6,288 Photographs

Are Smithsonian Images Public Domain?

In a Memorandum to the Internet we posited the theory that the SmithsonianImages.Com site was artificially restricting the public domain by asserting copyright on images they did not own. Indeed, the whole point of the public domain is you don't have to ask for permission, yet the Institution had required each and every use to be vetted. Document from Lulu

Since careful examination yielded substantial evidence that the images were indeed in the public domain, they were harvested and uploaded to Flickr, which managed to attract the attention of the relevant authorities.

[View 6,288 Images on Flickr]
[View the Smithsonian's New PD Photostream]



PAPER TRAIL

02.29.08
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MEMORANDUM
An American Celebration
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01.18.08
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OFFER
Grant offer of $50,000 for Commons.
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11.26.06
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PETITION
Letter to Members of Congress Regarding the "Situation."
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06.05.06
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NOTICE
Notice of OIG Audit of Excessive Compensation
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05.09.06
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JUSTIFICATION
From the Regents to the Congress
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04.27.06
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CONCERN EXPRESSED
Dear Secretary Small
pdf
04.27.06
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REASSURANCES
Dear Mr. Malamud - It's most unfortunate!
pdf
04.26.06
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NOTICE
Notice of Intent to Respond At Some Point. Maybe.
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04.17.06
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VOX POPULI
Dear Secretary Small - Expression of Deep Concern!
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04.04.06
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FOIA
To the Intent and Spirit Officer
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TRACKBACK—Boing Boing

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Smithsonian copyright-free images on Flickr — Boing Boing June 19, 2008
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Smithsonian images join the Commons — Boing Boing April 16, 2008
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More scandals surface inside Smithsonian — Boing Boing December 28, 2007
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TRACKBACK—Washington Post

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Museum Ousts Gary Beer For Excess Expenses — Washington Post August 2, 2007
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Small Intervened in Smithsonian Insurance — Washington Post June 26, 2007
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Secrecy Pervaded Smithsonian on Small's Watch — Washington Post June 21, 2007
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Museum's Deputy Secretary Resigns — Washington Post June 19, 2007
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Small's House Rarely Used For Business — Washington Post April 19, 2007
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Smithsonian's Small Quits in Wake of Inquiry — Washington Post March 27, 2007
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Senate Pushes for Smithsonian Reform — Washington Post March 23, 2007
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Former IG Says Small Asked Her To Drop Audit — Washington Post March 20, 2007
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Smithsonian Documents Detail Chief's Expenses — Washington Post March 19, 2007
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Report Scrutinizes Smithsonian Salaries — Washington Post January 31, 2007
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Smithsonian Deal With Showtime Passes Muster — Washington Post December 16, 2006
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The Nation's Attic, Underpriced — Washington Post June 10, 2006
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Smithsonian Hands Over TV Contract — Washington Post May 26, 2006
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Smithsonian TV Contract Spurs Panel To Cut Funds — Washington Post May 5, 2006
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Capitol Hill Joins Criticism of Smithsonian Film Deal — Washington Post April 29, 2006
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Historians Protest Smithsonian's Deals — Washington Post April 26, 2006
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Ken Burns Gives Voice to Filmmakers' Concerns — Washington Post April 19, 2006
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