How to choose a college major

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 23rd, 2020  |  No Comments »

Selecting the right degree is a great challenge facing both adults and high school graduates. How to choose a college major is a key ingredient needed to ensure that the future turns to be a significant and most enjoyable investment that a student either in college or high awaits. Attaining a degree calls for adequate time and dedicated effort. A well paying investment is the expected return of undertaking a degree. The interest that students seek when choosing a college major differ.

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The first reason that poses the difference in interest that students have when choosing college major is the ability of undertaking a profession that will eventually make end meet by offering them a job just after graduation. A degree that will provide adequate pay for you to travel around the globe is also one of the requirements that students take when choosing their college majors. A college major that can earn you an esteemed role in an organization as well as the community is one that some students consider as a factor when choosing their majors.

From the above views, you can see that many people advance their education due to several reasons. The major reason for this is to earn a considerable amount of income. An excellent income is one that can permit an individual to enjoy a better or an outstanding lifestyle, a first-class home, incredible vocations and tours as well good life for your children now or in the future. After a careful analysis of the reasons why we choose different college majors, a common question arises. The type of degree that can earn you enough income in your life as well as the easiest degree to earn is the key question that this article tries to explain.

Two to three years ago, the National Association of Colleges and Employers released figures indicating the highest paying majors. An interesting appeal was identified. The well paying majors on the list were engineering degree such as chemical engineering, Mining and Mineral engineering and Petroleum Engineering. In addition, to the above engineering majors, Information Science and Computer science degrees are also well paying. The technicalities involved in such degree makes students to avoid them hence increasing their market demand.

Business related majors have dropped their ranks due to influx of people in these professions making their demand less in the market. However, inclusion of business major as private degree is an added advantage to a job seeker.

After understanding how to choose a college major, the next task is to find ways of earning these high-paying degrees. Despite the fact that earning this degree seems to be a hard task, there are many ways of making it easier. The easiest way to earn these types of degree thanks to the internet is through online programs. Online programs are efficient and effective ways of learning as they are flexible-they can be taken anywhere. A computer and internet connection are the only things needed to undertake these degrees. Online programs are convenient ways or earning high-paying degrees.

Financial Planning Is Backbone of Successful Business

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 22nd, 2020  |  No Comments »

With many years of experience in the accounting industry, E-Accountants (one of the leading Accounting firms in Surrey, UK) offers accounting, taxation, payroll, bookkeeping to customers throughout the local area. Founded in 1994, the business is situated between Richmond and Kew. The firm is a member of the Institute of Chartered accountants in England and Wales and has their mark of practice assurance.

For more information specifically about financial planning services click the link

What is the bottom-line of any business? Well, it is profit making continuously and attaining prosperity ultimately. Whether a Corporate Business or individual or privately held business, this is the thumb rule. And only through keeping records and books of accounts properly, one can tell at any point of time whether the business is heading the right way.

Controlling the input of financial investments made in the business and making the right strategies of financial planning are vital for successfully running any business.

Financial planning is a very vast subject that can be understood and executed by professionals on the accounting line. The branches of financial planning include, but not limited to – book keeping, accounting, auditing, controlling and skillfully managing taxation due to the government and finally arriving at profit making, through all these indispensable tasks in a concerted manner.

If only each and every concept described above are undertaken efficiently and effectively by neutral third party Accountants, who are experienced professionals solely on this line, any business can have the precise picture of what is happening in the business.

For example, if you are an entrepreneur starting a new business or owning a business house already existing in London, UK, you can seek the assistance of Accountancy Firms in London. They are professionals running a comprehensive service provider job for the needy, in the capacity of Chartered Accountants in London or Bookkeeping Services, London.

What they can do for you is – undertaking your business as their valuable clients; interacting with you on all accounting matters – A to Z with regard to Accounts, Accountancy and Bookkeeping, Business Plans and Forecasts, Financial Reporting and looking after all tax-related matters like Corporate Tax, Capital Gain Tax etc. In addition they can undertake preparation and submission of all the returns, due to the government from time to time.

Because they are professionals experienced in this line of service for years and owing to the fact that they are freelancers – not entwined as such with any particular company or corporate business – they can view the financial matters of your business nonchalantly as a neutral third party – without any bias. From the experience gained in maintaining the account books of many businesses, they know for sure where the pitfalls may exist in your account books and how to set them right.

This way you are guaranteed with their expert guidance and advice in running your day-to-day business transactions with clinical precision. You can rest assured that your whole business accounting is vested with professional care. Your business will be a law-abiding one, by the timely submission of necessary tax and other returns to the government.

In fact you will be saving considerable money, by appropriate tax planning as advised by these professionals. You will agree that money saved is money earned. Therefore considering every aspects of it, you have everything to gain by engaging the services of these Bookkeeping Services in London.

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Business Energy And Reducing Costs

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 21st, 2020  |  No Comments »

Modern businesses are considering their environmental impact more than ever before. This not only makes good ecological sense, but it’s also wise from public relations and financial points of view too.

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Customers like to feel that they are buying from a responsible business, so making your green credentials known can make sound business sense. Plus, with the cost of business energy seemingly rising month by month, saving energy can have a direct impact on the bottom line. Becoming more environmentally friendly needn’t require a major overhaul of your business practises – following a few simple guidelines can make a real difference with minimal effort. 

Heating & Cooling

One of the major costs in any office is heating, or in summer, cooling. Many offices never seem to find the correct balance, and end up either too hot or too cold. A generally accepted temperature for office work is 22 degrees. Set the thermostat to this level and everyone should find it comfortable. Remember in winter to keep doors and windows closed where possible. In summer, close blinds to keep direct sunlight from heating the room and overworking air conditioning systems. 

Finally, make sure the last person to leave the office turns heating or cooling off before leaving the room. Better still, use a timer – with settings to cover bank holidays – to automate the heating.

Electrical Items

Consider, too, electrical equipment such as computers, mobile phone chargers and any devices that consume power when not being used. For the sake of a few minutes each morning, turn off equipment rather than leave it on standby. The proliferation of chargers for mobile phones and other devices has meant many workplaces have multiple devices plugged in permanently. In many cases, these devices continue to use power even when they are not charging, so unplugging them will cut consumption instantly.


It is, of course, important that your workplace is well lit. Most offices will utilise strip lights which do provide bright illumination, but they may not be the most energy efficient solution. One alternative is conventional low energy lighting, although some users complain about the quality of light and long warm up times. New LED lighting is now appearing on the market, and this can provide bright, clear light with very low energy consumption. Remember you only need to illuminate areas in use – for infrequently used areas, consider an automatic infrared switch to control lighting.

With just a little thought and the right Business Management Articles, it is possible to make simple changes that have a positive impact on your business and future costs. Remember to let your customers know you are doing your bit for the environment – they will appreciate it!

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Simple Ways for Schools to Save Electricity

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 20th, 2020  |  No Comments »

Looking for savings in electricity is one of the simplest ways for schools to collectively save millions of pounds a year. We’ve found that although the government allows schools the freedom to buy their energy where they choose, many schools simply don’t take advantage of this flexibility and opportunity to save.

As a result, many educational establishments are paying more than they need to for their gas and electricity. By saving on electricity for schools, this money could be allocated towards other areas and put directly towards education.

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Did you know? Lighting comprises almost 50% of the electricity for schools.

How much are schools paying for electricity?

Figures from the Department for Education show that schools pay an average of £27 000 per year on energy, with some of the larger schools paying up to £80 000!

Like businesses, schools should shop around to cut their energy bills. There’s also more to saving electricity for schools than reducing energy tariffs – schools should also look to reducing energy consumption from within. However, we know this can be easier said than done.

Top Tips for Easy Energy Saving

?Involve the whole school in saving electricity and have your students come up with ideas to secure energy savings.
?Switch desktop computers for laptop computers as these consume far less energy.
?Use Energy-Star appliances that use energy more efficiently.
?Replace all of your incandescent lights with LED or energy-efficient fluorescents (they cost a little more upfront, but last 10 times as long and are four times more efficient).
?Turn off lights when not in use.
?Having your heating on a timer that comes on in the morning and is turned off at night.
?Check that buildings are properly insulated.
?Try to use natural lighting as much as possible.
Longer-term energy-efficient investments can include:
?Installation of solar panels
?Re-insulating your buildings
?Upgrading your heating and cooling systems
?Investing in new energy-efficient equipment
Smarter Business is here to help schools save on energy. We will do the legwork of comparing contracts and negotiating deals on your school’s behalf. We’ll also take this a couple of steps further by helping you understand your school’s consumption and identifying areas for potential savings.
Contact Smarter Business today to talk to a consultant about your electricity for schools procurement, management, and strategy requirements. Source:

Home Remedies For Sweaty Palms – Treating This Problem Naturally

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 13th, 2020  |  No Comments »

Sweating of the palms is due to hyperactivity of the glands in the body, it is also known as Palmar Hyperhidrosis. Sweating of palms could sometimes be due to nervousness or tension.

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Palmar Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of the palms is due to the hyperactivity of the glands in the body. When the nervous system gets simulated, it results in sweating to control the body temperature. The sweating occurring on the palms could sometimes be due to nervousness or tension which imbalances the body temperature and results in sweating to cool the temperature. It could also occur temporarily during fever, when the palms sweat a lot and become cold. It is a condition of great discomfort and irritation as day to day activities are hampered. For instance it could be very embarrassing for someone with sweaty palms to shake hands with someone else at a formal meeting or for someone on a date wanting to hold his partner’s hand.

Some home remedies for sweaty palms are easy and economical and help in relief from the sticky palms.

Two cups of water can be boiled with 4 teabags in it. After the water cools a little, hands can be soaked in it for 20-25 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea acts as an antiperspirant, as it has astringent properties. The tea bags can also be held in the hand for 20-25 minutes, 2-3 times a day, to reduce perspiration as the tannic acid blocks the pores and helps the skin’s surface to thicken a bit.  The colour of the hands may change for a while but it becomes faint later and disappears completely.

Sage tea acts on the nerves of the brain and helps in reducing tension. Thus it is one of the best home remedies for sweaty palms.

Epsom salt has many properties that work wonders for health, whether it is consumed in a food item or used externally. It can be added to boiling water, which should be left to cool a little. The hands can then be soaked in the water for 20-25 minutes to help control sweating.

Boric acid has always been used for curing athletes’ foot, which is caused mainly because of excessive sweating. It can similarly be used for sweaty palms. A lot of boric acid can be sprinkled into cotton gloves, which can be worn for about a couple of hours. After a few hours, the hands should be washed thoroughly to get rid of the boric acid, but the medicinal properties will continue to work and control the sweat in the sweaty palms.  

A little baking soda can be mixed to lukewarm water and hands can be soaked in it for 20-25 minutes. This home treatment if repeated over a few days is very effective in preventing sweat on the palms.

Alum powder is another one of the effective home remedies for sweaty palms. It can be sprinkled on the palms to get relief. The alum powder can be applied several times during the day to block the pores of the palms and prevent them from sweating.  

In extreme cases, when one experiences excessive sweating due to thyroid problems or low blood sugar levelsFree Articles, immediate medical advice must be taken. Thoracic sympathectomy is a simple operation recommended by doctors for those who are embarrassed with excessive sweaty palms.

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I Got Over My Fear Of Automatic Pool Cleaners – Here’s Why

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 10th, 2020  |  No Comments »

Every spring, there are millions of people dreading the possibility of getting their pools ready for summer time fun. The idea of swimming pool upkeep doesn’t electrify me at all but it is crucial in order to enjoy the benefits of Summer family fun. For those with pools, you know exactly what I mean.

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If you’re one of those people who reach for the long pole and began scraping the bottom of the pool for a couple of hours my heart goes out to you. This is an demanding process that can undoubtedly be done with an automatic pool cleaner. Now with the help of modern technology, your robot can do the job for you instead.

Should you use up hours maintaining your swimming pool manually when the task can be accomplished automatically? Pool cleaning robots have existed for quite a while. They come in a variety of styles and shapes colors and complexity and execute a variety of tasks around the swimming pool.

Although these units come with a lot of advantages, but the most important one to consider is the savings you get in time energy and money. Here’s a brief example of how these units do their job. It’s actually very intriguing.

Automatic swimming pool cleaners are really robotic vacuum cleaners or pressure cleaners that work in opposite ways to achieve the same thing. The force of the water from the pressure cleaner mixes the debris components and forces it into the filtration system.

These underwater vacuum cleaners go to work on the trash and sucks it into the pool’s filter system. The very posh high-end pools have their robotic systems built in at the time of development. They also appear in both flavors; vacuum system or pressure system.

Many of the sophisticated systems can be discovered in private clubs and resorts around the world. The monthly charges for pool service can add up over time and you are not guaranteed consistent quality either.. Your automated swimming pool cleaner can give you consistent service and significant savings for years to come.

Having a pool person working in your home, there was always the issue of security as well as uneven service to consider. Automatic pool cleaners can be bought for as little as $150 all the way up to several thousand. Because they work off your existing pump and filter system there is no need for extra booster pumps or other expensive equipment.

Choose from a large selection of cleaners that can handle just a few tasks to those that will do everything but serve you coffee. If you have an in ground swimming pool there are models specifically designed for you; the same is true if you have an aboveground swimming pool. Look for manufacturers warranties as well as the extended versions.

You’ll find some of the big names in vacuum cleaning among the makers of swimming pool cleaners. A lot of the reputable companies have contributed their brands along with manufacturers well known for their line of aquatic cleaning equipment.

A lot of of the promonent vacuum companies have their aquatic divisions but the major players like Polaris and Aquabot dominate the market. They make robots that can clean the walls of the swimming pool and climb up to the waterline. These units usually offer a quick clean function as well as a longer complete cleaning mode for comprehensive mantainance.

I fully recommend automatic swimming pool cleaners for the job of swimming pool mantainance.. I’ve discovered that my unit continues to give very good service even after a full year of use. Go ahead and take the time to check out the various models to find one that can work for you.

Energy Efficient Electrical Ideas

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 8th, 2020  |  No Comments »

As technology rapidly advances, our homes are filling with televisions, computers, lights, kitchen appliances and other items that increase our electricity bills a little more each month. However, there are many little steps you can take in your home to increase your energy efficiency, lower your bills and do right by Mother Earth.

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1. Unplug everything! Even when appliances are off, you may notice a little LED light that blinks to indicate that they are in sleep or standby mode. These devices are called phantoms; they continue to consume energy even when not in use. To prevent this, unplug devices that you are not using. For an easy solution, plug these phantoms in to a power cord or outlet with an on and off switch. That way, you can reduce usage with just a flick of a switch.

2. Say goodbye to old light bulbs. Replace your old incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb. These energy-saving bulbs use half the amount of energy to produce the same amount of light as a traditional incandescent bulb. The compact fluorescent bulbs also require less maintenance, most only needing to be changed every four years. This reduces waste and CO2 emissions caused by the production of light bulbs. Though it will require an investment to change all of your light bulbs, they will pay for themselves in less than a year as they use up to 75% less electricity.

3. Add a fan. An electric fan will move air in a space and create a cooler atmosphere and reduce your air conditioner use. An electric fan can cool up room by up to 2°C. If you still find your space too hot and need to use an air conditioner, check to make sure your filters are clean. Dirty filters block air movement through the unit, causing it to have to work harder to cool your space.

4. Incorporate window shading. Install new covers, awnings and additional screens to shelter you from the sun. There are also many windows and window coverings that are treated to block UV rays and keep your home cool.

5. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances. If your appliances are more than ten years old, now is the time to update. New appliances will be a big investment, but will be worthwhile in energy savings, effectiveness and increased property value. When purchasing new appliances, always look for the energy-star rating to know that it meets industry standards for energy efficiency. Shop for appliances that are the right sizes for your household to ensure you are not consuming extra energy for no reason; a family of two requires a smaller fridge than a family of five.

By paying attention to small details around your house, you can lessen your expenses and your carbon footprint. Keep in mind that every little bit helps and small steps can lead to big changes.

French teacher returns home after being held in Iran for ten months

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 01 7th, 2020  |  No Comments »

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

24-year-old Clotilde Reiss, a French teaching assistant who had been detained in Iran for ten months, returned to France Sunday.

Iranian officials arrested Reiss as she was about to leave the country on July 1, 2009. The arrest came after she had attended a protest regarding the country’s elections, with the officials calling her a foreign spy. Reiss was in Iran for a five-month teaching position in Isfahan, and was later sent from Tehran’s Evin Prison to the French Embassy on bail. During the trial, which included over 100 others thought to be trying to cause a coup, she pleaded not guilty and said that she only went to the protest because she was curious. Reiss was originally given two five-year sentences of jail time for spying and provoking unrest, but the sentence was reduced to a 300 billion IRR fine, or about USD300,000. Reiss’ lawyer said that the money was given on Saturday, freeing the young academic.

Reiss landed at Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base Sunday afternoon. She met French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace in Paris shortly after. Sarkozy later released a statement thanking the presidents of Brazil, Senegal, and Syria for aiding in Reiss’ return, but did not elaborate on the role each played.

The governments of both France and Iran have denied rumors that Reiss’ freedom was part of a deal involving two Iranians in France. One of the two, Majid Kakavand, was released a couple of weeks ago after France refused on May 5 to extradite him to the U.S. The other, Ali Vakili Rad, will likely receive parole and return to Iran later today. Kakavand had supposedly tried to give U.S. goods to the Iranian military, while Rad was responsible for the assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar in 1991.

U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 12 25th, 2019  |  No Comments »

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London has threatened on Friday to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery’s copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.

In a letter from their solicitors sent to Coetzee via electronic mail, the NPG asserted that it holds copyright in the photographs under U.K. law, and demanded that Coetzee provide various undertakings and remove all of the images from the site (referred to in the letter as “the Wikipedia website”).

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free-to-use media, run by a community of volunteers from around the world, and is a sister project to Wikinews and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Coetzee, who contributes to the Commons using the account “Dcoetzee”, had uploaded images that are free for public use under United States law, where he and the website are based. However copyright is claimed to exist in the country where the gallery is situated.

The complaint by the NPG is that under UK law, its copyright in the photographs of its portraits is being violated. While the gallery has complained to the Wikimedia Foundation for a number of years, this is the first direct threat of legal action made against an actual uploader of images. In addition to the allegation that Coetzee had violated the NPG’s copyright, they also allege that Coetzee had, by uploading thousands of images in bulk, infringed the NPG’s database right, breached a contract with the NPG; and circumvented a copyright protection mechanism on the NPG’s web site.

The copyright protection mechanism referred to is Zoomify, a product of Zoomify, Inc. of Santa Cruz, California. NPG’s solicitors stated in their letter that “Our client used the Zoomify technology to protect our client’s copyright in the high resolution images.”. Zoomify Inc. states in the Zoomify support documentation that its product is intended to make copying of images “more difficult” by breaking the image into smaller pieces and disabling the option within many web browsers to click and save images, but that they “provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system”.

In particular, Zoomify’s website comments that while “many customers — famous museums for example” use Zoomify, in their experience a “general consensus” seems to exist that most museums are concerned with making the images in their galleries accessible to the public, rather than preventing the public from accessing them or making copies; they observe that a desire to prevent high resolution images being distributed would also imply prohibiting the sale of any posters or production of high quality printed material that could be scanned and placed online.

Other actions in the past have come directly from the NPG, rather than via solicitors. For example, several edits have been made directly to the English-language Wikipedia from the IP address, one of sixteen such IP addresses assigned to computers at the NPG by its ISP, Easynet.

In the period from August 2005 to July 2006 an individual within the NPG using that IP address acted to remove the use of several Wikimedia Commons pictures from articles in Wikipedia, including removing an image of the Chandos portrait, which the NPG has had in its possession since 1856, from Wikipedia’s biographical article on William Shakespeare.

Other actions included adding notices to the pages for images, and to the text of several articles using those images, such as the following edit to Wikipedia’s article on Catherine of Braganza and to its page for the Wikipedia Commons image of Branwell Brontë‘s portrait of his sisters:

“This image is copyright material and must not be reproduced in any way without permission of the copyright holder. Under current UK copyright law, there is copyright in skilfully executed photographs of ex-copyright works, such as this painting of Catherine de Braganza.
The original painting belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London. For copies, and permission to reproduce the image, please contact the Gallery at or via our website at”

Other, later, edits, made on the day that NPG’s solicitors contacted Coetzee and drawn to the NPG’s attention by Wikinews, are currently the subject of an internal investigation within the NPG.

Coetzee published the contents of the letter on Saturday July 11, the letter itself being dated the previous day. It had been sent electronically to an email address associated with his Wikimedia Commons user account. The NPG’s solicitors had mailed the letter from an account in the name “Amisquitta”. This account was blocked shortly after by a user with access to the user blocking tool, citing a long standing Wikipedia policy that the making of legal threats and creation of a hostile environment is generally inconsistent with editing access and is an inappropriate means of resolving user disputes.

The policy, initially created on Commons’ sister website in June 2004, is also intended to protect all parties involved in a legal dispute, by ensuring that their legal communications go through proper channels, and not through a wiki that is open to editing by other members of the public. It was originally formulated primarily to address legal action for libel. In October 2004 it was noted that there was “no consensus” whether legal threats related to copyright infringement would be covered but by the end of 2006 the policy had reached a consensus that such threats (as opposed to polite complaints) were not compatible with editing access while a legal matter was unresolved. Commons’ own website states that “[accounts] used primarily to create a hostile environment for another user may be blocked”.

In a further response, Gregory Maxwell, a volunteer administrator on Wikimedia Commons, made a formal request to the editorial community that Coetzee’s access to administrator tools on Commons should be revoked due to the prevailing circumstances. Maxwell noted that Coetzee “[did] not have the technically ability to permanently delete images”, but stated that Coetzee’s potential legal situation created a conflict of interest.

Sixteen minutes after Maxwell’s request, Coetzee’s “administrator” privileges were removed by a user in response to the request. Coetzee retains “administrator” privileges on the English-language Wikipedia, since none of the images exist on Wikipedia’s own website and therefore no conflict of interest exists on that site.

Legally, the central issue upon which the case depends is that copyright laws vary between countries. Under United States case law, where both the website and Coetzee are located, a photograph of a non-copyrighted two-dimensional picture (such as a very old portrait) is not capable of being copyrighted, and it may be freely distributed and used by anyone. Under UK law that point has not yet been decided, and the Gallery’s solicitors state that such photographs could potentially be subject to copyright in that country.

One major legal point upon which a case would hinge, should the NPG proceed to court, is a question of originality. The U.K.’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 defines in ¶ 1(a) that copyright is a right that subsists in “original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works” (emphasis added). The legal concept of originality here involves the simple origination of a work from an author, and does not include the notions of novelty or innovation that is often associated with the non-legal meaning of the word.

Whether an exact photographic reproduction of a work is an original work will be a point at issue. The NPG asserts that an exact photographic reproduction of a copyrighted work in another medium constitutes an original work, and this would be the basis for its action against Coetzee. This view has some support in U.K. case law. The decision of Walter v Lane held that exact transcriptions of speeches by journalists, in shorthand on reporter’s notepads, were original works, and thus copyrightable in themselves. The opinion by Hugh Laddie, Justice Laddie, in his book The Modern Law of Copyright, points out that photographs lie on a continuum, and that photographs can be simple copies, derivative works, or original works:

“[…] it is submitted that a person who makes a photograph merely by placing a drawing or painting on the glass of a photocopying machine and pressing the button gets no copyright at all; but he might get a copyright if he employed skill and labour in assembling the thing to be photocopied, as where he made a montage.”

Various aspects of this continuum have already been explored in the courts. Justice Neuberger, in the decision at v Rodney Fitch & Co. held that a photograph of a three-dimensional object would be copyrightable if some exercise of judgement of the photographer in matters of angle, lighting, film speed, and focus were involved. That exercise would create an original work. Justice Oliver similarly held, in Interlego v Tyco Industries, that “[i]t takes great skill, judgement and labour to produce a good copy by painting or to produce an enlarged photograph from a positive print, but no-one would reasonably contend that the copy, painting, or enlargement was an ‘original’ artistic work in which the copier is entitled to claim copyright. Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”.

In 2000 the Museums Copyright Group, a copyright lobbying group, commissioned a report and legal opinion on the implications of the Bridgeman case for the UK, which stated:

“Revenue raised from reproduction fees and licensing is vital to museums to support their primary educational and curatorial objectives. Museums also rely on copyright in photographs of works of art to protect their collections from inaccurate reproduction and captioning… as a matter of principle, a photograph of an artistic work can qualify for copyright protection in English law”. The report concluded by advocating that “museums must continue to lobby” to protect their interests, to prevent inferior quality images of their collections being distributed, and “not least to protect a vital source of income”.

Several people and organizations in the U.K. have been awaiting a test case that directly addresses the issue of copyrightability of exact photographic reproductions of works in other media. The commonly cited legal case Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. found that there is no originality where the aim and the result is a faithful and exact reproduction of the original work. The case was heard twice in New York, once applying UK law and once applying US law. It cited the prior UK case of Interlego v Tyco Industries (1988) in which Lord Oliver stated that “Skill, labour or judgement merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality.”

“What is important about a drawing is what is visually significant and the re-drawing of an existing drawing […] does not make it an original artistic work, however much labour and skill may have gone into the process of reproduction […]”

The Interlego judgement had itself drawn upon another UK case two years earlier, Coca-Cola Go’s Applications, in which the House of Lords drew attention to the “undesirability” of plaintiffs seeking to expand intellectual property law beyond the purpose of its creation in order to create an “undeserving monopoly”. It commented on this, that “To accord an independent artistic copyright to every such reproduction would be to enable the period of artistic copyright in what is, essentially, the same work to be extended indefinitely… ”

The Bridgeman case concluded that whether under UK or US law, such reproductions of copyright-expired material were not capable of being copyrighted.

The unsuccessful plaintiff, Bridgeman Art Library, stated in 2006 in written evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was “looking for a similar test case in the U.K. or Europe to fight which would strengthen our position”.

The National Portrait Gallery is a non-departmental public body based in London England and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Founded in 1856, it houses a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. The gallery contains more than 11,000 portraits and 7,000 light-sensitive works in its Primary Collection, 320,000 in the Reference Collection, over 200,000 pictures and negatives in the Photographs Collection and a library of around 35,000 books and manuscripts. (More on the National Portrait Gallery here)

The gallery’s solicitors are Farrer & Co LLP, of London. Farrer’s clients have notably included the British Royal Family, in a case related to extracts from letters sent by Diana, Princess of Wales which were published in a book by ex-butler Paul Burrell. (In that case, the claim was deemed unlikely to succeed, as the extracts were not likely to be in breach of copyright law.)

Farrer & Co have close ties with industry interest groups related to copyright law. Peter Wienand, Head of Intellectual Property at Farrer & Co., is a member of the Executive body of the Museums Copyright Group, which is chaired by Tom Morgan, Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery. The Museums Copyright Group acts as a lobbying organization for “the interests and activities of museums and galleries in the area of [intellectual property rights]”, which reacted strongly against the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. case.

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, media, and other material free for use by anyone in the world. It is operated by a community of 21,000 active volunteers, with specialist rights such as deletion and blocking restricted to around 270 experienced users in the community (known as “administrators”) who are trusted by the community to use them to enact the wishes and policies of the community. Commons is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable body whose mission is to make available free knowledge and historic and other material which is legally distributable under US law. (More on Commons here)

The legal threat also sparked discussions of moral issues and issues of public policy in several Internet discussion fora, including Slashdot, over the weekend. One major public policy issue relates to how the public domain should be preserved.

Some of the public policy debate over the weekend has echoed earlier opinions presented by Kenneth Hamma, the executive director for Digital Policy at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Writing in D-Lib Magazine in November 2005, Hamma observed:

“Art museums and many other collecting institutions in this country hold a trove of public-domain works of art. These are works whose age precludes continued protection under copyright law. The works are the result of and evidence for human creativity over thousands of years, an activity museums celebrate by their very existence. For reasons that seem too frequently unexamined, many museums erect barriers that contribute to keeping quality images of public domain works out of the hands of the general public, of educators, and of the general milieu of creativity. In restricting access, art museums effectively take a stand against the creativity they otherwise celebrate. This conflict arises as a result of the widely accepted practice of asserting rights in the images that the museums make of the public domain works of art in their collections.”

He also stated:

“This resistance to free and unfettered access may well result from a seemingly well-grounded concern: many museums assume that an important part of their core business is the acquisition and management of rights in art works to maximum return on investment. That might be true in the case of the recording industry, but it should not be true for nonprofit institutions holding public domain art works; it is not even their secondary business. Indeed, restricting access seems all the more inappropriate when measured against a museum’s mission — a responsibility to provide public access. Their charitable, financial, and tax-exempt status demands such. The assertion of rights in public domain works of art — images that at their best closely replicate the values of the original work — differs in almost every way from the rights managed by the recording industry. Because museums and other similar collecting institutions are part of the private nonprofit sector, the obligation to treat assets as held in public trust should replace the for-profit goal. To do otherwise, undermines the very nature of what such institutions were created to do.”

Hamma observed in 2005 that “[w]hile examples of museums chasing down digital image miscreants are rare to non-existent, the expectation that museums might do so has had a stultifying effect on the development of digital image libraries for teaching and research.”

The NPG, which has been taking action with respect to these images since at least 2005, is a public body. It was established by Act of Parliament, the current Act being the Museums and Galleries Act 1992. In that Act, the NPG Board of Trustees is charged with maintaining “a collection of portraits of the most eminent persons in British history, of other works of art relevant to portraiture and of documents relating to those portraits and other works of art”. It also has the tasks of “secur[ing] that the portraits are exhibited to the public” and “generally promot[ing] the public’s enjoyment and understanding of portraiture of British persons and British history through portraiture both by means of the Board’s collection and by such other means as they consider appropriate”.

Several commentators have questioned how the NPG’s statutory goals align with its threat of legal action. Mike Masnick, founder of Techdirt, asked “The people who run the Gallery should be ashamed of themselves. They ought to go back and read their own mission statement[. …] How, exactly, does suing someone for getting those portraits more attention achieve that goal?” (external link Masnick’s). L. Sutherland of Bigmouthmedia asked “As the paintings of the NPG technically belong to the nation, does that mean that they should also belong to anyone that has access to a computer?”

Other public policy debates that have been sparked have included the applicability of U.K. courts, and U.K. law, to the actions of a U.S. citizen, residing in the U.S., uploading files to servers hosted in the U.S.. Two major schools of thought have emerged. Both see the issue as encroachment of one legal system upon another. But they differ as to which system is encroaching. One view is that the free culture movement is attempting to impose the values and laws of the U.S. legal system, including its case law such as Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., upon the rest of the world. Another view is that a U.K. institution is attempting to control, through legal action, the actions of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.

David Gerard, former Press Officer for Wikimedia UK, the U.K. chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has been involved with the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest to create free content photographs of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum, stated on Slashdot that “The NPG actually acknowledges in their letter that the poster’s actions were entirely legal in America, and that they’re making a threat just because they think they can. The Wikimedia community and the WMF are absolutely on the side of these public domain images remaining in the public domain. The NPG will be getting radioactive publicity from this. Imagine the NPG being known to American tourists as somewhere that sues Americans just because it thinks it can.”

Benjamin Crowell, a physics teacher at Fullerton College in California, stated that he had received a letter from the Copyright Officer at the NPG in 2004, with respect to the picture of the portrait of Isaac Newton used in his physics textbooks, that he publishes in the U.S. under a free content copyright licence, to which he had replied with a pointer to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp..

The Wikimedia Foundation takes a similar stance. Erik Möller, the Deputy Director of the US-based Wikimedia Foundation wrote in 2008 that “we’ve consistently held that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing purposes”.

Contacted over the weekend, the NPG issued a statement to Wikinews:

“The National Portrait Gallery is very strongly committed to giving access to its Collection. In the past five years the Gallery has spent around £1 million digitising its Collection to make it widely available for study and enjoyment. We have so far made available on our website more than 60,000 digital images, which have attracted millions of users, and we believe this extensive programme is of great public benefit.
“The Gallery supports Wikipedia in its aim of making knowledge widely available and we would be happy for the site to use our low-resolution images, sufficient for most forms of public access, subject to safeguards. However, in March 2009 over 3000 high-resolution files were appropriated from the National Portrait Gallery website and published on Wikipedia without permission.
“The Gallery is very concerned that potential loss of licensing income from the high-resolution files threatens its ability to reinvest in its digitisation programme and so make further images available. It is one of the Gallery’s primary purposes to make as much of the Collection available as possible for the public to view.
“Digitisation involves huge costs including research, cataloguing, conservation and highly-skilled photography. Images then need to be made available on the Gallery website as part of a structured and authoritative database. To date, Wikipedia has not responded to our requests to discuss the issue and so the National Portrait Gallery has been obliged to issue a lawyer’s letter. The Gallery remains willing to enter into a dialogue with Wikipedia.

In fact, Matthew Bailey, the Gallery’s (then) Assistant Picture Library Manager, had already once been in a similar dialogue. Ryan Kaldari, an amateur photographer from Nashville, Tennessee, who also volunteers at the Wikimedia Commons, states that he was in correspondence with Bailey in October 2006. In that correspondence, according to Kaldari, he and Bailey failed to conclude any arrangement.

Jay Walsh, the Head of Communications for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the Commons, called the gallery’s actions “unfortunate” in the Foundation’s statement, issued on Tuesday July 14:

“The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. To that end, we have very productive working relationships with a number of galleries, archives, museums and libraries around the world, who join with us to make their educational materials available to the public.
“The Wikimedia Foundation does not control user behavior, nor have we reviewed every action taken by that user. Nonetheless, it is our general understanding that the user in question has behaved in accordance with our mission, with the general goal of making public domain materials available via our Wikimedia Commons project, and in accordance with applicable law.”

The Foundation added in its statement that as far as it was aware, the NPG had not attempted “constructive dialogue”, and that the volunteer community was presently discussing the matter independently.

In part, the lack of past agreement may have been because of a misunderstanding by the National Portrait Gallery of Commons and Wikipedia’s free content mandate; and of the differences between Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia Commons, and the individual volunteer workers who participate on the various projects supported by the Foundation.

Like Coetzee, Ryan Kaldari is a volunteer worker who does not represent Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons. (Such representation is impossible. Both Wikipedia and the Commons are endeavours supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, and not organizations in themselves.) Nor, again like Coetzee, does he represent the Wikimedia Foundation.

Kaldari states that he explained the free content mandate to Bailey. Bailey had, according to copies of his messages provided by Kaldari, offered content to Wikipedia (naming as an example the photograph of John Opie‘s 1797 portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose copyright term has since expired) but on condition that it not be free content, but would be subject to restrictions on its distribution that would have made it impossible to use by any of the many organizations that make use of Wikipedia articles and the Commons repository, in the way that their site-wide “usable by anyone” licences ensures.

The proposed restrictions would have also made it impossible to host the images on Wikimedia Commons. The image of the National Portrait Gallery in this article, above, is one such free content image; it was provided and uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence, and is thus able to be used and republished not only on Wikipedia but also on Wikinews, on other Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as by anyone in the world, subject to the terms of the GFDL, a license that guarantees attribution is provided to the creators of the image.

As Commons has grown, many other organizations have come to different arrangements with volunteers who work at the Wikimedia Commons and at Wikipedia. For example, in February 2009, fifteen international museums including the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum established a month-long competition where users were invited to visit in small teams and take high quality photographs of their non-copyright paintings and other exhibits, for upload to Wikimedia Commons and similar websites (with restrictions as to equipment, required in order to conserve the exhibits), as part of the “Wikipedia Loves Art” contest.

Approached for comment by Wikinews, Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said “It’s pretty clear that these images themselves should be in the public domain. There is a clear public interest in making sure paintings and other works are usable by anyone once their term of copyright expires. This is what US courts have recognised, whatever the situation in UK law.”

The Digital Britain report, issued by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport in June 2009, stated that “Public cultural institutions like Tate, the Royal Opera House, the RSC, the Film Council and many other museums, libraries, archives and galleries around the country now reach a wider public online.” Culture minster Ben Bradshaw was also approached by Wikinews for comment on the public policy issues surrounding the on-line availability of works in the public domain held in galleries, re-raised by the NPG’s threat of legal action, but had not responded by publication time.

Bomb blast in Iran injures three civilians

92WMwx | Uncategorized | 12 1st, 2019  |  No Comments »

Thursday, June 16, 2005

For a second time this week, the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan was rocked by a bombing. Like the previous bomb blast reported Tuesday, it was relatively small and produced only three injuries and no fatalities. This is in stark contrast to bombs detonated over the weekend in Ahwaz and Tehran, which produced a dozen fatalities and scores of injuries.The Ahwaz bomb went off in a fast-food restaurant at 7:50 PM local time.

A government spokesperson said both bombings were “…anti-[Islamic] revolution elements against innocent people.”

Across the border, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari issued a denunciation of the bombings and called for closer anti-terrorism cooperation between the countries of the Middle East.

It is not clear who has truly been behind the string of Zahedan and Tehran bombings. Three little-known Arab separatist groups operating in the rebellious Khuzestan province have claimed credit for the bombings there, but no one has stepped forward to claim the others.

At first, after the earliest attacks, the government seemed to blame the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MeK) organization. It later expanded its accusations to allege U.S. facilitation and imply infiltration via U.S. occupied Iraq or Afghanistan, both of which share extensive borders with Iran. The MeK, which formerly operated under Saddam Hussein’s protection in Iraq, has claimed bombings in the past, but vehemently denies participating in the recent spate of attacks. The group seems to have moved away from violent acts in recent years as it tries to curry favor with Western governments and shed its terrorist image (the group is currently listed on U.S. and many European terrorist watch lists). The affiliated National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has also denied involvement.

On March 30, a previously unknown group called “The 70 Million People of Iran” issued a statement hinting at violent resistance to the current regime — but only after a June 18 deadline, which has not yet passed.

Reformist candidate Mostafa Moin has raised the possibility that rouge hardline Islamist groups planted the bombs to frighten people into choosing a military-affiliated candidate. Moin, currently running number two in the polls behind former president and current Discernment Council chairman Akbar Hashemi Rasfanjani, also threatened to pull out of the race and ask his supporters to boycott elections to protest the treatment of his running mates and supporters, several of whom have been attacked by extremist mobs.