[Foundation-l] Foundation's position on non-free images

Tisza Gergő tgergo at inf.elte.hu
Wed Aug 16 19:53:54 UTC 2006

There is an ongoing debate in the Hungarian Wikipedia community about 
image license policies. I didn't find anything about the Foundation's 
position on the issue (except for the rather vague [[m:Foundation 
issues]]), so I'll try to ask here:

1) Which copyright law should be followed? The Hungarian law, the law of 
the United States or both? (And what about France and the Netherlands, 
where IIRC some of the Wikimedia servers are hosted?) This is an 
important question, as Hungarian copyright law is a lot more restrictive 
(there is no fair use, and works made by the government remain 

2) What are the rules, if any, for non-free images? Should we follow 
[[Wikipedia:Fair_use#Policy]], or is every community free to create its 
own policies about non-copyleft media content?

3) Is it acceptable to use, in a way similar to fair use, images which 
are illegal in the strict sense, but safe to use? (Eg. under the 
Hungarian law, logos or book covers probably cannot be used without 
proper permission, which is often impossible to obtain - the copyright 
holder cannot be contacted, or doesn't understand a problem, or just 
doesn't care. On the other hand, it's obvious that no one will sue 
Wikipedia for advertising him or his product, especially when that 
advertising would be legal in most countries.)


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