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Advent Wreath Centerpieces

By Kristina Keller-Wilczek

The process of Christmas decorating itself is a wonderful time of anticipation. A fun way to mark the time and add to the excitement of counting down the days is with a beautiful Advent wreath. Not only will the lighting of each candle bring you closer to Christmas, but you’ll have a perfect Christmas centerpiece for your holiday gatherings.

You may wonder why the Advent wreath is a table top Christmas centerpiece and not a hanging decoration. Advent literally means ‘coming’ and the Latin adventus is a translation of the Greek word for ‘second coming’. The four weeks before Christmas is spent in preparation for the celebration of the ‘coming’. The Advent wreath traditionally has four candles which are lit each week prior to Christmas and sometimes a fifth candle to be lit on Christmas. Because of the addition of candles to this style of Christmas wreath, an Advent wreath is usually laid flat on a table.

The option of hanging is still available if you are adventurous in your decorating. These wreaths were often hung level to the ground from the ceiling. As you can imagine, a large wreath in this style would make an impressive display hanging over a table.

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Beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas, one candle is lit. Each Sunday after, the previous candle(s) are lit along with the new one. You can add ceremony by talking with your family about the symbolism of each week. The first candle represents Hope, the second Love, the third Joy, and the fourth Peace. If you add a fifth candle, it goes in the middle and symbolizes Christmas.

To create your own Christmas table decorations, you only need a few items and a little creativity. You can choose a pre-made wreath, a round foam base, an Advent frame (which will have the candle holders in it) or use wire and shape your own. Select a size and style that is suitable for your table and sits level. Attach cut or artificial greenery to fill in your frame.

Next, space four candle holders and candles evenly around your wreath. You can find florist candle holders with a spike to go into foam, wrap candles with wire or insert single candle sticks into your display. Traditionally, purple candles are used because they are the color of the vestments priests wear during Advent and are considered penitent. In the third week, however, rose colored vestments are worn to represent rejoicing and the third candle is pink. If you can not find these colors, you can use white or ivory candles.

Your decorations can be as simple as ribbon or as elaborate as Christmas wreaths for the front door. Depending on how big your piece is, add in pinecones, seedpods, ornaments, fruits or bells. Just remember, you will be lighting candles so keep your decorations low and soak your greenery if you are using cut plants.

Be inspired by the idea of gathering around your centerpiece for each candle’s lighting and imagine how your Advent wreath will bring the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace of the season to your Christmas table. How wonderful to have a centerpiece that means so much as a way adding beauty to the room and embodying the excitement of preparing for Christmas!

About the Author: Have you ever wanted to decorate your home for the holidays like a pro? Kristina teaches the elements of interior design and holiday decorating by sharing knowledge she has learned over 25 years working with everyone from celebrity personalities to kindergarten teachers. She empowers people to create beauty in their homes with their own hands and personal style at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional designer.

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Hurricane-force winds kill 15 people as storm hits Europe

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Hurricane-force winds kill 15 people as storm hits Europe

Sunday, January 25, 2009

As a storm swept across parts of France and Spain on Saturday and Sunday, it left 15 people dead. Its winds were recorded up to 190km/h (118 mph), which are hurricane-force winds.

The storm made landfall near to Bordeaux, France at 5:00 am Central European Time on Saturday the 24th January. It traveled south-eastwards towards the south-east coast of France throughout Saturday morning, finally reaching there at 1:00 pm. It is expected to head north-eastwards over Italy and the Adriatic Sea, but without causing damage. Low pressure systems are fairly common in Europe at this time of year. Some reports have called it the storm of the decade; BBC meteorologist Alex Deakin said “Saturday’s storm is being described as the most damaging since that of December 1999 which killed 88 people.”

Four children aged between 9 and 12 died at a sports hall in Sant Boi de Llobregat, near Barcelona. The children intended on playing baseball, but sought shelter inside a covered area made of concrete with a corrugated iron roof. The structure collapsed, as a result of the wind. Local people and fire-fighters were at the scene in aiding children to escape the rubble. Three children died at the scene, a fourth died in hospital and 16 have been treated for injuries.

Other fatalities include a woman, who died after a wall collapsed and a man struck by a falling tree in the Barcelona area. In Landes, south-west France, a falling tree struck a driver; a 78-year-old man was hit by debris and another man, aged 75, was crushed by a tree. A wall crushed a man in Aigues de Busot in the south-east of Spain. A policeman was struck by a falling tree as he directed traffic in Burela and a sailor from a cargo ship died when the vessel got into trouble off the coast of Galicia. In Burgos, Spain, a woman was crushed by a door.

Approximately 1.7 million homes in France and tens of thousands of homes in Spain experienced power cuts. A woman, aged 73, died in France after a power-outage stopped her breathing machine. Road and rail links were blocked and airports closed. Airports in Bordeaux, Biarritz, Pau and Toulouse were shut, as well as train services, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded overnight.

Michèle Alliot-Marie, the French interior minister, stated that in addition to the 300 civil security agents located in the Landes region of France, another 715 agents would be deployed. She also expressed her intent to fly there today, after the high winds have decreased. French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters he would travel to the affected area tomorrow. In Bordeaux’s Gironde region, 19 residents of a retirement home were evacuated by rescuers following its rooftop being blown away. Authorities have also evacuated campers from the pine forests in Landes.

Thousands were evacuated from nearby housing estates in La Nucía, north of Benidorm in Alicante, as the Spanish Army helped to fight a forest fire, which was started by a felled electricity pylon. There were also forest fires in the region of Catalonia, while Spain put emergency services on high alert. Waves over 20 metres high were registered off the northern coast of Spain and dolphins were stranded on beaches in the region as a result of high winds.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Caring For Granite Countertops In Tucson, Az

byAlma Abell

Many homeowners in Tucson are interested in purchasing granite kitchen or bathroom countertops but they’re unsure of how to properly care for a natural stone surface. Surprisingly, granite countertops in Tucson are easy to clean and maintain with a little know-how. If you’d love to upgrade to granite but are worried about the upkeep, keep reading to learn the simple do’s and don’t of caring for this popular countertop material.

Do Clean With a Mild Detergent

For everyday cleaning, granite responds best to warm water and a mild dish detergent. Alternately, you can use a cleaner made specifically for the care of granite countertops. These products are available from your countertop manufacturer or your local hardware store.

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Don’t Clean With Acidic Products

To keep from scratching granite countertops in Tucson, avoid cleaning it with products that are highly acidic or abrasive. Never use scouring pads or powders or any cleaners that contain lemon, vinegar, or bleach. These products can damage granite, especially if it hasn’t been sealed recently.

Do Re-Seal Each Year

To resist scratching and damage, granite countertops need to be sealed periodically. Generally, you’ll need to re-seal your granite around once each year. However, in heavily-used areas like the kitchen, many experts recommend re-sealing granite countertops every 6 months instead. If you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer of your granite countertops.

Don’t Neglect Spills

When spills happen, be sure to clean them up immediately. Water or other liquids can permeate the sealed surface of granite if you let them sit for too long. To clean spills, blot the wet area gently with a dry, clean cloth.

Do Remove Stains Correctly

With natural stone, there’s a right way and a wrong way to remove stains. For organic food-based stains, cleaning the affected area with a solution made from hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia will usually do the trick. Oil-based stains should be removed with a poultice made of baking soda and water. For water steel wool pad to gently buff out the dark spot.

With a little bit of knowledge, granite countertops are simple to clean and maintain. For more information about having granite installed in your kitchen or bathroom, visit Daviskitchens-az.com.

Brazil women’s national wheelchair basketball team loses first game in its 2012 Paralympic campaign

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Brazil women’s national wheelchair basketball team loses first game in its 2012 Paralympic campaign

Friday, August 31, 2012

London, England — Last night at London’s Paralympic Basketball Arena, the Brazil women’s national wheelchair basketball team kept it close in a game with the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team before losing 52–50 to Australia. Brazil trailed by four with 32.3 seconds left in the game, narrowed the gap to two points with 1.3 seconds left but were unable to score in the final second.

4.5 point player Lia Maria Soares Martin dominated for Brazil, scoring over half the team’s points with 27 total. She led her team on defense with half the team’s rebounds, pulling down 14 of them. The Belém native 24 year old who will celebrate her 25th birthday during the Paralympics plays club basketball for All Star Rodas, Belem.

Brazil played aggressive basketball, with five players earning personal fouls including Soares Martin with 4, Debora Crislina Guimaraes de Costa and Lucicleia da Costa e Costa with 3 each, and Cleonete de Nazare Santos and Cintia Mariana Lopes de Carvalho with 1 each. The Brazilians pinched Australian players several times by trying to force them to go over their wheelchairs and lose their balance. Sportsmanship was still on display, with the Brazilians helping to set Australia’s Kylie Gauci upright after Gauci’s wheelchair tipped over.

Brazil competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics where they did not win a single match. They are scheduled to play the next game of their London campaign this Saturday against Great Britain.

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

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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.

Wikinews Shorts: May 2, 2007

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Wikinews Shorts: May 2, 2007

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


England’s Football Association complains over missed goal

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England’s Football Association complains over missed goal

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The English Football Association (FA) has complained after broadcaster ITV cut away to an advertisement just before a winning goal in a match.

The match, an FA Cup Merseyside derby between Everton F.C. and Liverpool F.C., was in extra time after 118 minutes without a goal when ITV’s automated advertisement server, designed for use only during ordinary programming, began playing out commercials. During this time, Everton’s Dan Gosling scored the winning goal. In some regions the system returned to the match just before the goal, but viewers in the south of England saw only the celebrations after the goal.

Michael Grade, executive chairman of ITV, admitted to ITN that the broadcast had been a shambles and said that “yellow or red cards” would go to those responsible once it was established how it happened. ITV has received over 1,000 complaints. ITV has previously had issues with FA Cup coverage. The Histon F.C.Leeds United A.F.C. game managed to include swearing from Leeds fans and scenes of a naked player, whilst heavy rain marred picture quality.

The FA’s statement on this issue said “It is obviously very disappointing that viewers and fans did not see the only goal of last night’s FA Cup replay between Everton and Liverpool. Clearly we are seeking a full explanation from ITV as to why this happened. It is important that lessons are learned and that this does not happen again”.

Facebook Hidden Chronicles Cheat

Facebook Hidden Chronicles Cheat

by

Efrain Francis

Ones uncle s mysterious death may be the catalyst for the adventure, but soon enough you ll end up drawn into a grand journey that spans time and space. A unique ability that will lets your character see into the history of objects gives a simple excuse to travel to distant places in seek of clues.

The basic HOG gameplay is kind of typical too. Just about every scene presents you which includes a mess of objects and a list of what needs to get found. There s no time limit, but you re encouraged to go quickly to be able to rack up more items, which are then compiled on a leaderboard which you could compare with friends. But while the scenes don t offer much in the way of innovative features — you now have a standard recharging hint attribute and certain scenes involve simple mini-games — they\’re just incredibly well done. The art is excellent, with subtle animations to spice up each scene, but more importantly the item placement is about perfect. When you can t find something it s rarely given it was hidden in an unfair way.

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Playing with the game involves exploring scenes multiple times, which may be annoying, but is made a smaller amount so thanks to the sheer amount of objects in each stage. Your list is always changing and so even after playing a scene multiple times you will have new things for that you find.

As with the majority of social games, there s a virtual space that you decorate in Hidden Chronicles, and you ll actually need to do so in order to help unlock new scenes together with chapters to play as a result of. Typically this serves as a nice distraction, though some buildings force you to find friends to interact on the action. Similar to the community buildings in CityVille, several structures in Hidden Chronicles ought to be staffed with friends so as to complete them. And the bigger the building, the more staff it does take. There s also a pleasing exploration element, as well, just like in CastleVille in which the area surrounding your space can be explored to open in place new scenes and subject material.

You can of path visit your friends spaces, nevertheless typical do five ways to help out feature isn t present. Alternatively, you can hide a variety of somewhere on their property and challenge them to a game of Rapidly Find. This mini-game is usually arguably the stand-out feature of Hidden Chronicles, permitting you to challenge friends to fast-paced HOG measures. You\’ve got just 60 seconds to uncover as many objects as they can and your friend will do the same. And whoever gets the highest total wins. You can challenge friends daily, and the game keeps a running score to your win/loss record, providing a nice incentive to win. It s the many fun of Bejeweled Blitz but with HOG play as opposed to match-3.

When coupled using a solid and engaging single-player manner, the following asynchronous, competitive social play turns Hidden Stories into an almost excellent social HOG.

Hidden Chronicles Hack

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Leo Babauta is the writer of The Power of Less and also the creator and blogger with Zen Habits, a highly regarded 25 blog (consistent with TIME magazine) with 200, 000 subscribers among the list of top productivity and simplicity blogs on the internet.

Babauta is considered as a result of many to be among the list of leading experts on output and simplicity, and in addition has written the top-selling productivity e-book of all time: Zen To help Done: The ultimate Simple Produ

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Evidence of ‘shattered moon’ found inside rings of Saturn

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Evidence of ‘shattered moon’ found inside rings of Saturn
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scientists say that floating inside Saturn‘s rings are pieces of what they believe to be a “shattered moon,” according to images captured by NASA’s spacecraft Cassini–Huygens.

The scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder looked at the images which were captured in 2004, and found what they call “moonlets” or large pieces ranging from the size of a stadium to a semi truck, of what they say are the remains of a large moon which was likely destroyed when a comet or asteroid slammed into it.

“This is the first evidence of a moonlet belt in any of Saturn’s rings. We have firmly established these moonlets exist in a relatively narrow region of the “A” ring, and the evidence indicates they are remnants of a larger moon that was shattered by a meteoroid or comet,” said one of the researchers, Miodrag Sremcevic.

The Cassini spacecraft captures eight new propeller-like features within Saturn’s A ring in what may be the propeller “hot zone” of Saturn’s rings. Propeller features form around small moonlets that are not massive enough to clear out ring material, but are still able to pull smaller ring particles into a shape reminiscent of an airplane propeller. Scientists believe that propellers represent moonlet wakes, which are denser than the surrounding ring material and appear bright in the images. The length of the belt in which the moonlets were discovered is almost 2,000 miles long.

Scientists estimate that the size of the moon was relative to the size of Pan, the innermost moon of Saturn. It only measures 20 miles wide at its widest point.

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