You are currently browsing the archives for May 2018.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 96 entries.

Desk Plants Promote You Company While Growing Grass

  • Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:38 am

By Matt Franks

A touch of greenery in ones office definitely helps with the scenery. So when you start looking into promotional items to share not only with your office staff but also your customers, make it one that makes an impression. Instead of giving out calendars, key chains and stress balls, give out personal desk plants.

Personal desk plants come in a beautiful decorative tin that has your company logo embossed on the side. How many colors you can use on your promotional desk plants vary with manufacturer from single to four colors. The tins the desk plants come in are made of aluminum in brushed silver and this allows your office logo to really stand out. With a matching lid that also supports your company logo, desk plants are a unique way to reminding everyone who you are.

The desk plant tin contains everything your customers or employees need to grow some indoor grass. When you hand out this promotional item with your office information on it, the recipients will find soil and grass seeds inside. All they need to do is plant the seeds of their new desk plants in the dirt, water them, and sit back and watch the grass grow. Obviously the employees and customer whose desk plants thrive are definitely the ones that are enjoying your gift the most.

YouTube Preview Image

Like music, having desk plants in the office help your employees work better. It is a small slice of outdoors that they can enjoy on a daily basis. Think of how people will react when they see one of these desk plants on your receptionist’s desk. They will probably be intrigued with the idea that your employees are growing grass in the office in a tin that is sporting your office brand. If they are not one of your customers yet, give them one of your promotional desk plants to take back to their own office and let them grow some grass while they ponder on your business proposal. Your desk plants may be the key to winning their contract.

It is truly amazing how much time you and your employees spend in the office. The promotional desk plants are a good way of showing your employees that you really do appreciate the work they do for you on a daily basis. If you want to add a little more to the gift, why not investigate other desk plants that are available? Instead of just grass, you could give out small desk plants that grow miniature bamboo trees, tropical plants, palm trees, flowers, and even herbs. These small promotional desk plants will add a touch of feng shui to the room and soothe your employees when their nerves are rattled.

Desk plants with your office logo on the side are a great way to get the word out about your company. They are fairly inexpensive to purchase in bulk and the graphics setup for your logo may be the most you will pay out for this great promotional idea. Order some desk plants today and give them to your employees to see how they like them. Then make sure you have plenty of desk plants on hand to give to your customers. It’s a handy way of saying ‘thank you’ and that you’re there and ready to work for your customers.

About the Author: Matt Franks is director of Fluid Branding, the UK’s largest supplier of Promotional Desk Plants and Branded Desk Plants at www.fluidbranding.com. For Eco Friendly promotional products, including Recycled, Organic and Sustainable items visit www.ecoincentives.com

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=278002&ca=Marketing

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Bikers begin descent on South Carolina resort for rallies

  • Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:37 am

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina —This weekend is the kick-off for two motorcycle rallies held annually in the U.S. eastern seacoast town of Myrtle Beach. Enthusiasts this year are expected to meet or exceed the 170,000 bikers that arrived last year in droves to the small resort town of 23,000. Festivities span two weeks, and extend again this year into the Memorial Day.

Leading off is the week-long Harley rally, followed by the next week’s BikeFest. In and around town, both day and night are punctured by the sounds of bike engines gunned and revved at stop lights and in parking lots. Groups of cycle riders dominate the streets.

“By Friday night, the front parking lot will be a full line of motorcycles to the corner.” said motel owner Ranjan Patel. The Super 8 motel takes up half a block at its location in the heart of the downtown motel strip. “Both sides [of Ocean Blvd] are nothing but bikes.” Both she and her co-owner husband agree, the influx of bikers dwarf in size the numbers of tourists who visit during regular summer months for ocean-side and family amusement park attractions.

The highly accesorised bikes, decked with chrome and polished to show it, flashed the townscape. Choppers made a showing, but road hogs dominated the ridership, often going twosome. Many rally goers arrived on the scene with SUV’s or big pickup trucks towing cargo trailers loaded with cycles.

Growth in the sheer size of the two rallies led police to make changes in the handling of traffic flow. During BikeFest last year, the mostly black crowd that came in on the heels of the largely white Harley rally the week earlier, were faced with confusion when the two-lane Ocean Blvd was made one-way.

A branch of the NAACP in Conway, the next town over from Myrtle Beach, alleged discrimination by Horry County and Myrtle Beach Police. They claimed authorities and police used an overwhelming and aggressive police presence, combined with a restrictive one-way traffic pattern, to intimidate and discourage the participants in the rally.

An injunction was issued earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten, who ruled that bikers at both rallies be treated the same. Myrtle Beach city lawyers immediately filed an appeal to the ruling at the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying “the trial court erroneously determined that the plaintiffs would likely succeed on the merits; that is, that the city of Myrtle Beach intentionally treats Memorial Day weekend tourists differently from others similarly situated because of their race.”

A plan to submit an opposition to the notice has already been announced by Michael Navarre, an attorney for Steptoe & Johnson, who represents the NAACP civil rights group. “We certainly don’t think the judge has ruled erroneously,” Navarre said, according to The Sun News.

Traffic control and safety measures were in full swing Friday morning on US-17. Both directions of the 4-lane divided highway south of Myrtle Beach had traffic cones and parking barriers set up to control traffic. Large flashing road signs on each side of the highway warned cars to use the passing lane. The warning sign flashed a message that the right lane was for motorcycle use only. Police monitored the pull-offs near a Harley dealer’s lot where popular attractions were set-up in the immediate vicinity.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bikers begin descent on South Carolina resort for rallies
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

U.S. President arrives in Singapore

  • Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:34 am

Sunday, November 26, 2006

U.S. President George W. Bush arrived in Singapore the morning of November 16, beginning a week-long tour of Asia. He was greeted by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng and discussed trade and terrorism issues with the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

After a week of losses in the midterm election, Bush told an audience about the expansion of trade in Asia.

Mr. Bush also delivered his keynote address at the National University of Singapore’s Cultural Center; the US’ commitment to security and free trade in the region were the most emphasised topics. Among other subjects, he spoke on:

  • Regional security including the threat of terrorism and ongoing nuclear crisis in North Korea.
  • US continued engagement in Asia to confront security threats including N. Korea’s nuclear ambitions and terrorism and address these challenges at global level
  • Free trade and trade expansion most certain path to Asian prosperity to lasting prosperity
  • Reviving the doha trade talks
  • An Asia Pacific-wide free trade area

Bush also called for US-Asian co-operation to fight with infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and avian flu.

Mr. Bush will be heading to Hanoi to for a state visit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

U.S. President arrives in Singapore
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Clapham Estate Agents

  • Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:21 am

Clapham Estate Agents

by

jeevanswaraaj

About Clapham

Throughout the 18th and early 19th Century, Clapham housed the wealthier classes of the City of London, and many built substantial and grand residencies (both houses and villas) near to the Common and in the Old Town.

After the railways were built, Clapham developed as a suburb for commuters into central London, and by 1900 it had fallen out of favour with the wealthier classes.

Many of the grand houses had been demolished by the mid-twentieth century, though a number remain around the Common and in the Old Town, as do a substantial number of fine late eighteenth and early nineteenth century houses.

In the early twentieth century, Clapham was seen as an ordinary commuter suburb, often referred to as representing ordinary people. Clapham was considered within the County of Surrey until the creation of the County of London in 1889.

YouTube Preview Image

By the 1980s Clapham had undergone a huge transformation, becoming gentrified. Today Clapham is a multi-cultural neighbourhood with many foreign residents, middle-class residents and a vibrant Gay community. Its also home to large base of University students and graduates, carried over from the days when London University halls of residence were located in the Town.

Clapham is home to a large number of restaurants, bars, cafes and leisure facilities. As a result it is now regarded as a highly fashionable (and desirable) place to live for the middle and wealthier working classes and is within easy commuting distance of London City and the railway connections for transportation to the significant airports at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

Selling property in Clapham

There are an abundance of Clapham Estate Agents to choose from. As with any gentrified London suburb, agents have recognised there s good business to be had, with towns where commissions are higher.

In fact with the average property price being 526,000 in Clapham (reference: home.co.uk) a traditional Clapham Estate Agents a fee might be as much as 11,361 to sell your property!

Recession busting services

It s hard to believe that every consumer selling their property locally will be happy to pay Clapham Estate Agents such a high fee and good quality properties in almost any location pretty much sell themselves.

More recently a new breed of property agent has started to surface. A kind of anti-agent. It s an agent that doesn t have a luxurious office in an expensive high street location. It s an agent that offers the same type of service, but without the enormous associated costs. Some online type agents even offer very low fixed cost options too.

Just like with any Estate Agency, you need to sort the wheat from the chaff , which actually isn t particularly hard to do. Look at the agents photographs for starters. Are they professional looking, or were they carried out by somebody with very little understanding of a camera and its attributes?

Are they registered with a professional recognised body such as the NAEA? You ll find that members take pride in their work and take their profession seriously.

Do they advertise on ALL of the UK s biggest websites, where 90% of property buyers start their search for a new home?

And lastly, have you spoken to them and do they know their onions? You need to feel confident that the agent you are dealing with appears honest, proactive and has your best interests at heart as well as has a sound knowledge in the art of selling property.

If you are looking for a Residential

sell my house fast

and

online estate agents

then Fishneedwater can help. They have many properties to rent in many areas of London.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Wikinews Shorts: May 2, 2007

  • Posted on May 31, 2018 at 1:17 am

A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, May 2, 2007.

Tuesday United States President George W. Bush vetoed a US$124 billion supplemental appropriations bill that would provide funding for US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill set benchmarks for the Iraqi government to reach and also included a time-table for withdrawal from Iraq, if those benchmarks were not met.

“It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars. … Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible,” Bush said.

The bill allows the US to maintain forces in Iraq even after a withdrawal to target al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Related news

  • “President Bush and Democrats seek compromise” — Wikinews, May 2, 2007

Sources

External links


Bronze Soldier of Tallinn

Estonia has closed its consulate in Moscow, Russia, after riots erupted outside. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs alleged that an attempt was made to assault the ambassador at a press conference and that this amounts to violation of diplomatic conventions.

The riots were in protest of Estonia’s decision to relocate the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn, a Soviet-era war memorial. Estonians feel the statue is a reminder of Soviet occupation, while Russians say it is a tribute to the soldiers that defeated Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile, Russia has halted deliveries of oil and coal products to Estonia.

Related news

  • “Clashes over World War II monument in Estonia continue” — Wikinews, April 28, 2007
  • “One killed in clashes over World War monument in Estonia” — Wikinews, April 27, 2007

Sources


State-run news agencies in Iran stated that Hossein Mousavian, a former envoy on Iran’s nuclear program who worked for Hassan Rowhani, has been apprehended in Tehran. Mousavian was a key ally of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. Mousavian is likely to be charged with espionage. An anonymous Iranian news agency official said, “Mousavian was arrested because of connections and exchange of information with foreign elements.”

Sources


Wikinews Shorts: May 2, 2007
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Category:Health

  • Posted on May 30, 2018 at 1:32 am

This is the category for Health. See also the Health Portal.

Refresh this list to see the latest articles.

  • 20 May 2018: Hawaii’s K?lauea volcano releases ash plumes to 30,000 feet, prompting aviation alerts
  • 25 January 2018: Healthy cloned monkeys born in Shanghai
  • 17 January 2018: British surfers catch more than waves: Scientists find antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • 15 December 2017: England: Baby born with heart outside body operated on; surviving, three weeks after birth
  • 20 October 2017: Arrangement of light receptors in the eye may cause dyslexia, scientists say
  • 27 July 2017: Publisher withdraws book about Nelson Mandela’s final days after family complaint
  • 28 April 2017: Shrink-wrapped sheep survive: Researchers say ‘Biobag’ artificial uterus, successful on lambs, may one day be suitable for use on premature human babies
  • 16 April 2017: Canada to legalise marijuana to ‘make it more difficult for kids to access’
  • 27 March 2017: Numerous home pregnancy tests recalled after false negative results reported
  • 9 March 2017: Scientists say excess cerebrospinal fluid may serve as early sign of autism
?Category:Health

You can also browse through all articles in this category alphabetically.

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.



Sister projects
  • Wikibooks
  • Commons
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikiquote
  • Wikisource
  • Wiktionary
  • Wikiversity

Subcategories

Pages in category “Health”

(previous page) ()(previous page) ()

Category:Health
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

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

  • Posted on May 30, 2018 at 1:31 am

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.

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

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

  • Posted on May 29, 2018 at 1:38 am
Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Dan Rather resigns as anchor, to stay on as correspondent

  • Posted on May 29, 2018 at 1:30 am

Monday, November 22, 2004

Dan Rather has announced that he will retire on March 9th, 2005 as anchor of CBS Evening News. He will continue to be a correspondent for both of the 60 Minutes shows.

It is reported that Rather’s leaving has nothing to do with a report in 2004 regarding US President Bush’s National Guard service that was widely reported to be factually false. A CBS panel is looking into that report.

Others believe that Rather is stepping down due to this report and investigation. Howard Kurtz, a reporter for the Washington Post, states that “It’s pretty clear that Dan Rather faced a very unpalatable choice… His contract had at least two more years to run. [Should he] step down now before the outside investigative report, commissioned by CBS News expected in the next few weeks about his botching — and the network’s botching — of that story about President Bush’s National Guard service? Rather [decided] today that it would be better for him to step down on his own terms.”

Dan Rather, 74, has been the anchor for CBS Evening News for 24 years, succeeding Walter Cronkite. Rather is the third most watched anchor on United States television.

All links dated November 23, 2004.

This article has passed through community review. The users who have reviewed it believe it to be factually accurate, neutral and free of legal problems. Please comment on the discussion page if you find any issues with this article, and please clearly denote any updates you make at the bottom.

Dan Rather resigns as anchor, to stay on as correspondent
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized

Chicago Metra considers selling naming rights for train lines, stations

  • Posted on May 29, 2018 at 1:29 am

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicago’s Metra is currently considering the possibility of selling the naming rights to its train stations, rail lines, and even bridges to generate more revenue. 

The regional rail system for Chicago and its surrounding suburbs has been experiencing revenue shortfalls, along with other public transportation agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace. They all rely on sales taxes and fares to fund their services, but the recent recession has reduced sales tax revenues, and unemployment has caused ridership to fall. Compared to 86.8 million trips in 2008, Metra reported that only 82.3 million trips were provided in 2009. As spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said, “We’re looking at any opportunity to increase non-fare revenue.”

A law approved by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008 granted free rides to all seniors regardless of income, adding to the decreasing fare revenues as well. State lawmakers are trying to restrict the free rides to low-income seniors; Metra has not yet commented on the issue, however. 

New designs put on the agency’s website last September has attracted more traffic, and Metra is considering selling advertising space online. In addition, advertising space could be sold on the outside of train cars as well. As for the naming rights to stations and routes, Metra plans to hire a consultant that would figure out the details of such a proposal. Spokesperson Meg Reihle did not know how much money Metra could gain from the sale or which organizations would be interested in buying. 

According to Ms. Reihle, public transit agencies in other cities have sold naming rights as well, such as the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland and Long Island Rail Road in Long Island. TECO Energy sponsors a rail line in Tampa’s Hillsborough Area Regional Transit for US$1 million over ten years. 

Throughout its 26-year history, Metra has named several of its locomotives and renamed two stations: Ogilvie Transportation Center, which was previously named North Western Station, and Millennium Terminal, which was previously called Randolph Street. No transactions were made in renaming those two stations, however. There is also a Station named after the candy maker Mars, but that station was named before Metra took it over, and the company doesn’t pay Metra for any naming rights. 

I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit

Execuive Director Phil Pagano sees the proposal as a way for businesses to advertise themselves. “I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit,” said Mr. Pagano at a board meeting. In addition to businesses, hospitals located near the train stations could purchase naming rights as well. However, Mr. Pagano has also stated that “the agency would be selective about the type of businesses it partners with.”

Metra has said that it will be sensitive to the wishes of the communities near the stops, and town names will not be removed from station names. Rather, both the municipality and the sponsoring organization would share the naming rights, such as in renaming Naperville Station to “Naperville Boeing Station”. “I’m not sure whether [the old name] is first or second, but definitely it’s going to have to be there,” said Mr. Pagano.

Chicago Metra considers selling naming rights for train lines, stations
»

  • Filed under:
    • Uncategorized