UN report: climate change and food shortage major problems for Earth’s future

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a comprehensive report on the current state of the global environment. Climate change, food and water shortage and a decline in biodiversity threaten humanity’s survival, so urgent action is necessary, the report warns.

UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) report involved the work of about 390 experts in various fields from around the world.

Selected key figures and facts from the reportClimate changeThe global average temperature has risen 0.7 °C since 1906 and will rise a further 1.8 °C at best by the end of this century.Some scientists believe a 2°C temperature rise would cause major and irreversible damage.Meanwhile, average temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as elsewhere.Rising sealevels threaten the 60 percent of the population living within 100 kilometres of coastal lines.Water and foodIncreasing irrigation demands will eventually cause 1 of every 10 major rivers to dry up.Population growth, over-consumption and a continued shift from cereals to meat will raise food demand to a level 2.5 – 3.5 times higher than at present.The slackening expansion of cropland stands in contrast with the fact that by 2030, developing countries will need 120 million extra hectares to feed themselves.BiodiversitySpecies are becoming extinct a hundred times faster than the rate shown in the fossil record.

While the GEO-4 report salutes some improvements, for example the increased public awareness of environmental issues and political interest, it also warns that “There are no major issues… for which the foreseeable trends are favourable.” Although the report sets out a gloomy scenario, its main aim is to call for action.

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Living with HIV during COVID-19: Wikinews talks to HIV-positive sex workers about how pandemic has effected their lives

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The spread of coronavirus in late 2019 and then in 2020 led to a global pandemic, affecting various daily activities. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus spread globally, and by March, drastic measures were taken by the Indian government. Some branches of the South Western Railway of India had started taking precautions by distributing masks to ticket collectors and guards from as early as March 8. Some colleges were suspended by March 13, their exams postponed as the government introduced lockdown and enforced social distancing.

Announced in the evening, the Indian Prime Minister asked his countrymen to get the essential products and avoid going out as much as possible. Long queues outside the grocery shops, people in masks, some in N-95 masks, and hand sanitisers at the gates of megamarts were a common sight. There were reduced items in the shops, and some stores had a limit of the number of customers allowed in the store at any given time. Food delivery services, and taxi services were on hiatus — workers who depended on the profession for their daily income, while people including software engineers were working from home. Physical classes in schools and colleges were replaced by online lectures to prevent social gatherings.

While many relied on technology for continuing their work and earn their livelihood, Wikinews reached out to sex workers in Mysore in June who, unlike others, can’t maintain social distancing for their work. Two sex workers, Akram Pasha, and Jaya (a pseudonym), who were part of a sex worker’s group called “Ashodaya Samithi” discussed how their lives had been affected by the coronavirus, the lockdown and the restrictions they had faced.

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Posted on April 11th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »

Surgeons reattach boy’s three severed limbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2005A team of Australian surgeons yesterday reattached both hands and one foot to 10-year-old Perth boy, Terry Vo, after a brick wall which collapsed during a game of basketball fell on him, severing the limbs. The wall gave way while Terry performed a slam-dunk, during a game at a friend’s birthday party.

The boy was today awake and smiling, still in some pain but in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery, according to plastic surgeon, Mr Robert Love.

“What we have is parts that are very much alive so the reattached limbs are certainly pink, well perfused and are indeed moving,” Mr Love told reporters today.

“The fact that he is moving his fingers, and of course when he wakes up he will move both fingers and toes, is not a surprise,” Mr Love had said yesterday.

“The question is more the sensory return that he will get in the hand itself and the fine movements he will have in the fingers and the toes, and that will come with time, hopefully. We will assess that over the next 18 months to two years.

“I’m sure that he’ll enjoy a game of basketball in the future.”

The weight and force of the collapse, and the sharp brick edges, resulted in the three limbs being cut through about 7cm above the wrists and ankle.

Terry’s father Tan said of his only child, the injuries were terrible, “I was scared to look at him, a horrible thing.”

The hands and foot were placed in an ice-filled Esky and rushed to hospital with the boy, where three teams of medical experts were assembled, and he was given a blood transfusion after experiencing massive blood loss. Eight hours of complex micro-surgery on Saturday night were followed by a further two hours of skin grafts yesterday.

“What he will lose because it was such a large zone of traumatised skin and muscle and so on, he will lose some of the skin so he’ll certainly require lots of further surgery regardless of whether the skin survives,” said Mr Love said today.

The boy was kept unconscious under anaesthetic between the two procedures. In an interview yesterday, Mr Love explained why:

“He could have actually been woken up the next day. Because we were intending to take him back to theatre for a second look, to look at the traumatised skin flaps, to close more of his wounds and to do split skin grafting, it was felt the best thing to do would be to keep him stable and to keep him anaesthetised.”

Professor Wayne Morrison, director of the respected Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery and head of plastic and hand surgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said he believed the operation to be a world first.

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Grand Junction Best Rated Inns

By David H. Urmann

Grand Junction is considered to be the biggest city in Western Colorado. It is also the most populous city of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is estimated that the population of Grand Junction is 53,662. This town also serves as the main transportation and commercial center within the huge area between the Continental Divide and Green River.

However, these are the Grand Junction inns within this area.

When you are in Hampton Inn Grand Junction Co, you would see the imposing natural sights in the Grand Valley, attached by the Grand Junction city. This Grand Junction Inn offers activities and sights for everyone from striking rock formations to historic museums and from river propelling to wine tasting. This inn is situated on the historic Main Street in the downtown part, next to the Two River Convention Center and closed to government offices.

You can also travel around the Colorado National Monument with 23,000 acres of rock formation and canyons that will make you amazed. These attractions can be reached for only less than ten minutes from the hotel. You can also take a drive down the Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway or enjoy rafting on the rapids of the Colorado River.

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The Hampton Inn Grand Junction is also near the historic downtown district where the tourists can glance through antique shops, attractive boutiques, distinct restaurants and museums. It is also easy to visit Colorado’s Wine Country which is only ten minutes away. You can call +1-970-243-3222 for more information about the hotel.

The Residence Inn Grand Junction is one of the most recent hotels in the city and it is a minority owned suite. It is situated next to Grand Junction Regional Airport and near to Colorado’s Wine Country and downtown Grand Junction. The companies near this hotel are St. Mary’s Hospital, Mesa State, Department of Interior offices and the Bureau of Land Management, West Star Aviation, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Halliburton, and numerous gas and oil companies.

The guests can also see the Grand Valley’s wonderful landscape and Colorado’s Wine Country. There you can see biking, hiking, golfing, rafting, and skiing which are just minutes away. Eccentric restaurants, winery tours and boutique shopping will also meet the satisfaction of every guest. The inn also serves free daily hot breakfast and evening social hour every Monday & Wednesday and every other Tuesday. You can also call to their phone number 1-970-263-4004 for other inquiries.

The Clarion Inn Grand Junction Colorado is situated on Interstate 70. It is one half-mile away from Grand Junction Regional Airport. The nearest attractions from the hotel are the Dinosaur Journey Museum, the Two Rivers Convention Center, Colorado National Monument and Mesa State College.

This Grand Junction inn’s visitors will enjoy the facilities and features like the free daily newspaper, free airport transportation, free high-speed Internet access and free local calls. They may also benefit from the hotel’s outdoor heated pool, indoor heated pool, exercise room and hot tub.

Business travelers may also use the modern comforts afforded in the hotel’s business center like the public computer with Internet access and fax and copy services. The suite also has many meeting and banquet rooms. The biggest can cater up to 392 people for most social and business functions. However, you may also contact them at (970) 243-6790 for more details.

About the Author: For more information on Luxury Suites and Grand Junction Inn please visit our website.

Source: isnare.com

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

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.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=U.K._National_Portrait_Gallery_threatens_U.S._citizen_with_legal_action_over_Wikimedia_images&oldid=4379037”

Posted on April 11th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »

Market Data

Warning: The information on this page may be incorrect and/or outdated. Don’t trust it.


Information about the world’s markets index, no longer maintained.

Index Name Description Current Value Change Updated
^MERV MerVal (Argentina) 1479.650 25.720 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^AORD All Ordinaries (Australia) 4338.100 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^ATX ATX (Austria) 4.898,18 -0.1% Friday, June 22, 2007
^BFX BEL-20 (Belgium) 3198.57 11.59 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^BVSP Bovespa (Brazil) 24868.471 337.682 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^GSPTSE S&P TSX Composite (Canada) 10367.89 5.34 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^SSEC Shanghai Composite (China) 1072.807 27.407 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^PX50 PX50 (Czech Republic) 0 0 Monday, January 01, 0001
^KFX KFX (Denmark) 348.10 -0.22 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^CCSI CMA (Egypt) 1753.22 -16.36 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^FCHI CAC 40 (France) 4420.78 -1.34 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^GDAXI DAX (Germany) 4843.49 0.79 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^HSI Hang Seng (Hong Kong) 28,228.04 +457.75 (1.65%) Monday, October 09, 2007
^BSESN BSE 30 (India) 7612.00 -3.99 Wednesday, August 24, 2005
^JKSE Jakarta Composite (Indonesia) 2,846.24 0 Wednesday, May 5, 2010
^TA100 TA-100 (Israel) 694.76 -0.52 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^MIBTEL MIBTel (Italy) 25703.000 28.000 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^N225 Nikkei 225 (Japan) 11737.96 -24.69 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^KLSE KLSE Composite (Malaysia) 935.74 -4.10 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^MXX IPC (Mexico) 14067.730 -67.510 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^AEX AEX General (Netherlands) 395.55 1.01 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^NZ50 NZSE 50 (New Zealand) 3348.232 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^OSEAX OSE All Share (Norway) 330.032 0.104 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^MTMS Moscow Times (Russia) 0 0 Monday, January 01, 0001
^STI Straits Times (Singapore) 2321.77 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^KS11 Seoul Composite (South Korea) 1090.6 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^SMSI Madrid General (Spain) 1085.59 2.30 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^SXAXPI Stockholm General (Sweden) 265.55 0.44 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^SSMI Swiss Market (Switzerland) 6521.02 17.08 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^TWII Taiwan Weighted (Taiwan) 6366.16 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^XU100 ISE National-100 (Turkey) 0 0 Monday, January 01, 0001
^FTSE FTSE 100 (United Kingdom) 5256.20 -14.50 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^DJI Dow Jones Industrials (USA) 11,076.34 +104.06 March 11, 2006
^NYA NYSE Composite (USA) 8,079.24 +71.41 March 11, 2006
^IXIC NASDAQ Composite (USA) 2175.99 9.25 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^GSPC S&P 500 (USA) 1231.16 2.13 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Index Description Last Change As of
^DJI Dow Jones Industrials (USA) 11,076.34 +104.06 March 11, 2006
^NYA NYSE Composite (USA) 8,079.24 +71.41 March 11, 2006
^IXIC NASDAQ Composite (USA) 2175.99 9.25 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^AORD All Ordinaries (Australia) 4338.100 0 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
^FTSE FTSE 100 (United Kingdom) 5256.20 -14.50 Tuesday, July 26, 2005
more indices

= STG£0.5349 = €0.7727 = ¥106.4000
= STG£0.6923 = $1.2942 = ¥137.6900
= US$1.8694 = €1.4443 = ¥198.8550
= STG£0.0050 = $0.0094 = €0.0073

(Commodities & currencies as of 2005-03-24 T 23:00 UTC, or last close were applicable. None of this data is guaranteed to be correct. Please read our General disclaimer and Risk disclaimer.)|}

  • Market Data/Energy
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Market_Data&oldid=1321145”

Posted on April 10th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »

Obama cabinet nominees withdraw over tax issues

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama saw two of his cabinet nominations withdraw from consideration after issues with their taxes became public knowledge.

I think I screwed up.

Former Senator Tom Daschle from South Dakota withdrew after it was revealed he failed to pay US$128,203 in taxes. He has since made the payment including a $11,964 interest payment. Obama had nominated him as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Nancy Killefer, whom Obama had appointed to the newly created position of Chief Performance Officer, withdrew her nomination because she had failed to pay payroll taxes on a household employee.

“I think I screwed up,” Obama said in an interview with CNN. “And, I take responsibility for it and we’re going to make sure we fix it so it doesn’t happen again.”

Last week, Timothy F. Geithner survived his nomination and was confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury, even though it was revealed that he had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes on income earned while working for the International Monetary Fund.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Obama_cabinet_nominees_withdraw_over_tax_issues&oldid=780416”

Posted on April 9th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »

When To Call A Fireplaces Repair Company

byadmin

While having a fireplace can be great, as it helps warm up the home and is a nice focal point for a room, it isn’t a totally worry-free addition to a home. From time to time, the fireplace may need repair, and it definitely needs regular maintenance. There are a few signs that it’s time to call a Fireplaces Repair Company.

Failure to Function

Of course, the most obvious sign that a fireplace needs to be repaired, and it’s time to call a Fireplaces Repair Company is if the fireplace is somehow no longer functioning or smoke is coming into the room in large amounts.

Damage to the Fireplace

Should you see that the mortar of the fireplace is crumbling, tiles are falling from the chimney or brick is starting to flake, these are all signs there’s something wrong with the fireplace that needs to be addressed by a trained professional, such as those at. Mortar is what holds the fireplace together, so if it’s failing, it could turn into a serious problem if not properly fixed.

Rust in the Firebox or White Stains on Bricks

Both of these are signs that there is moisture somewhere in the fireplace where it shouldn’t be. This moisture can damage the integrity of the fireplace and make it unsafe. The white is salt being drawn out of the brick due to moisture trapped inside somewhere, and the rust is from water, perhaps a leak, hitting the metal of the firebox.

Damage to the Chimney

Should damage be visible to the top of the chimney from outside the house, there’s a good chance that the whole chimney is weaker, and there is more damage that isn’t readily visible. It’s important to have someone come and inspect and repair the chimney before it becomes dangerous.

Stains on the Walls or Ceiling

If the walls and ceiling near the chimney are stained, this is another sign that the chimney is somehow being exposed to excessive moisture. This moisture could damage the home’s walls, floors, and ceiling as well as the chimney itself, so this is a serious issue that shouldn’t be left unattended for long.

Join us here!

Posted on April 9th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »

CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with David Sparrow. Sparrow is a candidate in Ontario’s Don Valley West riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner. The riding was set to vote in a by-election on September 22, 2008, following the resignation of John Godfrey, but Stephen Harper’s sudden election call nulled that effort.

Also running in the Toronto riding are Liberal Rob Oliphant, Conservative John Carmichael, Green Georgina Wilcock, and Communist Catherine Holliday.

The following is an interview with Sparrow, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=CanadaVOTES:_NDP_candidate_David_Sparrow_in_Don_Valley_West&oldid=4604129”

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How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach

Friday, September 9, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana —After Category 4 storm Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, on the night before August 29, 2005, several flood control constructions failed. Much of the city flooded through the openings. One of these was the flood wall forming one side of the 17th Street Canal, near Lake Pontchartrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary agency for engineering support during such emergencies. A USACE team was assessing the situation in New Orleans on the 29th, water flow was stopped September 2nd, and the breach was closed on September 5th.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=How_the_Army_Corps_of_Engineers_closed_one_New_Orleans_breach&oldid=1982711”

Posted on April 9th, 2021 by  |  No Comments »