SmithsonianImages.SI.Edu, is a government ecommerce site built on a repository of 6,288 nationally held images, it resists access by visitors and attempts to institute restrictions on the imagery contained. This despite the fact that works of the U.S. government have no copyright protection whatsoever. Works of the United States Government are in the public domain. By their own words “The Smithsonian cannot own copyright in works prepared by Smithsonian employees paid from federal funds.” so therefore their threats are baseless.
Carl & Media.org, have done a brave thing by downloading the images crippled as they are with lo-res and watermarks and uploaded them to Flickr for the entire nation to enjoy and use for personal applications- as congress originally intended.
I am not sure how George W & Co are responsible for this corporatization of National trusts, but I am sure they are. I will be damned if I will pay for something my tax dollars have already purchased.