There is an interesting discussion brewing on the Open Government discussion list. It all started when Aaron Swartz posted information about a new Library of Congress initiative with Flickr called "The Commons." This initiative is important because (if it continues) will allow people to tag images on Flickr as public domain, something you can't do today.Link
As a result of this discussion, Public.Resource.Org has put an unsolicited proposal into the Smithsonian Institution proposing they join the party by donating 2,000 public domain images to the pool. Yahoo! has not yet said if they would allow the Smithsonian to participate, but we figured they might let them in the door. To make the offer of a joint venture a serious one, we've put $50,000 on the table.
Needless to say, if we're successful in this venture, we'll also make tarballs available for FTP for those who just want to download instead of navigate.