Todd Allen wrote:
Bryan Derksen wrote:
Actually, those conditions seem pretty reasonable
and in tune with
existing policy to me. But it allows album covers, book covers, all
manner of screenshot, exactly the sorts of things that have recently
become subjects of contention. So I'm not sure where the conflict lies here.
The point of contention is, the current policy is highly problematic in
terms of being "the -free- encyclopedia." That doesn't just mean
of charge", it means "free as in freedom"-as in, if I see an image used
on Wikipedia, there should be a very good chance I can, if I comply with
the GFDL, copy, reuse, or modify it as I see fit.
Yes, I am well aware of the dual meanings of "free." By this point in
the discussion we shouldn't need to go over such elementary issues. What
you seem to be overlooking here is that "free" and "nonfree" are not
black and white binary values with no grey area in between. That's a
false dichotomy and a bit of a red herring to boot. We're not debating
whether to allow "non-free" images at all, since we've already decided
that some non-free images are allowed. What we're debating is what
specific _degree_ of "freeness" is required, and in what situations.
Images that are not licensed but that are compatible with fair use are
not as "free" as GFDLed images, but the are _more_ free than a
non-fair-use-compatible image would be. A person who wants to take
Wikipedia's database and set up another encyclopedia site doing the same
things that Wikipedia does _is_ free to do so, even with the fair use
material, since the fair use exemption is not Wikipedia-specific but
rather _use_-specific. If we can do it, they can do it.
If they want to do other things, such as sell DVDs or print it on toilet
paper or what have you, then maybe some of the content's conditions are
no longer compatible with that use. That applies both to fair use images
_and_ to the diverse mish-mash of "free" image licenses we use. There
are things one could do where only the PD images would be allowed and
the GFDLed images would have to be removed.
Right now, that's not the case. There are a
tremendous number of unfree
images in use on the "free" encyclopedia. In a few cases, unfree images
may be so necessary, critical, and irreplaceable that we should use
them. But many of us, including me, don't believe "a few cases" is
equivalent to "all album, book, movie, or corporation articles". Most of
those can be written perfectly adequately with solely free content (in
this case, text) and the use of the image is decorative.
This is where matters of opinion come in. A lot of people are arguing
that what you're calling merely "decorative" is in fact more useful than
that. Frilly borders or a shaded background are just "decorative", a
picture of the thing that the article is about is more than that.
Replaceable? How are album covers and corporate
logos replaceable, you
ask? Easy! We discuss the album/corporation/etc. using text only (which
Not really, IMO. An infobox on [[Nike]] with a cell at the top that read
"An asymmetric upward-opening crescent with the points skewed toward the
right" would be silly, and would not be nearly as useful for recognizing
the brand as an actual picture of the Nike swoosh logo would be.
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You'll note that I stated earlier in this very discussion that Nike
would be a likely exception we could make, since its logo has been
essential to its marketing strategy and is iconic. But it would not be
hard at all to provide a discussion of the Nike logo in the article on
Nike, tons of source material exists regarding just that logo.
"Exception", however, is the operative word here-that couldn't be said
of the vast majority of logos. The idea of providing narrow exceptions
is so that in a case such as Nike, we can use the logo-not so that in
every article about any corporation we can use the logo!
As to text replacing the fair use, I wasn't meaning to describe the logo
by using text ("upward opening crescent" or the like). In most articles,
the (logo/cover/what have you) isn't discussed at all, nor really could
it be-no one's covered or commented upon it, we'd have no source
material to draw from. In that case, it's not essential to know what it
looks like to understand...what? The lack of discussion on it?
Discussion or coverage of the image itself should be a -minimum-
standard for any claim of fair use in an article, and as of now I'd
venture a guess it happens in less than 1% of cases in articles
utilizing "fair use" images.