Submissions/Debating Bridgeman v Corel in a Wiki Era

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


This submission was generously made on my behalf.
It should be read as part of Submissions/The Great Debate. It is not a separate submission.

Wittylama (talk) 05:37, 20 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Title of the submission
Debating Bridgeman v Corel in a Wiki Era
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Liam Wyatt (by way of Andrew Lih)
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

What is the state of public domain content in the wiki era? This panel will address the copyrightability of faithful reproductions of works, primarily dealing with the case of Bridgeman Art Library v Corel Corp. In that seminal ruling, which drew on US and UK law, it was deemed "exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright in the United States because the copies lack originality." [1] Because of that ruling, Wikimedia Commons has a wide latitude to incorporate public domain works in its collection. But what lies in store for public domain works going forward?

A possible format for the session would be to perform a mock trial, to re-test the concepts in that 1999 case, to see how those findings and rulings have stood the test of time, and how they relate to a world with many more free (libre) content efforts and repositories. Some possible questions for debate and discussion.

  • How has this affected what Wikimedia projects can do, how does it affect how Wikimedia interacts with the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sector?
  • How has Bridgeman v Corel affected how the GLAM community chooses to participate in free culture efforts?
  • What are some positive and negative outcomes of the Bridgeman v Corel case?
  • Are the underpinnings of Bridgeman v Corel likely to change anytime soon, and should they?
  • How have rulings in places other than the US/UK affected the status of reproducing public domain content?

Possible panelists:

  • Liam Wyatt, former GLAM Wikipedian in Residence at the British Museum (organizer)
  • Geoff Brigham, General Counsel Wikimedia Foundation (?) or Mike Godwin, former General Counsel Wikimedia Foundation
  • People from the GLAM sector specifically knowledgeable about the state of public domain and art collections
  • Jack Lerner, Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic (via Andrew Lih)

More to be added.

WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education
Length of presentation/talk
60 minute panel/debate
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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  1. CT Cooper · talk 17:50, 19 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Johnbod (talk) 13:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Add your username here.