On 7/19/07, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
WikipediaEditor Durin wrote:
On 7/18/07, quiddity <blanketfort(a)gmail.com>
>(I don't know the background or details of this issue, but...)
this is making my brain hurt.
That's a pretty easy call really.
Fair use should be limited as much as possible in order to maintain
the encyclopedic integrity while staying focused on our mission.
The Einstein article already has substantial images of the man.
The image can only be fair use within our criteria if the image is of
major significance to the article. Currently, the article just speaks
to Einstein's ability to stick out his tongue. That's hardly sufficient.
There's claims the image is iconic (I grant it is) and culturally
relevant (I grant it might be). Ok, so write about that...then the
image becomes of use. Without that, the image is worthless to
the article and is purely decorative.
"Fair use" seems to be the cry for anyone who can't be bothered to
more deeply into a situation. This is a 1951 photograph! Where was it
first published? Who owns the copyright? Was it properly renewed?
.Given that some have attached the "iconic" description, has anyone with
a connection to the article ever filed a copyright action about the
picture? In the absence of such a legal actions perhaps the copyright
has been effectively abandoned. The answers to these questions may very
well lead to a determination that the image is already in the public
domain. If that's the case fair use is not relevant.
With older photographs especially it would be nice if people did a
little homework before diverting the debate into a fair use discussion.
It would be a far greater benefit to the encyclopedia if works treated
as unfree by virtue of uncertainty were established as free.
1. In copyright issues, we should err on the side that keeps us safest
2. I see no copyright problem here - the iconic nature of the image gives us
a free pass, generally, in fair use, as many publications have used this
picture with less context than we provide;
3. Because we are a free encyclopaedia we hold ourselves to a higher
standard than other publications and demand that non-free content's usage be
justified in some way by significantly improving our coverage;
4. By having nothing more than a relevant caption, it is difficult to argue
that having this non-free picture significantly improves [[Albert
5. This is a perfect illustration of why we should stop quibbling about "is
it fair use under American law?" and start asking "is this non-free content
necessary for the encyclopaedia?"