On 7/12/07, WikipediaEditor Durin <wikidurin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
A while back, I went to Featured Articles in an
attempt to seek change
practices with regards to fair use images. I was
authoritarian, barking at people, being paranoid, being a fair use
antagonizing people, acting in bad faith,
violating WP:POINT and more.
You can read it all for yourself if you like at
Far better to attack the messenger than address the points, so it
I came here, what I thought was the last bastion of defense of free
content where I had hoped to find people willing to support what it
is we are supposed to be about. Instead, I get responses like
Ok, I give up.
I'll stop fighting the massive overuse of fair use all over en.wikipedia
where there are 200 thousand fair use images. Why
should we care?
Nobody's filed suit against us!
I guess what it will take is a lawsuit before real change happens.
Erm, my response wasn't intended to be an attack on you in the least;
I apologize if it came across that way.
The point I'm trying to make in regard to the rationales is that what
you're asking for is not actually what you want, and the difference is
*really* upsetting people.
We need to stop talking about "fair use" images, stop labeling things
as "fair use", and stop asking people to justify "fair use". We do
not, as a project, care about "fair use", except insofar as it
underlies what we *do* care about: the NFCC (which are rather stricter
than what's ordinarily regarded as "fair use").
You're essentially going around and asking people to explain why an
image is fair use, and then deleting it anyways because it fails the
stricter portions of the NFCC. I don't understand why anyone is
surprised that this is causing intense resentment; the image uploaders
are being sent on a wild goose chase because the widely publicized
requirement for their images to be retained -- "fair use" -- is
insufficient, and the *actual* requirement -- the NFCC -- is poorly
written and buried under ten layers of policy.
Asking the Foundation for clearer criteria isn't the answer. We
already have clear criteria. We just need to start actually
publicizing *those* criteria rather than a liberal buzz-word version
This is so obvious I'm a bit embarrassed I've never truly realised it
before. Yes, this is precisely what we ought to do - de-emphasise the fair
use aspect and emphasise the non-free content aspect. Conflating the two is
not helpful to anybody, and never will be.
Here's my proposal: rewrite our relevant policies to do just this. Ideally,
they should be able to be summarised as such:
"WMF policy permits limited usage of non-free content on its projects. For
legal reasons, only non-free content usable in the United States of America
is permitted. Non-free content should be used only when it is crucial for a
comprehensive encyclopaedia article on the subject concerned."
We can of course nitpick about the specifics of the policy later; I am just
thinking of how to draw up a broad policy rewrite which should be acceptable
to as large a group as possible.
Alternatively, we could just do as Stephen says - implement a totally unfree
policy and wait for the WMF to smack down the "consensus". :p