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

Marco Chiesa chiesa.marco at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 17:53:28 UTC 2007

Claudio Mastroianni wrote:

>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.
>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  
>"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.

Gatto, the point is: an Italian person which will like to reuse that 
media will have to ask the copyright owner: "Hey, I saw this picture on 
Wikipedia, I'd like to use it in Lumacapedia, can I?" An American person 
will be able to use it in Snailpedia and print and sell the Snailpedia 
DVD in the US and some other countries without asking the copyright 
owner. That's it.

Now, I understand there will be guidelines on what fair use is going to 
be allowed in Wikimedia. I guess a low-res reproduction of Guernica by 
Picasso will be allowed on the articles about Guernica by Picasso, while 
probably a promo photograph of Britney Spears will not be allowed. As 
soon as this is clarified, an Italian user may need to ask permission to 
Picasso's heirs to upload the picture of the painting, and say that 
where it applies the image is used under fair use. Plus you have the 
copyright owner's placet, in case you can't claim fair use.

As far as the Italian wikipedia is concerned, I think that many images 
we use with permission will qualify for Wikimedia fair use. Coat of arms 
of communes, paintings in the museums of Florence, maybe comics 
characters. For the copyrighted photos of places, well, a free 
alternative is possible, so it doesn't seem unreasonable not to use them.

Marco (Cruccone)

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