[Foundation-l] precisions about the recent WMF "fair use" decision

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 00:06:16 UTC 2007

On 2/8/07, David Monniaux <David.Monniaux at free.fr> wrote:
> Greg said:
> > The ESA has chosen a copyright policy which limits the freedom the
> > world can take with work, presumably they have good reasons for this,
> > but their decisions have negative consequences as well.  One of those
> > negative consequences is a reduction in how widespread information of
> > their work can travel, and Wikipedia is just a single symptom of that.
> Fine with me, but the same is true of museums or heirs of artists who chose not
> to allow free reproductions of their works of art.
> There cannot be two rules, two measures. One of the negative consequences,
> for an artist, the heirs thereof, or museums or libraries or whatever owning
> rights to the works, of not allowing free photographs, is to reduce exposure
> of these works to the world, and thus deprive themselves of a kind of
> advertisement on a site in the first pages of Google. They'll have to assume that.
> Thus, again: Why that exemption for so-called "modern art"?

We can, as fair use, use images of a copyrighted work to discuss the
copyrighted work so long as we're not going to get a free image and of
course such images don't belong on commons.

So for example, I don't see why we couldn't use the Giotto mission's
image of the Halley Comet on the article about the [[Giotto mission]],
because an image of it's copyrighted output is important to understand
its mission.. But we should probably not use the same image on
[[Halley's Comet]], since NASA provides many free images.

Incidentally, while looking for an example for my reply I noticed that
may enwiki articles for ESA subjects have free images. For example
take a look at [[ERS-1]]. After seeing all these I really wonder if we
haven't been misthinking our approach to ESA images.

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