On 7/26/07, Todd Allen <toddmallen(a)gmail.com> wrote:
George Herbert wrote:
On 7/26/07, Todd Allen
Matthew Brown wrote:
On 7/26/07, geni <geniice(a)gmail.com>
> The money could be better spent elsewhere. That type of battle is best
> left to the EFF.
I'd personally say that that level of lawsuit paranoia needs to be
left elsewhere as well. Their lawsuit wouldn't get far without a
takedown notice first.
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Be that as it may, I'd oppose the use of most album-cover images even if
we got a letter tomorrow from every music label saying "You've got
permission to use any album cover you like on Wikipedia," removing any
fear of a lawsuit. Same old problem with Wikipedia-only or noncommercial
only content, same old reason we don't generally allow it. -It's not
free-. On the other hand, if we started generally disallowing it, I'd
imagine we could start getting GFDL releases for album covers,
especially from more notable independent bands who might just love the
idea of their album cover being used freely anywhere on Wikipedia it
might fit, and be disconcerted by such an album cover not being used
anywhere on the project. We're not meant to be "the encyclopedia with
some free content", we're meant to be "the free encyclopedia".
Todd, fundamentally, here's the policy:
Fair use is free, too.
That is absolutely -not- the policy nor the case, else we'd use
"Wikipedia only", "educational uses only" or "noncommercial
anywhere we liked, since for us such use is perfectly legal. The policy
is knowingly and deliberately more restrictive than the law, and always
has been. Any image we must use under fair-use is by definition nonfree,
so your statement in effect says "Nonfree is free".
Ah, but it is. The law specifically says so, as do court cases.
Copyrights have exceptions, and always have.
Wikipedia has two good reasons to be more restrictive than "take
everything we can get away with under Fair Use" -
A. We have downstream mirrors that, while they're also an
encyclopedia, are commercially oriented in some sense, and are likely
disadvantaged in making Fair Use claims compared to Wikipedia.
B. While Fair Use is nice, we all do (honest) want to encourage more
free content in the world.
However, and I can't stress this enough, Fair Use is not just
something we invented, it's a fundamental part of US copyright law,
and many other nations. Fair Use means that "the people" get to have
exceptions to the exclusivity that Copyrights and Trademarks bring.
This has been an important part of Copyright law since its modern
"Free content" is not just about getting everyone to CC or GFDL their
art and writings. It's also about letting people have and use those
exceptions that the law grants for Copyrights and Trademarks. Those
uses are also important. To most end-users, they're of more practical
importance than GFDL/CC content will be. People's fair use rights,
and the restrictions on how exclusive and total Copyrights are, are
key parts of the entire Public Intellectual Property debate and policy
Fair Use is Freedom. It's not as free as Public Domain, or as
(differently) free as GFDL or CC-SA or other Copyleft. But it's
Narrowminded interpretation of public intellectual property interests
to exclude Fair Use is folly. It's there. It's real. It's
If you run screaming from Fair Use, you're the enemy, even though you
claim to be on our side.
Fair Use is Free, Too.
Wikipedia has to be a little careful about how we exercise our Fair
Use, given A and B above, but that doesn't change the fundamental
I would go on, but I have to go back to accident reconstruction (
[[Scaled Composites#Rocket Test Accident]] ) and waiting to hear when
the memorial service is. Pardon me if I sound grumpy today; three
fatalities in a 250-person industry hurts.
-george william herbert