[Foundation-l] Banning Fair Use (was Re: Foundation Licensing Policy)

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Wed Mar 28 13:35:57 UTC 2007

As I feared would be the case, this new foundation policy has become a 
call to arms by deletionists to institute a massive removal of all fair 
use content on all Wikimedia projects.  I don't know if this was the 
intent, but on at least en.wikibooks, the most active bureaucrat there 
has demanded that all fair use content be eliminated from Wikibooks. And 
has used this policy to strength his own counter claim that we should 
never have allowed fair use onto that project in the first place.

With statements like "By March 23, 2008, all existing files under an 
unacceptable license as per the above must either be accepted under an 
EDP, or shall be deleted." seem to imply that unless you have already 
"approved" an EDP (whatever that means.... and the process of approval 
is certainly vague here) that all fair use can be retroactively deleted.

Wikibooks has had an unofficial policy about fair use for more than a 
year now, and it has been used as a guideline.  Because of the earlier 
discussion about fair use that was started by Kat (before this policy 
was written), this same bureaucrat on Wikibooks also deleted and rewrote 
the fair use policy to simply say that fair use was banned, presuming 
authority on the part of the WMF.

If this really is the intent of the WMF, I wish you would have just come 
out and said it simply:  "All fair use is banned."  I know that if this 
tactic were to be tried on Wikipedia that you would have an uproar from 
many users like has never been seen before.  But because this is a 
smallish project with only a handful of users who set policy, it makes 
it easier for some users to wildly mis-interpret what has been said.

-- Robert Horning

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