[Foundation-l] Fair Use (again)

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 21:23:27 UTC 2007

On 1/29/07, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/29/07, George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com> wrote:
> > We're not an 800 pound gorilla; but we're much more than a dancing macacque.
> We're neither. For most the net we are wallpaper.

The same could be said of Google.  It's become a utility and a stock
on the ticker for a lot of people.

> > I would like to second Cunctator's comments in general.  Specifically,
> > while I encourage the development of free content wherever possible, I
> > want to be realistic that there's a tradeoff between covering
> > something well and covering something badly but with entirely free
> > content.  I will always come down on the side of  a better
> > encyclopedia if an appropriate, legal fair use content add will better
> > Wikipedia noticably.
> >
> > I had someone just last week suggest that we could find free
> > replacement images for a spacecraft which had been assembled and flown
> > in space already, both for the spacecraft under construction and for
> > the landing.  The only people who took and released photos of the
> > assembly who are known are the official space agency photographers
> > (not NASA, India's ISRO), and the landing took place several hundred
> > kilometers out to sea, with one Indian Coast Guard ship and some
> > helicopters in attendance.  How exactly are we supposed to go back in
> > time and convince a free-license photographer to go take pictures of
> > those events that already happened?  How do we convince ISRO and the
> > Indian Coast Guard to let them do it?
> >
> Experience suggests it or scale models will turn up in a museum
> For example:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Vostok_1_after_landing.jpg

...and when it does, then someone can go take a picture of it and
replace the existing ones, and we'll all be happy.

UNTIL THEN, there exists no alternative.

> > If we don't fight for the meaning and use of Fair Use, we both lose
> > content for ourselves, and lose content for the whole community at
> > large by not helping to uphold fair use vigorously.
> I know of two legal systems that have fair use. People living under
> other systems get by.
> > If Wikipedia won't stand up for Fair Use, then it's a pretty sad
> > world.
> It is get used to it.
> >We can be strident in supporting fair use, legal and proper in
> > supporting fair use, and still prefer and work to create free content.
> >  They are not mutually exclusive.
> Then why was I deleting trivially replaceable non free images for
> rather a lot of last week? Are you seriously going to tell that since
> February 2006 no one has been in a position to make a pic of Pickled
> cucumber?

It is arguably both true that there are reasonably replaceable images
there now labeled Fair Use (which should be replaced sooner rather
than later), and people trying to delete things which are not
reasonably or possibly replaceable.  This is what happens when we
don't have a clear theory of what we're trying to do with fair use,
and muddled case "law" precedent and interpretations.

> > But those who say "oh, if we remove
> > it, free content of equal value will just sprint forth to replace it"
> > frustrate me to no end.  It won't, in a lot of cases, because it
> > can't.
> Experience suggests otherwise and at present time there is no
> significant movement toward deleting all fair use material.

I would not be here complaining if there weren't.  I am not
grandstanding here to make political points because Fair Use in
Society is a Big Thing for me.  There is serious anti-fair-use
activity going on, mostly under the radar, but consistently and
widespread.  The policy is vague and inconsistent enough to allow
that.  It's wrong, and it has to be limited.

> > Promotional photos of all types are generally accepted to be put out
> > there by people and companies to be reused.
> Please provide details of the licence they are under

Fair Use.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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