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

Anthere Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 16 21:57:12 UTC 2006

Good question.

Two resolutions were proposed on this matter by some contributors.

Let me copy them below, as well as the outcome.

Proposed by : contributor, copied by Anthere

Motion to vote: Angela 05:06, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Motion Seconded: Anthere

The Wikimedia Foundation aims to promote free and collaborative content
Non-commercial and non-derivative licenses are not compatible with the 
notion of free content supported by the Wikimedia Foundation and the 
Free Software Foundation, as defined at freecontentdefinition.org

In order to clarify this situation, the Board resolves that:
Content under "non-derivative" or "non-commercial" licenses is not 
sufficiently free to allow use on Wikimedia projects. Content dual 
licensed under one of these with a free license continues to be acceptable.

Outcome: The resolution dropped was dropped at a meeting 5 aug 2006. The 
conclusion was essentially that the board should not get involved in 
that (not a policy) but that recommandations would be suitable. It was 
concluded that Jimbo would blog about it.


Resolution:Fair Use
Proposed by : an editor, copied by Anthere

Given that fair-use content has been widely tolerated for historical 
reasons on the Wikimedia Foundation's projects
Given that fair-use content is, by essence, non-free
Given that the Wikimedia Foundation objectives are to promote free 
material in the whole world, not only in the United States of America 
where the fair-use can apply
Outcome of the resolution: Given that free content is now widely 
available for all the Wikimedia's Foundation projects through Wikimedia 
The board resolves :
	▪ 	That starting from today (insert date), no fair use content shall be 
added to the Wikimedia Foundation's projects
	▪ 	and that the existing fair-use content shall not be deleted until 
replaced by free content

Outcome: the resolution was inactive for two months with no motion to 
vote. It was consequently dropped.


I think this resumes pretty well the position of the Foundation on the 
issue :-)

I will actually say it more plainly.
I think the projects are not (should not be) managed by the Foundation. 
The Foundation supports the projects, which is very different. Jimbo or 
others may provide some guidance, but it is not the role of the 
Foundation to say "fair use is allowed" or "fair use is not allowed".


----------Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz wrote:
> Tisza Gergo wrote:
>>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:
> The same is on Polish :-) I think there should be an official Foundation 
> policy about it. When we were asking people from Foundation around 1 
> year ago, the answers where different from one person to another, and 
> then two groups of users (pro fair-use and anti fair-use) were using 
> these diffrent answers as a key argument. Finally, someone asked simple 
>   question: do we really want to make Polish Wikipedia to constantly 
> break Polish Law?
>>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 
> On Polish Wikipedia it was decided that due to:
> a) vast majority of contributors live in Poland
> b) we don't want to give an impression that Polish Wikipedia ignores 
> Polish law
> we have to strictly follow Polish law.
> In fact, no matter where the servers are placed, when you contribute to 
> any webpage from Polish territory, you have to follow Polish law. You 
> are making copyright violation by sending from Polish territory pictures 
> or text - no matter where is it going to be published. So, the question 
> is where you are - not where is the server.
> In Poland something similar to fair use is allowed, but using it in any 
> encyclopedia requires:
> a) only educational purposes (Wikipedia can be used for non-educational, 
> even strictly commercial purposes)
> b) documented attempt to obtain the copyright's owner permission
> Therefore, technically, fair use in Wikipedia circumstances is rather 
> useless if you want to follow Polish law, and therefore we have decided 
> not to allow any fair use materials.

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