Connected Open Heritage/How to handle data with unclear copyright status

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Many of the datasets that Wikimedia Sverige is planning to migrate from the Monument database into Wikidata have an unclear copyright status, and sometimes we (the Connected Open Heritage team) might not be able to reach the person who originally provided the data.

In order to ensure that no copyright restrictions are breached under U.S. copyright law (where the Wikimedia servers are located) or European copyright law (as Wikimedia Sverige is a European-based organization) we have identified a number of steps:

  1. Look at the original dataset if possible, to identify the license.
  2. Contact the person who originally provided the data for Wiki Loves Monuments and ask for the copyright status.
  3. Look for information online about the dataset by ourselves, or in cooperation with local Wikimedia organizations.
  4. If no license information about the dataset can be found only a subsection needed for the organization of Wiki Loves Monument will be uploaded. This bare-minimum-approach is meant to ensure that we are following the database regulation, as outlined by Wikimedia Foundation's Legal Team in the report "Wikilegal/Database Rights".

It is also important for us to ensure a good ongoing cooperation with national cultural heritage institutions and we will therefore always err on the side of caution. Please contact alicia.fagerving@wikimedia.se at Wikimedia Sverige if you would like to discuss a particular dataset.

Suggestions for how to further develop our methodology for investigating the copyright status is much appreciated. Please add any comments on the Talk page.