Fair use is an important freedom under US law that many on the English
wikipedia are loath to abandon. There is always going to be fair use
in Wikipedia, and we are unlikely to want to eradicate it entirely -
for one thing, pretty much all language versions of Wikipedia use fair
use text quotations (or whatever the local legal equivalent is).
Honestly, Fair use is an important freedom, but it's not a licence. NC images
are way more free than fair use images (i.e. copyrighted images that you use without
asking for permission).
It's not a question of one being more free than the other. They
represent two different, but overlapping, tracks on the subject. A
legal freedom is provided by a government law; a licence is granted by a
private owner. If fair use applies it applies with or without a
licence. A licence will allow uses that would clearly not be fair use,
and is thus supplementary to fair use. It also clarifies the situation
where the status of fair use is unclear.
My personal position is that what is true for texts
should be true for images and other types of contents. So if WMF pojects release their
texts under GFDL, they should allow only images with GFDL of compatible licenses. For what
I can see, asking it.wiki to remove NC images (no matter how gradually) without asking
someone else to remove fair use images will only piss off the italian community (And by
the way we still think that the removal of images tagged as PD-Italy from Commons has been
It's sensible to have the same rules for both text and images, and
quoted fair use text is just fine in articles. I don't know about the
images marked PD-Italy, but if they were taken by Italian residents
there should be no such problem.
I think WMF should state clearly which kind of licences
are proper for its projects and everything that is not compliant with this should be
removed everywhere, quickly. Possibly this will piss off more pepole, but it's the
only way out IMHO.
I still think that this should be handled at the project level.
Pictures of postage stamps issued in the las 50 years are almost all
fair use, including those used in stamp catalogues.