[Foundation-l] Fair Use (again)

The Cunctator cunctator at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 20:36:38 UTC 2007

On 1/29/07, Brad Patrick <bradp.wmf at gmail.com> wrote:
> I wanted to simply state that I have been reading this thread with
> interest.  When it comes to content, it is the editors and users and not
> the
> Foundation who decide what is on.  I don't presently serve as, and don't
> intend to become, the central authority for what is and isn't acceptable
> for
> fair use questions. It is not a subject that is prone to sweeping policy
> decisions, as counterexamples etc. abound.  Again, since the license is
> the
> key to the forward looking nature of the project (here en:wp) why someone
> feels compelled to take the easy way out and {{fairuse}} image the heck
> out
> of articles out of a sense of obligation to "improve" it is beside the
> point.
> The images are fair - not free - and that isn't the same thing.  You can
> argue til the cows come home about any particular example.  People
> do.  ;-)
> But I would once again encourage anyone interested in the issue to ask
> themselves first why the fair image *must* be there instead of a free one
> (rare examples) and why it is not instead an easy way out in lieu of the
> harder task of obtaining free images as equivalents.
> What happens in legal terms depends, of course, on the situation.  WMF has
> no interest in fighting really hard for "fair use" in principle, since we
> are all about free images where there is a choice.  Be honest - wouldn't
> the
> best Wikipedia be one with no strings attached, with content of equivalent
> quality?

My attitude is that Wikipedia should be pushing the copyright envelope
(within reason, of course) on all fronts.

All non-governmental content from the past century is covered by copyright

We should be expanding (and we are) the amount of content covered by free
licenses (GFDL,CC-SA).

We should also be demonstrating the importance of challenging the absurd
life and strength of copyright laws by taking advantage of fair use when we

Google is a great example of a company that by dint of its popularity gets
to run roughshod over copyright restrictions that companies would squash if
they weren't so reliant on Google.

Similarly Wikipedia is now in the position of being one of the 800-pound

Wikipedia has the power to shape law because of its size and influence.

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