Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The War Graves Photographic Project

As readers of the blog have noticed the last couple of months I have been occupied with "grave matters" and more specifically WW1 graves. Whilst researching articles I came across the following site-The War Graves Photographic Project 
and to quote
"The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database.
Now working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, this will enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location".

But if you want a photograph of a grave or memorial that has been taken by a VOLUNTEER you have to make a donation of AT LEAST £3.00 for an e-mailed print or AT LEAST £5.00 for a 7x5" photograph. The Projects justification for the charges can be found on this link

Two things spring to mind - one is that I think the charges are very excessive especially for the e-mail print. A volunteer takes the photo at his own time and expense, sends the photo to the project who promply claim copyright, and then they sell it on to third parties.
And secondly all the photos on the site are watermarked and copyrighted - to quote
"Small print - Copyright remains with the CWGC/TWGPP/Donor. Those wishing to use photographs for publishing purposes should contact TWGPP for appropriate permission"

This site is a commercial venture that will undoubtedly make livelihood(s) and profits for those that run it.But it leaves a slightly bittter taste in my mouth for some reason. In the introduction they state
"make these available within a searchable database". when they should say "make these available at a cost to the user within a searchable database".

I find content and material from my website all over the place - sometimes people place an acknowledgement and sometimes they don't.But the one thing I will never do on my site is start charging for content and material.(not that anyone would pay me!)  If I did that I would be on par with Rupert Murdoch and that would be hard to stomach  

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