Talk:National Portrait Gallery, London

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Template for NPG links[edit]

I should probably have left a message about here when I created it, but better late than never, I hope.

Template:npg name is a simple way of making a link to the NPG's collection of portraits of an individual. The intention is that like {{imdb name}}, it will be handy in the "see also" section of biographical articles.

It works in a similar way to {{imdb name}}: find the NPG's ID for an individual, and that's all you need.

For example:

  • {{npg name|id=01653|name=Charles James Fox}}

produces

I have set it to refer to National Portrait Gallery (London), simply because that's the current article name. If it is changed, then the template should be edited to reflect that.

--BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 09:36, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Trivia[edit]

Removed from main page to here per WP:TRIV (I would personally prefer not to have a trivia section, particularly where the information adds nothing whatsoever of encyclopaedic value to the article, but that's obviously up for discussion): "Posing for artist Stuart Pearson Wright at age 14 while on a break from filming Harry Potter, at age 16, Radcliffe became the youngest non-royal ever to have an individual portrait in England's National Portrait Gallery. On 13 April 2006, his portrait was unveiled as part of a new exhibition opening at London's Royal National Theatre, then moved to the National Portrait Gallery where it currently resides." Badgerpatrol 14:32, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

How to get images from the NPG for the Wikipedia[edit]

I've removed this info Misstinkafairy (talk) 17:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

... anyone reading this may wish to familiarise themselves with the legal action mentioned in the following section. Paulbrock (talk) 16:22, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Name change (Sigh...)[edit]

Despite the voluminous discussion on this page I see Mais oui! has changed the name again. As we all know he pays no attention to discussion, and as the disambiguator London is less fragrantly bad than England, this time I'll let itstand. 'Commenest name' as a rationale doesn't really hold water (see discussion above, if you can be bothered), but if it's supposed to mean that the NPG's London base has a higher profile than Bodelwyddan Castle et al, then fair enough. It's clear that MO! wants to emphasise the Englishness of the NPG so as to rationalise its relation to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. So I've added a sentence to the intro stressing the messiness of their non-relation.

Of course, the NPG is actually meant to vindicate the construct of British history, which always means the history of England first and, only when they have been subsumed into it, those of Wales, Scotland and Ireland (still in the Union in the 19th century, all of it). So in that sense it is a very English gallery, but one that flies the Union Flag, not the St George's cross. The English were quite unselfconscious about their equation of 'England' with 'Britain' until recently; the need to define England as distinct from the imperial project has only really arisen with the devolution of Scotland and Wales. Understandably, they're having problems with it. Maybe London is the perfect disambiguator after all, since no-one on Talk:London can agree as to whether it's the capital of the UK or of England. Ham 18:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

seeing as there is another (albeit prefaced with Scottish) National Portrait Gallery in the UK, it can not be disambiguated with 'United Kingdom'. that's the only reason i see for the move. ninety:one 19:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
It should at least have a comma & not brackets, per the usual convention of the NG etc, and to avoid references going through a redirect. Unless anyone objects I will move it there after a while. Johnbod (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
no! brackets is the way, we recently moved National Gallery (London) from a comma ninety:one 19:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

As a footnote to this debate, it has to be said that brackets are handier than commas for formatting reasons. It's quicker to type [[National Gallery (London)|]] than [[National Gallery, London|National Gallery]]. I exaggerated the problem with brackets above; ease of formatting needs to be considered as well. Ham 01:00, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

On the contrary, one often wants National Gallery, London in the text, which of course works via redirect, but never National Gallery (London), which is just wrong, imo, unless in a list using that convention. The move there in 2008 was undiscussed and should be reversed. Johnbod (talk) 17:58, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Where the phrase appears in text it can be formatted thus: National Gallery, London. This is better style than National Gallery, London. The formula National Gallery (London) would never appear in text, as you rightly say, but with the addition of the character | it becomes National Gallery (the official and familiar name), which IMO makes the brackets very useful, and justifies the (admittedly undiscussed) change as bold editing. Ham 16:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
London should not normally be linked, and your way besides has the problem that people will hit the London link (which surely no one is ever likely to want) when they mean the NG one. I will set up a poll some time. 15:30, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose "National Gallery, London" is the best style of all, but the current syntax works perfectly with that too.
What if the disambiguating term for both were "United Kingdom", in parentheses? National Gallery (United Kingdom) and National Portrait Gallery (United Kingdom). This follows (more or less) the convention of National Art Gallery (Bulgaria) and National Art Gallery (Thailand). The problems I can see with this are convincing anyone that "London" as a disambiguator is wrong per se, and the need to then change hundreds of links. (But we could get a bot to do that.) Best, Ham 22:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
That is not a usual term, and the NPG certainly, and perhaps the NG, technically covers Scotland but obviously they have their own National Gallery, so another raid from Mais Oui is to be expected. If it must be disambiguated, which I don't actually accept, as in art history etc "National Gallery" by itself always means London, it should be "National Gallery, London". Johnbod (talk) 22:50, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed about the likelihood of a Mais Oui raid. On your point about the term '"National Gallery" by itself', note that their logo on the website reads "The National Gallery", the publishing company is the National Gallery Company Ltd. etc. etc. The way I see it, just as England's rugby union is just "the Rugby Football Union", Britain's national gallery is "the National Gallery". Pariochal in both cases, but officially the correct names. I favour disambiguating, then, with brackets. Let the poll decide! Ham 23:19, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Legal action against Wikipedia[edit]

See: Legal threat against Wikipedia User --Eingangskontrolle (talk) 09:58, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

The recent dispute with Wikipedia is completely unimportant in the gallery's 153 year history. I removed the section from the article and put it below:

On 10 July 2009, the National Portrait Gallery started legal proceedings for breach of copyright against Wikipedia editor David Coetzee. The dispute centres on whether digital photographs of public domain artworks are protected by copyright. The National Portrait Gallery made low-resolution images of public domain original portraits available to all, but only allowed users to see a section of each image of their choice in high resolution at any time. Coetzee circumvented this software and downloaded thousands of high-resolution reproductions of images from the NPG website, and placed them in an archive of free-to-use images on Wikimedia Commons. The NPG claim that this will deprive them of significant revenue and that these images are part of a £1million project to digitise the gallery's collection.[1][2][3][4][5]

--Apoc2400 (talk) 22:04, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Now maybe, but the mainstream news are starting to pick up on this now. It may yet develop. ninety:one 22:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I added an external link to the Wikinews story, should be enough. -- œ 02:30, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

The story is a headline on BBC Radio 4 news. Wikipedia can't just sweep something embarrassing under the carpet. Nunquam Dormio (talk) 06:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Why is this embarrassing to wikipedia? If anything it's only embarrassing to the NPG. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 07:25, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if the mainstream media picks up on it, this is still an insignificant event in the history of the NPG. This navel-gazing does not below here, regardless of who it reflects good or bad on. --Apoc2400 (talk) 07:38, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Apoc2400 and OlEnglish. I have removed the section and ask Nunquam Dormio to seek consensus here first before re-adding it a fourth time. Also, please do not call good-faith edits vandalism.

Editors wishing to describe this incident in the article should be prepared to explain why "Wikipedia played a major role in the subject of the article" (to borrow language from WP:WAWI). See also WP:UNDUE ("An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject").

Mentioning the incident might be more justifiable as part of describing a hypothetical general attitude of the NPG with respect to copyright (as hinted at by Cory Doctorow in 2007), but that would need more sources.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

P.S.: This comment by an anonymous academic publisher confirms Doctorow's observations from a different angle, characterizing the NPG as the most restrictive of British museums and galleries (comparing it to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum as examples).
As an anonymous blog comment, it does not qualify as a reliable source, but it seems to indicate that searching for reliable sources documenting such a long-standing attitude of the NPG could be worthwhile. According to today's Independent, "leading art critic Brian Sewell" called the legal action by the NPG against Wikipedia "another example of their folly", apparently referring to comparable previous incidents. Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)


It seems to me utterly perverse that a significant news story that has been picked up by mainstream organisations such as the BBC and the Independent gets no mention in the article on the organisation that began the current flurry. A short, factual and well referenced mention of the incident seems to me to be completely justified. Rjm at sleepers (talk) 07:49, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

How often during the last one and a half centuries has there been news coverage of the NPG by "mainstream organisations"? Why single out the coverage of this incident? That is the question that needs to be answered here, and the answer cannot be "because it is the one that directly relates to us as Wikipedians". Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
If the NPG does what it says it is going to do, the courts will need to provide a significant clarification of UK copyright law as it applies to the reproduction of images of works that are themselves out of copyright. The fact that Wikipedia is involved is of only minor significance. Wikipedia users will come to this article (as I did), expecting some information. Rjm at sleepers (talk) 10:43, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, if the incident leads to such a clarification that would admittedly be a valid reason, but at the moment it is just informed speculation. (Talks are ongoing between the NPG and Wikimedia to resolve the matter without a court case.)
There is already some information for those Wikipedia readers in form of the Wikinews link. (By the way, there is also a lot of coverage in this week's edition of the Wikipedia Signpost, which is an entirely appropriate place for Wikipedians to read and write about the incident.)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 12:18, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

How about using the first 2 sentences from the material that was removed ie "On 10 July 2009, the National Portrait Gallery started legal proceedings for breach of copyright against Wikipedia editor David Coetzee. The dispute centres on whether digital photographs of public domain artworks are protected by copyright." together with appropriate references? Rjm at sleepers (talk) 07:58, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Rjm. Failure to mention the incident may give the impression of censorship, and it can be removed later.--Charles (talk) 08:42, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

If it is not of long-term relevance, it should not be included here to begin with. See WP:NOTNEWS. Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:15, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with HaeB. See Wikipedia:Recentism. -- œ 19:02, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this is significant, the news coverage certainly is. The removal of the material smacks of censorship. As it is related to the finances of the NPG I have added something there.--ZincBelief (talk) 00:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

This is not censorship, once again read WP:Recentism. It may be significant right now but in a few years from now i'm willing to bet noone (apart from Wikipedia editors) will remember this, and it will most likely be edited out as irrelevant to the overall history of the gallery. Are we going to include commentary everytime the NPG shows up in the news? The event and news coverage is recent and the wikinews link is enough and even the wikinews link will be removed once the hype over this dies down. It is much more significant to Wikipedia's history rather than the Gallery's history anyway. Remember that our duty is to the readers not other Wikipedia editors, right now the readers will want to know about this news item and that's why the wikinews link is there. -- œ 00:58, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


I would suggest that the prospect of this becoming a landmark copyright case is hardly "completely unimportant in the gallery's 153 year history". And that is just going on the media context, before even citing the words from the NPG themselves such that they believe a fundemental part of their mission, the digitisation project, is under threat from Commons. This is hardly trivial news, it certainly rates acknowledgement, and wp:recentism does not call for the removal of information just because the rest of the article is lacking. MickMacNee (talk) 01:13, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

15 months later, it is quite clear that the "landmark copyright case" speculation that was a main argument for the inclusion has not become true.
As for the question of whether the incident could at least be considered a landmark in the gallery's 154 year history instead, it is instructive to see how low last year's news story ranks news coverage from just the last seven years of the NPG in the Google News archive "sorted by relevance".
For us as Wikipedians, the incident is of course a notable one, and it was fully justified to covered it in the Signpost for an audience of Wikipedias. Mainspace articles are written for a general audience, though.
And I know that in a time where a lot of public funds are being rearranged in the UK, many might find it tempting to keep the incident prominently in the article to remind politicians and potential donors of the fact that this is an institution who reduces the public impact of funds and donations compared to other museums and galleries who have a less restrictive attitude. But that motive would not be consistent with WP:NPOV.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:09, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I've only recently become aware of this issue. I don't think the current inclusion gives undue weight to the event. It's encyclopedic information. Any potential NPOV issues could be dealt with by expanding other sections, for example maybe "Finances and staff" could include grants offered (if such schemes exist). -- Trevj (talk) 11:01, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Given that it is now clear the dispute is going nowhere and its pursuit has been dropped (which the NPG have said informally), I think we give it too much prominence, and could just have a "see also" link to the article. But then no doubt we would be accused of brushing it under the carpet. Johnbod (talk) 12:53, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
It's a two-sentence summary, so IMO isn't too prominent here. I admit that it's rather wordy though. -- Trevj (talk) 13:30, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Poll: The Wikipedia copyright row should be mentioned in this article.[edit]

I suggest leaving this poll open until 29th July (7 days from now) before making edits either way.

Support - please sign below.

  • Support Notable. May lead to landmark copyright case. Of interest to our readers. Widely verifiable bodnotbod (talk) 19:46, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support If the NPG were pursuing a copyright protection claim against someone else, mentioning it wouldn't even be controversial. Because it's a claim against Wikipedia (ultimately), various reasons are invoked by some people as to why it should be airbrushed out of history. Nunquam Dormio (talk) 20:06, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Recentism is being overhyped here. Readers will expect to find some reference to this important legal case.--Charles (talk) 20:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support worthy material per my comment above. MickMacNee (talk) 22:28, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support see above Rjm at sleepers (talk) 06:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support a one-sentence mention is OK, it's not very important in the grand scheme of things but it's silly not to have ANYTHING. Paulbrock (talk) 08:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Notable enough. People will come here, expecting to find something about it. It has been widely covered by the media. I can gurantee that there wouldn't be objections if the lawsuit was against a different website, not Wikipedia. I would suggest not finding ways to exclude this being inserted by studying policies. Clover345 (talk) 15:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, with mention of the threatened legal action. It looks as if this, with the 2008 donation, could be the most notable thing to happen to the NPG this decade. Ham 22:52, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, provided it is a small mention it can hardly be called misplaced. --ZincBelief (talk) 16:50, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Qualified support. Pragmatically, there should be a very brief mention and a link to a separate article about the event. - 15:29, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per above statements of Charles and Clover345. Gestumblindi (talk) 18:44, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Against - please sign below.

  • Oppose per WP:Recentism, WP:News articles and WP:NOT#NEWS. The sisterlink to Wikinews is enough for the readers. See my comments above. Besides, it already is mentioned in the "Finances and staff" section. I don't see anyone edit-warring over removal of that. -- œ 23:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. If it's already mentioned in the "Finances and staff" section, what are we voting over? I'm in favour of including the story but more than one mention would be undue 'recentism'. Ham 16:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The finances sentence is a round the houses way of mentioning it, actually without mentioning it, by using the incident to cite something pretty much unrelated(how much they make from digitised works). It is not a decent addition at all, and is certainly not a replacement for a mention of the legal threat. MickMacNee (talk) 20:20, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Also the finance section doesn't actually mention the threat of legal action. How about adding "and the gallery has threatened legal action against the editor who uploaded the images"? Rjm at sleepers (talk) 06:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

There's a similar debate going on elsewhere[edit]

Rather to my surprise, I've found there is an article National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts. It was nominated for deletion about 29 minutes after it was created and the deletion debate can be found at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts. If you have expressed an opinion on this page, you might want to contribute there. Nunquam Dormio (talk) 16:58, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal to bring National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts here[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was to not merge the two articles. -- Yellowdesk (talk) 16:52, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


The AfD mentioned in the above section closed as "no consensus". That's often a sign that a merge is in order. Accordingly I propose a merge of National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts to this article (National Portrait Gallery (London). The matter seems like it should be here rather than in a separate article. ++Lar: t/c 00:49, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Shouldn't your merger proposal then be on Talk:National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts? Nunquam Dormio (talk) 11:09, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think so, no. See Wikipedia:Merging_and_moving_pages#Proposing_a_merger where it says Create one discussion section, typically on the destination article's Talk page (which is this page). But it doesn't matter where it's discussed exactly, so long as both the source and destination article merge templates point here (which I believe they do) so that interested parties can find the discussion. ++Lar: t/c 21:15, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Let's not compound one mistake with another. MickMacNee (talk) 01:39, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's interesting, but most importantly it's notable and would WP:UNDUE there, but is fine for NPOV here. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 01:58, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
    • I may have confused matters by using a bad title, I am suggesting that "National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts" be merged here as this is the main article. ++Lar: t/c 02:21, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - In the context of the National Portrait Gallery (London), the National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts hardly merits more than a sentence or three, and this is insufficient reason, at this time, to extinguish the "copyright conflicts" article. Certainly mention of the issue should be made in some article that describes the difficulties of public domain, copyright, and international conflict of laws. Some content merits inclusion at Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., the United States Federal District Court case that reviewed both US and UK copyright law in rendering the decision, and that the NPG specifically cites in the letter, if only to clearly state that the NPG intended to notrely on it. -- Yellowdesk (talk) 02:07, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • A bit here, yes, and a bit at History of Wikipedia#Controversies would likely be best. The issue, as it stands, is not terribly important, as no actual lawsuit has been filed yet, and just a few sentences at each location should be fine. I'm unsure which merge target the article should be redirected to, however. Cheers, everyone. lifebaka++ 02:16, 4 August 2009 (UTC) Clearly I can read; part stricken per below. lifebaka++ 02:24, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose merging it here (it's already mentioned), Support merging to History of Wikipedia#Controversies. -- œ 02:23, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
    • If it's already mentioned, that's already a merge. :) But I'm thinking the way Lifebaka does, some of it indeed needs to go to History of Wikipedia#Controversies. 02:26, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • oppose Have more than enough well-sourced content so that merging here is not reasonable. Merging to History of Wikipedia is likewise not advisable since we could not reasonably fit in the content in a useful fashion. JoshuaZ (talk) 02:27, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, way too much. ViperSnake151  Talk  02:30, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Very little of the page is usuable as a page (lots of OR and the rest), so what is usable can easily be merged. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:10, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose We had a tedious debate about deleting that article. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/National Portrait Gallery copyright conflicts. There was no consensus to delete. This proposal is merely to achieve the same result by a 'merge'. The section on the copyright dispute in the NPG (London) article is already an appropriate length and doesn't need to be any longer. Nunquam Dormio (talk) 08:04, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
    • A merge is not a delete, it's a keep. While there wasn't a consensus to delete, there also wasn't a consensus to keep... the AfD closed "no consensus"... that's often (but not always) a suggestion that perhaps a merge is in order. So I offered it up. I hope that helps clear matters up. ++Lar: t/c 21:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
      • Lar, you ran into the classic problem - AfD allows for a wide audience that helps bypass a niche few that may try to force consensus. An obscure talk page would not do the same. You probably should have held the discussion on the AN page as it was a neutral area that would have been hard to game. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:27, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

This proposal has had a week now, with no entries beyond the first day and little support so I've removed the tags.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Nunquam Dormio (talkcontribs) 08:21, August 11, 2009

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.