Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wikimedia Israel: Let my photos go… by Rachel Neiman

After stealth operation of several months, 28,000 photos of pre-state Israel are finally released to public by Wikimedia Israel. Check out the best pictures here.

Rachel Neiman..
21 November '18..

Information wants to be free! Those words were the virtual banner carried aloft by users of the worldwide web, before the advent of Web 2.0 and the Internet’s commercialization.

Occasionally, that spirit still breaks through as it did last week when Wikimedia Israel — the local chapter of the worldwide Wikimedia movement — announced that in a stealth operation over several months, it had released 28,000 images of pre-state Israel to the public domain.

Why go about things surreptitiously? Wikimedia Israel stated that in the past, it had approached but received pushback from several organizations in possession of images whose copyright had expired 50 years from publication, as per the Israeli Copyright Act of 2007.

Dating from 1900 to 1946, these photographs unquestionably belong in the public domain but “were not accessible for search, study, research and use by the public in Israel and throughout the world.”

Citing the Wikimedia Foundation vision statement – “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge” – Wikimedia Israel said it “decided to act on behalf of the public and to release images on sites in the State of Israel using technological tools.”

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