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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

EPA wants your Documerica Photos!

This is from last year, in case you missed it. (I did.):

  • Documerica Returns!, EPA blog (May 2nd, 2011).

    Almost 40 years ago, EPA’s Documerica project captured thousands of images of environmental problems and everyday life. Now it’s your turn!

    On Earth Day 2011, EPA put out a global call for current photos of life and our environment, PLUS a challenge to photograph the ‘now’ of places in Documerica. Your photo could be exhibited around the U.S. in 2012!

    Join In!
    Sign up and submit photos through Flickr!

See also:

EPA wants your environment pictures, issues public photo challenge, by Michael Cooney, Network WorldBy (01/06/12).

Public Contributions to Library of Congress Flickr Commons

A good story with a slide show.

  • History Detectives, by Emily Long, NextGov (05/24/2010)
  • slideshow of some of the photos posted to Flickr with sample comments submitted by the public about the image.

“In January 2008, the Library launched a pilot project with the photo-sharing website Flickr to display publicly held photography collections. The site, called the Commons, offers the public easier access to collections housed in organizations such as the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution, and, hopefully, gathers more details about specific images.”

White House claims copyright of photos on Flickr

White House Makes Full Copyright Claim on Photos, by Kathy Gill The Moderate Voice (Feb 6th, 2010).

The U.S. government policy on photographs and copyright is pretty straightfoward: photos produced by federal employees as part of their job responsibilities are “not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no U.S. copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work.”

Why, then, is the Obama White House asserting that no one but “news organizations” can use its Flickr photos? Why is it asserting that manipulation is prohibited? Why is it asserting that photos may not be used in “commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House”?


NARA on Flickr

The U.S. National Archives joins the Commons!, Flickr blog, (February 1, 2010).

Please welcome the U.S. National Archives to The Commons, the world’s public photography archives on Flickr to which you can contribute information and knowledge.

With over 3,000 images in 49 sets uploaded already, perusing these important archival images should keep you entertained for a long time. Their four collections encompass important Americana, ranging from the famous Mathew Brady Civil War images to historical and iconic images of American history.

The Commons on Flickr

The American Historical Association blog has a nice, short writeup on Flickr: The Commons, where national and state government libraries (including the Library of Congress) are displaying photographs of historical interest.

Unfortunately, there are reports of layoffs at Flickr, including the head of the Commons project.