Wikipedia hits back at National Portrait Gallery in image row

Wikipedia has accused London's National Portrait Gallery of betraying its public service mission as the row over the encyclopedia's use of images from the gallery's website escalates, reports the BBC. The gallery is threatening legal action after 3,300 images from its website were uploaded to Wikipedia and has said it needs to recoup the £1m cost of its digitisation programme. It also claims Wikipedia has misrepresented its position.Blogging on the row, Wikimedia's deputy director Erik Moeller had the following to say: "It is hard to see a plausible argument that excluding public domain content from a free, non-profit encyclopaedia serves any public interest whatsoever".
The gallery, however denies claims that it has been "locking up and limiting access to educational materials", saying that it has been a pioneer in making its material available. The BBC reports that The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has backed the National Portrait Gallery's stance, including the following statement in an email to its members:"If owners of out of copyright material are not going to have the derivative works they have created protected, which will result in anyone being able to use then for free, they will cease to invest in the digitisation of works, and everyone will be the poorer."

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