Erik Möller has just emailed this to the communications committee list, and said it can be posted publicly:
“Quick note: The National Portrait Gallery contacted us to see if we can find a compromise regarding the images in question, and we’ve entered good faith discussions with them. Feel free to point this out in relevant places.”
Of course, details on terms, proposals etc. are confidential at this stage. But let’s assume that, interesting as a final verdict might be, neither WMF, the NPG or DCoetzee really want this to come to a legal battle. (The WMF is a charity and broke by definition, the NPG is a government sub-department.) That’s a really good thing. Working with people always beats working against them.
So: what would you like to see in a compromise, that addresses the concerns of all sides? (My initial ideas are here.)
The real problem is funding digitisation — that governments tell galleries they have to make money from copyright on the works in their possession. This was barely workable last century, and is increasingly untenable in this one.
That million pounds the NPG spent on digitisation was taxpayer’s money. We’ve already paid for it. IMO, we should be getting the images at highest resolution completely unencumbered. I don’t hold out hope of this being standard until we get the Ordnance Survey data and the postcode database released, though.
(Also: this blog quoted on the BBC News site.)
(Note: I am on the comcom list, and answer media queries as a WMF volunteer, but opinions on this blog are entirely mine and not WMF’s.)