related news, the Geograph project [geograph.org.uk] has 108,000 CC-licensed photos now.
    • Some of these image sites need to combine databases. There must be dozens of various free-license image sites, and it's frusterating that there's no single search to index them all.
      • I'm a developer of the Geograph website.

        I'd disagree that we should "combine efforts" with other sites just because they use the same licence. One useful element of the Creative Commons licence is the machine readable licence embedded into webpages and media to enable search engines to locate them.

        It's up to search engines to tap into this, and the efforts from Google and Yahoo (see http://creativecommons.org/find/ [creativecommons.org]) are a great first step.
  • This is an advertisment for wikimedia. They want you to donate to their recent fundraiser. Kinda shameful having slashdot post it.
  • So how many of those 400,000 files are from Wikipedians uploading their entire collection of holiday photos? And how many are actually any good?

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