Smithsonian images on Flickr

Reports the Boston Globe

“Grabbing pictures of iconic Smithsonian Institution artifacts just much easier. Before, if you wanted to get a picture of the Wright Brothers’ plane, you could go to the Smithsonian Images Web site and pay for a print or high-resolution image after clicking through several warnings about copyrights and other restrictions – and only if you were a student, teacher or pledging not to use it to make money.

Now, you can just go to the free photo-sharing Web site

A nonprofit group is challenging the copyrights and restrictions on images being sold by the Smithsonian. But instead of going to court, the group downloaded all 6,288 photos online and posted them on Flickr for free.”

Smithsonian images on Flickr

The group behind this move have published a public statement about their actions and intentions.

This is beautiful. Challenging in lots of ways (the metadata that they took with the images gets lost when you download them from Flickr for example) but still beautiful.

Also, the debate about who actually owns the pictures if they were taken my staff who are federal workers?

All the key issues are here and this is one of the most innovative examples of direct action to confront those issues I have seen.