[Foundation-l] Clearing up Wikimedia's media licensing policies (some important points)

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 17:24:42 UTC 2007

On 2/8/07, Claudio Mastroianni <gattonero at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Images which would be fairuse/dealing in places where that is
> > permitted (which is far more than 4 or 5 countries) plus permission?
> > Allowed.
> How are you going to obtain it?

The same way you obtain it now. You ask.

> There's no way for an italian (or other people from other countries
> which don't have fair use/dealing) to upload an image "under fair use".
> The only way to upload these images, is by permission. But permission
> doesn't mean "You have the right to use it in every way you want":
> permission means "You can use it in these precise conditions".
> Then: it's impossible for a "image with permission" to be tagged as
> "fair use", cause a tag like this would not respect the deal who
> brought to the permission.

You can make a tag which says something like:

"The copyright holder of this image has granted permission to use this
image only on Wikipedia. Normally Wikipedia does not accept images
which can only be used on Wikipedia, however, the [[fair dealing]]
laws of some countries make other uses of this image possible. Fair
dealing does not exist in Italy, but because we have both permission
and the possibility for fair dealing outside of Italy we have accepted
the copyright holders permission."

> I'm not sure if I've been clear.
> The way permission works is:
> "Ehy, copyright holder, could we use an image of your *whatever* on
> Wikipedia?"
> "Yes, wikipedian. You can use it ON http://it.wikipedia.org, but no
> printing" (or similar)
> That's why, if I put a "fair use tag" or permitt another one to use a
> "fair use tag", the deal is broken.

I do not follow your leap of reasoning. The fact that an image in an
article would be fair use dealing, say, Canada is a fact which you do
not control.  That you do not admit it today on your image pages does
not make it any less true.

> That's the point. UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and
> Singapore are not "the most of the world".
> Surely we can't allow copyrighted images, that's why we can't allow
> fair use images.

These are by no means the only countries which have the at least a
parallel concept to fair dealing in their practical law.  Where did
you get the idea that only those countries have something like fair

> > Yes, the foundation sees permission as more restrictive than fair
> > dealing, because it is for the foundations larger goals.
> Making money in the Commonwealth?
> Distributing information in the Commonwealth, where fair use images
> are legal?

So ... Now we see the real reason that you are upset. You are still
convinced that the foundation is out to exploit you in an evil and
commercial way.

> > Again, what do you lose?
> Again, "all media on Wikimedia sites which are used under terms that
> specify non-commercial use only, no-derivatives only, or permission
> for Wikimedia only, need to be be phased out and replaced with media
> that does not have these restrictions"

"Some works that are under licenses we do not accept (such as
non-derivative) may meet these conditions."
"However, no project may have content policies less restrictive, or
that allow licenses other than those allowed on Wikimedia Commons and
limited fair use."

I am completely confident that the foundations statement was in no way
intending to say that you could not seek permission in addition to the
image being accepted under fair dealing law where it exists.  The
foundation allows projects to have more restrictive rules, a fair
dealing claim plus permission is one possibly way of being more

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