[Foundation-l] Fair Use (again)

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Jan 28 23:44:03 UTC 2007

Jeff V. Merkey wrote:

>We should act in good faith always. Good faith means if someone creates 
>a "cloud of doubt" and they are
>an undisputed owner of the materials in question, a good faith action 
>would be to remove it.
>" your honor, we always strive to act in good faith in all situations, 
>and in the present case, we were notified
>the materials may have been copyrighted and removed them immediately IAW 
>with our policies. Given our
>actions in good faith, we cannot be held liable as the other side claims 
>since we are simply a third party
>interactive web service and we have complied with the DMCA at all times ..."
Unfortunately in this case, official policy is that we are simply 
grabbing content and claiming fair use.  We know these are copyrighted 
images, and yet we are permitting their use on Wikipedia openly, even 
though we also know that we don't have any sort of permission to do so.

There are some items such as trademarks, bank notes, government seals, 
ect. that I feel are justified in terms of fair use.  I just don't think 
that nearly everything that currently is being claimed for fair use fits 
the same rationale.  The question here is where to draw the line, and I 
see at the moment that the current line is to the point that nearly 
everything that could be claimed under fair use, including overt usage 
of the non-commercial nature of Wikipedia and the educational mission of 
the WMF as justification to keep the content.  It is for this reason 
that I question how the copyvio template could even legitimately be used 
on an image, except if it were redundant or of somebody or something 
non-notable on Wikipedia.

Robert Scott Horning

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