[Foundation-l] Board meeting in Rotterdam later this week

Alphax (Wikipedia email) alphasigmax at gmail.com
Tue Jan 16 14:33:15 UTC 2007

Andre Engels wrote:
> 2007/1/15, David Strauss <david at fourkitchens.com>:
>> While I think fair use media is more integral to the English Wikipedia's
>> content than you do, I agree with your reasoning. Whether or not we
>> allow fair use, non-commercial media is unjustified.
>> Can everyone here agree that non-commercial media is not a *substitute*
>> for fair-use media?
> It's not a substitute, but I don't think it's worse. Fair use means that the
> picture can be used by Wikipedia on a specific page in a specific way
> because we don't need permission. Non-commercial means that Wikipedia can
> use it, as well as anyone using Wikipedia non-commercially, however they
> please because we have permission. I'm not happy with the second, but it
> surely is closer to what we want than the first.

IMHO it's quite simple:

If we have a "fair use" image, any mirror with ads can use it at their
peril, but we can't put it on a DVD.

If we have a "non-commercial" image, no mirror with with ads can use it,
and we can't put it on a DVD.

If we have a "no derivatives" image, we're not allowed to thumbnail it
to put it inline, crop it, recolour it, and neither are our mirrors with
ads, and neither can these things be done to it when it goes on a DVD.


"Fair use" is a right granted by US law (and there are similar rights in
some, not all countries) which means we can use it under *very specific*
circumstances. It's not a Free image though.

"Non-commercial" has been widely propogated by the Creative Commons
movement and people who think "Oh! I don't want my work exploited by
some large company!", but it's still not a Free image (Erik and Rama
have written essays and drawn cartoons, respectively, on this issue).

"No derivatives" is perhaps the worst of the lot: you're only allowed to
use the image in the exact form that the creator provided it in. You
gain very few freedoms - you can reuse it - and it's most definately not
a Free image.


Fair use is rather a tricky one. It used to be that ONLY the English
Wikipedia allowed them - perhaps because it was thought that most
traffic would be from the USA (which has now been shown to be false) -
but gradually more and more caved in. I believe that this is
unacceptable - we should have a goal of removing ALL "fair use" images
by 2008. Unfortunately we have literally hundreds of the things arriving
every day - Commons is particularly bad because we take 100% of the
uploads for es.wikipedia and pt.wikipedia (it appears that Spanish and
Portuguese speakers are very fond of anime and US law and not very fond
of reading instructions) - but every time I see that some other project
is arguing "oh yes, allowing Fair Use would make us look so much
better", or someone goes and replaces a 100% Free image with a Fair Use
image "because it looks better", I want to reach out across the internet
and strangle someone.


I joined Wikipedia (and the other Wikimedia projects) because I was
intrigued by the idea of a FREE encyclopedia (dictionary, quote
database, book collection, image repository, etc.), not just a
user-filtered set of Google results stealing from everyone possible.
Please, let's not EVER get to the point where we're sacrificing the
fundamental ideals of freedom of content.

Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP

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