>> Please let us start the Wikicommons and add functionality when we think
>> of some, when we program some.
> Erik M÷ller proposed specific things for WikiCommons. When he gets some
> code written, I'm sure we'll be happy to put it online.
It'll still be a week or two until I can hack on MediaWiki again. However,
several people would like to use a wiki purely for putting up and
cataloging some of the open content images they have taken/created which
do not yet have a home on Wikimedia.
I still believe that starting without any way to actually use these images
elsewhere, and with a structure that will likely change significantly
later, is not a very good idea, but I'll state here again for the public
record that, given that I haven't been able to start work on the Commons
code in the timeframe I originally suggested, I have no formal objections
to a basic wiki being set up for those interested in sharing and
cataloging images, developing a category structure, basic policies etc.
Andre in particular feels very strongly about this and other than my own
original objection, nobody seems to have voiced any opposition.
The proposal being discussed here, although running under the name
Wikimedia Commons, is not identical to what is on meta. It is merely a
wiki for cataloging multimedia. Whatever decision you arrive at, I have
nothing to do with it and there's no need to consult me on anything.
"If you'd like to help, please [donate]." message is worthless when the wikis
are down since the [donate] link goes to a page that is hosted on a wiki.
Could somebody cache an HTML copy of that, put it in the same directory that
the "Sorry-we have a problem" message is in and point the [donate] message to
Do you Yahoo!?
Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Get it on your mobile phone.
Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales wrote:
>Andre Engels wrote:
>>The real problem is not with putting them into Wikipedia, but with putting
>>them under the GNU/FDL license. Putting pictures into Wikipedia under fair
>>use will be okay if not done too extensively, provided we use relatively
>>low-resolution and specify the maker. But Wikipedia is not just a webpage,
>>it is a document under the GNU/FDL. Which means people may make derived
>>works and publish those. What if someone takes a Wikipedia page, and makes
>>a derived work from it by removing all but the copyrighted picture, then
>>publishes that under the GNU/FDL. We are currently permitting them to do
>>so. But we can't.
>This is a common misperception, and one that I want to combat every
>chance that I get. It is perfectly fine to aggregate independent
>works under clause 7 of the GNU FDL. The sort of aggregation that is
>contemplated by the license is *precisely* of the sort that we do.
>I have a very high comfort level on this point. There are certain
>ways in which some fair use images will be problematic. But the idea
>that if a page is GNU FDL, it may not be aggregated with independent
>works that aren't also under the GNU FDL is simply wrong.
>It would be perfectly fine *under the terms of the license* for us to
>put any sort of image in an article, for example, images that are
>licensed solely to us, or images that the Foundation itself owns
>(works for hire, say) and simply publishes under default copyright.
>I have asked this question of prominent and knowledgeable people, and
>they have assured me that there is no conflict between GNU FDL and
>fair use. (They actually treated my question with some amusement.)
Clause 7 of the GFDL is predicated on aggregating the GFDL content with
"separate and independent documents or works". Are images actually
separate and independent?
As files in the Image namespace, it's easy enough to say images are
separate and independent works from articles. But once the image is used
in an article, it gets fuzzier. When I view an article with an image,
the image shows up there with the rest of the article, and looks to the
reader like it is part of the article. It does not look very "separate
and independent", nor does the image give any indication that it may be
under a different license than the GFDL. You may point out that in wiki
syntax, the image is actually linked to rather than being incorporated
directly into the article, but that argument does not instill much
confidence in me. The law has been known to disregard such attempts at
technical distinctions and look at things from the simpler practical
But online content is not that big of an issue really, because anyone
who says we're infringing on their copyright has to give us a takedown
notice first, and we can remove the offending image. The real problem is
print. And once you get to print, I have a _very_ hard time buying any
argument that the image which illustrates an article is somehow a
separate and independent work from the article text. The one kind of
print version for which I might entertain this argument is if the images
are segregated as is done in many books, on separate glossier facing
pages or in a batch of illustrations in the middle of the book. But in
the routine print version, where the image is printed out on the same
page as the article, they look like part of one document and I don't see
how you can make much of a case that they're not. As a result, I think
the article as a whole, _including_ associated images, is the smallest
Document to which we can legitimately atomize the GFDL.
>On Sat, 7 Aug 2004 18:44:52 -0400, mbecker wrote:
>>Even if this is fair use, what's stopping the copyright holders from suing the wikimedia foundation, and incurring a great deal of legal fees?
>The legal risk lies with the user who uploaded it and claimed it was
>fair use, not with the Foundation.
Even if the Foundation would ultimately prevail on the merits, it's
still correct that the copyright holders can sue, and can force us to
incur serious legal fees. Also, the publisher can be liable for
copyright infringements, so I think it's inaccurate to suggest that
there's no legal risk to the Foundation. More correct is Angela's later
statement that OCILLA protects us to some extent.
And even then, the statement can only possibly be correct for online
publication. Print or DVD versions are an entirely different matter. For
those, we have no such protection, and the fact that some other party
(the original uploader) is also guilty of infringement helps the
Foundation not at all.
>>Also, how do we ensure that it is clear that these images are not reproducible under the GFDL?
>It is generally believed that fair use images are compatible with the
>GFDL. See http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Do_fair_use_images_violate_the_GFDL%3F
This depends on how you look at the question. If you ask whether fair
use material can be mixed with GFDL material, that's one question. If
you ask whether fair use content can be licensed directly under the
GFDL, that's rather different. Apparently our official position is that
images are the former, but it's not one I'm very comfortable with.
>We are protected to some extent by the [[Online Copyright Infringement
>Liability Limitation Act]]. We would take the images down if someone
>sent a valid takedown notice, so presumably we would avoid legal risk
I would say reduce rather than avoid, but maybe I'm being too technical.
About one month ago, I asked about WikiCommons, and Eloquence answered that
he would not object against early creation any more. I have let it pass
because of my holidays, but now would like to get started with this, hoping
to have something set up when I start my new job on October 1.
Thus, I would ask for the Wiki to be set up, proposed address:
commons.wikimedia.org, perhaps with a redirect from commons.wikipedia.org.
I would also like to know how far attempts at getting a new upload form have
Once it has been set up, I would like to invite everyone to come over to
join in early policy discussion and get an upload basis, as well as to join
with Eloquence in his work to improve the Mediawiki software for this
purpose (see [[meta:Wikimedia Commons]]).
People who have already shown interest in the project will be contacted by
me once it is set up, as will be the various (other) Wikimedia projects.
I would like to request once more an announcement mailing list, which
would send out at most
a few moderated messages a week, which I could automatically flag as
'important' when they
The messages would ideally be as short as possible, with links to
relevant news reports,
announcements, votes, and more-detailed discussions. The content of
this mailing list
could later form the basis for a slightly more meaty newsletter.
Translation issues exist, as they do with this list and with
[[m:Goings On]] , but could be
worked out once the list is up and in use.
One possible announcement-note this week, as an example:
* fr: is working on a 50k-article press release;
* en: is having a minor election;
* results of the recent bug hunt; possible timeline for a stable MW 1.3 release
Is the address of the new foundation website.
It is currently totally a work in progress. Angela has been working on a
nice html home page, so it look good later on, but it is not in place yet.
I set a new menu yesterday and put some pages already.
We need your help to participate :-) If you feel like it, you are most
For now, only loggued-in user can work on it, and only sysop can create
If you wish an account to update or improve the pages, please ask Angela
for the next weeks. We reserve the right to refuse access, but we wish
to give it pretty liberally :-) Any access given by Angela will be okay
by me while I am away.
Some areas will be restricted later on (for example financial reports
will be protected) and editable only by sysop. For now, nothing is
We need your help so that this site appears decent. Thanks in advance :-)
I tried to send this message yesterday, but later got a message back
that mail delivery failed, so I'm trying again.
Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales wrote:
>Michael Snow wrote:
>>Clause 7 of the GFDL is predicated on aggregating the GFDL content with
>>"separate and independent documents or works". Are images actually
>>separate and independent?
>Except in some hypothetical cases which are hard to even dream up, I
>would say yes, absolutely. The authorship of the image is different,
Yes, but so is the authorship of various portions of text in most
articles. The cumulative effect of different edits does not fragment an
article into tens or hundreds of separate and independent documents.
>the process by which the image is authored is completely different,
No argument here.
>it is stored in a separate file "in or on a volume of a storage or
Not when the distribution medium is print, at least not if it looks like
the standard layout used in most of our articles that have pictures.
Facing page illustrations might be different, but when the image and
text are on the same piece of paper, I'm pretty sure they're being
stored in the same place.
>It is hard to see how the image is somehow
>a "derivative work" of the article or vice-versa. They are simply a
My contention is not that the image is a derivative work of the article
text, or that the text is a derivative work of the image. You might say
that the end result is an article that is a derivative work of both the
text and the image (here I'm using "derivative work" in a general sense,
not trying to analyze whether that term applies as used in copyright
law). But the real question is whether Article Foo, illustrated by Image
Bar and Image Foobar, is one Document under the GFDL or three. I think
that's not clearly defined by the license itself, and when the meaning
of a term in a legal document is not clear from the document itself, the
law typically relies on ordinary meaning and usage. In ordinary usage, I
would say that Article Foo is one document, not three, especially given
how we currently use images.
Is there a way to keep Article Foo as three Documents under the GFDL?
Possibly, but I don't think our current practices do much to keep the
works separate and independent, as required for Clause 7. Putting
licensing information in captions would certainly help, since without
that there's usually no indication when looking at the article that the
image is not covered by the license as well (I'm quite aware that we
cleverly say "all text", but that's hardly enough to alert many readers).
>>And once you get to print, I have a _very_ hard time buying any
>>argument that the image which illustrates an article is somehow a
>>separate and independent work from the article text.
>Can you point me to any case law on this point? Law review articles?
Not off the top of my head. Given that copyleft in general has not been
around long enough to generate that much legal scrutiny, I'm skeptical
of finding much on such a specific question. But if you would like me
to, I can try and research the issue further. It may be a little while
before I get a chance to visit the law library, though. Again, given the
fact that "separate" and "independent" are not defined specifically in
the GFDL, I'm simply reasoning based on the ordinary meanings of those
>Consider the implications of your argument for traditional licensing
>of images for book publications.
>Imagine the following scenario. I write a book, under traditional
>copyright. For my book, I license some images from you, under a
>traditional licensing scheme for such, i.e. you tell me that I can use
>the images for my book, only for my book, and for no other purposes.
>After the book has been published, I decide that I want to license a
>portion of the text to a magazine. Can you then object, saying that
>the text is now a "derived work" of the photograph? That the two are
>no longer separate and independent?
I think the analogy to traditional licensing schemes misses the point.
You would have the copyright to your text in this situation, and can do
whatever you want with the text by itself, in the same way that anything
I write on Wikipedia, I have the right to publish elsewhere, under a
different system than the GFDL if I so desire. And the question of
whether images and text are "separate and independent" is significant
specifically because that's the language used by the GFDL. Unless the
traditional license says something along those lines, I don't think the
question is relevant to this hypothetical scenario.