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

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Fri Feb 9 02:28:17 UTC 2007

Delirium wrote:

>Robert Scott Horning wrote:
>>To me, reproductions of 2D art, 
>>especially when it is the entire artwork that is reproduced even in 
>>reduced resolution, essentially reproduced the entire artwork.  The only 
>>legitimate "fair-use" example I have seen for this that has been 
>>accepted in U.S. common law is for a thumbnail gallery, such as is done 
>>on google images.  And even then it is to provide a link to content that 
>>appears elsewhere that is legal to use.  Usage of this kind of content 
>>in a Wikipedia article just doesn't seem to fit the same sort of 
>>criteria, and requires multiple clicks to get to the "original" image 
>>and information about the actual copyright owner of the photo.
>Reproducing artwork and other cultural artifacts for scholarly 
>commentary is pretty well established, and is done literally thousands 
>of times per year in academic journals.  Heck, a recent journal article 
>I read [http://gamestudies.org/0601/articles/montfort] even reproduced 
>the entire source code of the 1977 Atari game _Combat_ as part of its 
>commentary.  It's not as if this is some sort of amazing new use that 
>we're the first to discover.
I've asked before, but are there any publications of the scale of 
Wikipedia that acutally use fair-use artwork?  In nearly every instance 
I find licensed images instead, including several that have been offered 
today on the various talk pages of Wikipedia that were referencing 
Encyclopedia Britannica.  I don't see fair use being used to this extent 
at all in major publications, even textbooks about artwork.

Robert Scott Horning

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