[Foundation-l] a new free image!

Pedro Sanchez pdsanchez at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 20:47:00 UTC 2007

On 2/28/07, Yonatan Horan <yonatanh at gmail.com> wrote:
> This reminds me of an idea I had that might not be feasible. Make a
> commons-like project for fair use pictures that all wikipedias can use and
> disable local uploads at all wikipedias. That way, only absolutely must fair
> use pictures will be accepted (logos, stamps, pictures of historical events
> that are unreplaceable, etc.) and there won't be fair use pictures of living
> people and of other things for which fair use isn't a must. That way you
> won't have all the inconsistencies with, for example, Spanish Wikipedia
> users asking why en can use fair use pictures of, say, music albums while
> they can't because they have local uploading disabled and only upload to
> commons. This way you'd also get people who are knowledgeable in the area of
> fair use and policies regarding fair use on wikipedia taking care of
> pictures rather than different people having different views on different
> projects. This way you'd also have one central fair use policy that is
> consistent amongst all the projects which will take care of the whining as I
> mentioned above and will also make sure that fair use that isn't really a
> must isn't in use on other projects (from my personal experience, this is
> what is going on on the Hebrew Wikipedia which currently has, IMHO, the most
> lax fair use policies out of any other project). Of course the problem is
> that you'd have to find people willing to monitor such a project, which you
> might not find as readily available as people for a project such as commons
> that deals with free content and there's also the hassle of starting up a
> new project (which some may deem unnecessary).
> -Yonatan
> On 2/28/07, Robert Horning <robert_horning at netzero.net> wrote:
> >
> > teun spaans wrote:
> > > I still havent read any good argument for allowing fair use, except that
> > the
> > > english wiki is using it en masse. Which sounds like a very strange
> > > argument, it is like saying: it is forbidden to spit, but as everyone
> > spits,
> > > we allow it. If everyone would be indulging in PAs on the english wiki,
> > > would we allow them too
> > I fail to see what the problem is with very narrow categories of image
> > types that may not be strictly available under a FLOSS license.  I would
> > count among those types of images that are reasonable applications of
> > fair use would include:
> >
> > * Official government seals and symbols, including flags
> > * Official government documents such as passports, stamps, currency,
> > banknotes, etc.
> > * Corporate Logos and trademarks, where their usage is directly tied to
> > content specifically about that organization
> >
> > All of these sorts of images are routinely used by major publishers
> > under fair-use provisions, where formal permission is not usually
> > granted by the various corporations and government entities.  All of
> > these sorts of images, however, have been banned on Commons.  I'm not
> > here to change commons policies, but these sorts of images can make or
> > break some Wikibooks or Wikipedia articles, and I have seen all of these
> > used in commercial encyclopedias as well.  Imagine what a book about
> > stamps would be like if you couldn't show the actual stamp.
> >
> > It should be noted that all of these kind of images do fall under some
> > sort of perpetual protections where copyright as it is usually defined
> > doesn't normally apply.  And unless the company goes bankrupt or the
> > government of the country whose symbols you are showing ceases to exist
> > due to warfare or cataclismic disaster, they will never ever be free in
> > the FLOSS sense of the term.  Perhaps a *very* enlightened group might
> > grant logos under the GFDL or something similar, but look even to the
> > WMF to see how likely that would be.  The only "free" logo I know of is
> > the GNU Gnu of the FSF and I'm not even sure about that.
> >
> > Another very legitimate application of fair use is to quote text
> > verbatium, provided you distinguish it somehow (such as put it in block
> > quote area or use quotation marks) and cite the source as a
> > bibliographic reference.  This is indeed fair use rationale in nearly
> > every case where it is used, and one of the reasons explicitly why the
> > fair-use doctrine was codified into the United States Code.  There are
> > extreme cases of textual quotation that does go over the top as well,
> > but generally it is obvious enough when that happens that most people
> > can come to a concensus and say "let's chop this quote down" or rework
> > the lengthy quotation.
> >
> > The problem is that happens with photographs and rendered graphical
> > images is that the rationale for fair use is very, very weak, and
> > unfortunately the current internet user culture is such that most people
> > think that once you have "obtained" an image, that you own it and have
> > unlimited reproduction privileges on it.  We all know this (at least on
> > this list) to be a completely incorrect viewpoint, but the academic
> > standards for including images just havn't been pushed into our heads to
> > the same degree that similar duplication of textual material would have,
> > even if we have a strong respect of copyright as a general philosophy.
> > Modern textbooks, magazines, and newspapers hardly help either when it
> > seems as though large portions of the content are displayed in photo,
> > charts, and other graphical images.  Some children's textbooks in
> > America have so many photos that you start to wonder where the actual
> > content of the textbook itself might be found.  It is no wonder that a
> > Wikipedian upon looking at a well developed article that would otherwise
> > be a feature article candidate looks empty and missing something when
> > there are no images to be used with the text.  Most of the project users
> > have grown up with the multi-media barrage in daily life and simply
> > expect it to be there.
> >
> > I support severe limitation on the use of fair-use material within
> > Wikimedia projects, but I think that a complete and total ban is simply
> > too much.  There are legitimate applications of fair use, and the
> > question that really confronts us is to define just how tight we want to
> > draw that line.  Unfortunately, with the diversity of people
> > participating in these projects (especially Wikipedia), it seems very
> > unlikely that you are going to come to a general agreement about where
> > that line ought to be drawn even by those who might want to put some
> > strong limitations on fair use content.
> >
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> >
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Except that it can't be done for the same reason fair use can't be
applied to commons files and thus not allowed.
Fair use doesn't allow hosting an image as part of a larger collection
itself, only within the context. So english wikipedia has them as part
of the encyclopedia. Commons not, since commons by itself has no
context to sustain the fair use defense

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