I would like to propose the following:
That any new image uploads should be required to give a source for the
image (be it a URL, book or photographers name). Failure to provide a
source should make an image a candidate for speedy deletion.
The motivation behind this is that there are far too many images where we
have absolutely no information about where they came from. This makes
doing copyright research into them a lot harder. Even in cases where it is
stated that an image is PD, without a source there is no way to verify if
this is indeed the case (or to find out if PD status only exists in
Yesterday there was an article about Wikipedia in Spiegel-Online, the
biggest German online news-magazine (30 million visits/month), and I'm
sure we got more new German Wikipedians yesterday than ever before.
Through this article the TV took notice of us, and so there will be a
feature (right word?) about us in the "Tagesthemen" at 22:30 (ARD). I
think this is really great news.
Thanks to all the people who keep the site running, the increase of
visitors after the Spiegel-Online article went online was quite
impressive, but the servers seem to handle it without problems.
Our reader love us, the media loves us, at the moment I'm quite happy
and I know I'm not alone with this feeling. This is a great project, and
everybody can be proud to be part of it.
http://leihnetzwerk.de -- Vielleicht hat Dein Nachbar das Buch, das Du
schon immer lesen wolltest - leih es Dir aus!
http://wikipedia.de -- Die freie Enzyklopädie
http://jansson.de -- Icke
> Unfortunately, and I'm as guilty of this as any of
> us, doing work like
> this -- approaching people to try to get not just
> standard permission
> but a free license -- will involve stepping outside
> our comfort zone,
> which is "sit and type on the Internet".
I'm not so sure. The other day I contacted the
Democratic National Committee, asking them to release
a photo for [[Terry McAuliffe]]. If they don't get
back to me by the end of the week, I'll consider
another line of attack, but some places might have
people to handle this, even online.
Kiss Me I'm Irish!
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Michael Snow wrote:
>Well, you've had disagreements with at least two so far.
>Though of course, lawyers frequently disagree with each
>other, too. It's sort of an occupational requirement.
Actually I agreed with and helped to defend most of Alex's positions -
including most of his views on using fair use materials in Wikipedia. Our only
major disagreement was the last one (which turned out to be a misunderstanding
on my part - I have sent two emails apologizing to him but have not heard from
>However, if you feel that our disclaimer of warranties
>shifts the obligation to downstream users, making it
>their job to determine what they can legally copy,
>that's a reasonable position to take.
That is one of the major reasons why I supported Alex in getting the disclaimer
linked from every page.
>As I have pointed out in some of my other posts, there
>are other legal justifications for quotation besides fair
>use under US copyright law. I believe we should shift
>our reliance to Article 10 of the Berne Convention,
>which specifically allows quotation of published works.
That seems like a good idea, given our international bent. I find the wording
in the Berne Convention to be easier to follow than the convoluted mess of fair
>We would have to make sure we mention the source
>and the name of the author.
Exactly! We have WAY too many images that don't have this type of information.
IMO, we should stop all uploads and launch a tagging effort. Once that is fully
underway a form should be added to the upload page that would force uploaders
to enter text into author, source, and license fields. I consider the current
situation to be untenable and dangerous to the long term viability to the
To even have a chance of being considered fair, the use *must* give author
info, no? I hear that over 20% of the images on the English Wikipedia do not
give that information.
>I think this can pretty much resolve the issue for text, and
>an argument can be made to apply it to images and sounds
Yep. That is my IANAL interpretation. Has this been tested for non-text
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> In the past I had this dicsussion:
>Someone told me: - "Wow, your new classical music
>CDs are very nice."
>I said: - "Yeap.."
>He said: - "Classical music is old. so there is
>no copyright and I can copy and play this music
>as I like. Nobody can sue me."
>I said: - "No, you cannot do whatever you want.
>Beethoven has no copyright rights over this work,
>but the ORCHESTRA which played the work, the
>COMPANY which recorded and published the work,
>ETC, have rights over their work. You will be
>sued NOT because you copied Beethoven's music, but
>because you copied this particular
>orchestra/music company's version of the music"
>IANAL - I am not a lawyer
>Am I right?
With the NOT inserted, you are correct. Works that are based on public
domain material can still have a copyright based on the added
contributions of their authors. The implications are significant. For
example, it effectively means that no decent-quality sound recordings
have passed into the public domain due to age, even if the recorded work
is in the public domain.
I find this entire argument about "fair use" images annoying. When I
contacted Her Majesty's Stationery Office to inquire about the use of
Crown Copyright material, I was told that Wikipedia could use that
material as long as we used it accurately and not disparagingly -- no
problem -- but that we also had to require that anyone else using it
had to also comply with those restrictions. Opinion was overwhelming
that since we can't pass on those restrictions, even though we have no
problem complying with them ourselves, we can't use the material.
What's the difference?
> Well, I don't really see it as so much of a race. Sure, we'd like
> people to turn to us for information, but as I see it we're just going
> to so completely dominate everyone with our information that there
> really is no competition. Already most people I know IRL turn to
How about I fork Wikipedia. And while you suckas scramble to try to
get permission from the probably dead photographer who took the Che
Guevara-face photo MY fork has more pictures than playboy. Would your
friends still prefer Wikipedia??
I want the images. Those who took the images WANT us to use them
(provided we reference them). Readers want the images. Mirrors of
Wikipedia want the images. The copyright laws are stupid. GFDL is
stupid. And the right way to get stupid laws changed is not to obey
We are faced with an issue of convenience versus freedom when we talk
about licensing images. Because we are a nonprofit charitable
organization with an educational mission, we can easily get non-free
licenses to use images. Because we are a nonprofit charitable
organization with an educational mission, we can make heavy use of the
doctrine of "fair use" in the US.
But should we?
One of the things that our reliance on these alternatives does is work
to undermine our broader mission, by reducing the incentive for the
creation of free alternatives. It's more work to get those free
alternatives, but the result will be worthwhile, I think.
We can set aside most of the licensing and legal issues, because I
think we're fine there. Clause 7 of the license permits us to combine
independent works, even proprietary works, and this clearly includes
aggregating images and articles stored on the same server. For fair
use, the license isn't implicated or violated in any way.
So I think resting our rejection of licensed and most fair use images
on that argument is mistaken. I don't think that argument is valid,
but more importantly, I think that argument is too hyper-technical and
legalistic, implicitly assuming that it's o.k. for us to do it if the
license says it is o.k.
The moral argument is the one that matters. Should we make use of
materials that are available only to us because of our special
circumstances, or should we follow a purist GNU philosophy?
I think we all know what Richard Stallman would say, and I for one
will agree with him completely. The Wikimedia Foundation should be a
beacon of what is possible with copyright freedom, and we should not
allow anyone to ever point at our work and say "Yeah, they talk the
big talk about free licensing, but what would their site be without
all those proprietary licensed images and fair use exceptions?"
If that means less images for now, then it means less images for now.
It also means that we have a very strong incentive to develop free