[Foundation-l] RfC: Draft licensing policy resolution

teun spaans teun.spaans at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 06:03:57 UTC 2007

What I forgot to say: I also like the practical realization that for some
categories free content is indeed something we can not reasonably expect. We
dont even put our own logo under a free license, we can not expect other to
license their logo as free.

On 2/26/07, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On 2/21/07, Brianna Laugher <brianna.laugher at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Does this implu that the Board ultimately does discourage the use of
> > such EDPs? At the moment the Board seems quite neutral on them, or
> > even encouraging them to be adopted. I know I am not the only person
> > who would like to see the Board *discourage* the adoption of EDPs, and
> > even indicate a very slow movement towards banning them. And yes I
> > know that gets enWP all huffy... but there are people there who
> > dislike fair use too.
> I think the recent example of the English Wikipedia using a "No free
> image" template is exactly the direction we should go:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mamet
> (Incidentally, a very similar system is used by the IMDB, except of
> course they do not care if their images are freely licensed.)
> I am willing to support a licensing policy that is more strict than
> the current draft, i.e., which explicitly rules out the use of EDPs
> for purposes such as portrait photos, and limits them essentially to:
> - media about significant historical events
> - "identifying media" such as logos, jingles, etc.
> - excerpts of contemporary copyrighted works (low quality versions of
> comic book characters, album covers, music samples, screenshots etc.)
> I think we need to also have a vague "reasonable expectation" clause
> in the resolution that clarifies that, if we can reasonably _expect_
> that a free work will be made available, then a non-free one shouldn't
> be used. This allows us to, over time, shift out more of the above
> (especially the historical stuff, which I think we can definitely get
> under free licenses in the not too distant future).
> On the other hand, as long as copyrighted works are dominant in the
> information society, EDPs are the main method by which we can
> illustrate and excerpt contemporary cultural works. I do think this is
> a significant part of the mission of the WMF, and that we should make
> use of the few exemptions to copyright law that there are in order to
> do it.
> Characters from contemporary films or cartoons, for example, are not
> going to become "free content" anytime soon. Even if we could
> "liberate" them, this would hardly be our first priority. Those that
> scoff at Pokemon or Star Wars screenshots should acknowledge that, if
> we were to ban any such material from being illustrated, it would also
> exclude the great masters of film, music and painting from most of the
> 20th century. We should not even try to discriminate here between that
> which is "worthy" and that which is not; if the work is notable enough
> to be described in an encyclopedia, it is notable enough to be
> illustrated.
> Moreover, experience has shown that trying to ban non-free content
> completely tends to only lead to workarounds which are even worse
> (e.g. people photographing 3D toys of a cartoon character, carefully
> cropping out all the background, and proudly proclaiming that they now
> have created a "free work"; logos being flatly claimed to not be
> "copyrightable", etc.). So while I think we should promote free
> culture as much as possible, and while I can support a licensing
> policy which allows us a gradual shift towards that goal, I don't
> expect it to be fully achievable unless there are radical changes in
> copyright law throughout the world.
> --
> Peace & Love,
> Erik
> DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
> the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
> "An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
> free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic
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