Israeli government openly licenses all images they own

December 18, 2012 in News

Yesterday, the Israeli Wikimedia chapter made a big announcement. After years of discussion and struggle, the government of Israel announced that it is adopting a governing principle that depicts free reuse of images that are owned by the government. Until now, the use of these images was limited, and only available for a for a fee and after approval from the government.

In an euphoric reaction Wikimedia announced this yesterday on their blog. The only regret is that the government does not recommend a full open license but the Creative Commons license that prohibits derivative works (CC-BY-ND). This means that the images can not be used to create new works. Because these are principles, it is now up to the ministers to implement these and they have the freedom to choose a license that allows commercial reuse, or not. Wikimedia Israel notes that they will be involved in this proces and keep working on a truly free and open world where all works can be reused without any restrictions.

The Israeli government acknowledges that the current copyright system does not work for their digital images anymore and therefore decided to take this step. This has also been thoroughly discussed during the OpenGLAM workshop in Israel in November. By doing this, they now are leading the way by making images that were created with public money, also available to the public.

We congratulate the Israeli Wikimedia chapter with this great success.

A more thorough article can be found on the blog of Netzpolitik (German)

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